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How many kids were suspended at your Buffalo public school? Here's the school-by-school suspension breakdown

Last week, the Buffalo school district released its student suspension data for last school year. With the district overall taking more of an "intervention" approach to resolving student problems, rather than a punitive approach, short-term suspensions have fallen districtwide over the past several years. The district also approved a new Code of Conduct in the spring designed to reduce suspensions further.

But long-term suspensions for serious offenses have risen over the last two years. Moreover, certain schools have shown alarming increases in their short-term suspensions, as well.

Of particular note is Harriet Ross Tubman School 31. This elementary school, serving children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, issued 666 short-term suspensions in 2012-13. While that number ('I'll try not to read into this any demonic signs) is high on its own, it's even higher in the context of the school's total enrollment. School 31 enrolled 455 students last year. That means many students were repeatedly suspended from the school last year. The year before that, the school suspended 573 children, so the number of suspensions actually rose over the last two years, contrary to the overall districtwide trend.

The principal at School 31, William Boatwright, has been reassigned this school year to Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Center No. 99. The new principal at School 31, Heather Short-English, comes to the district from Las Vegas, Nev., where she previously served as an assistant principal.

Aside from School 31, Hamlin Park School 74 and Math Science Technology Prep School 197 also showed alarming increases in their short-term suspensions, particularly in relation to their overall school enrollments.

Below is the suspension data provided by the district and broken down by school. Many of the columns on this report refer to suspensions that occurred in June of 2013. For the cumulative year-end data, look at the last two columns on the first two pages where short-term suspensions are shown. The letters "YTD" and "PrY" refer to "year-to-date" (2012-13 total student suspensions) and comparison numbers for the "previous year" 2011-12. To view these numbers in context, look at your school's total enrollment figure, which is listed as "Tot Enr" on the chart.

The third page of the document is a bar chart showing the districtwide short-term suspension trend. The fourth and fifth pages refer to long-term suspensions. On those two pages, you want to look at the columns similarly marked "YTD" and "PrY" for school-year totals.

The last two pages of the document break down long-term suspensions by type. The numbers in bold across the top of the sheets identify the school number. Be aware that the figures on these last two pages are only for the month of June 2013.

We're glad Will Keresztes, chief of student support, provided this information to the board and took the time to further explain it to us on Monday. 

Buffalo Public Schools 2012-13 student suspension report

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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