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School board meetings move out of City Hall

Thanks to a resolution by board member Jim Sampson, three of the next four regularly scheduled Buffalo school board meetings will not be held in City Hall. The next one, coming up Wednesday, will be held at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. See the announcement below for where and when all regular board meetings will be held between now and the end of December.

I will be very interested to see how the district chooses to set up the board seating once the meetings are moved out of Room 801 of City Hall. Because of the cramped room setting in City Hall, all board members sit around a long board table and face each other instead of the public. That makes it hard for the public to see and hear who is speaking during the meeting. It also appears disrespectful to public speakers when board members are seated with their backs to them, which is why board members sitting on one side of the table end up doing a lot of chair swiveling during the presentation and public comment period.

What's interesting is that on the rare occasion when the board moves out of City Hall and into a school auditorium setting where they have a lot more room to spread out, they still elect to group tables and chairs together to mimic the exact same seating arrangement they had in City Hall. By contrast, most other school boards arrange their seats in either a straight line facing out toward the audience, or in a curved or U-shape, so that all board faces and name plates can still be clearly seen by those in attendance.

I'm tempted to start a betting pool on which way the table set up will be on Wednesday, but I won't. Here's the announcement of all board meeting locations through the end of 2013:

Buffalo school board meetings Oct-Dec 2013

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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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