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You'll get this year's Buffalo school calendar by Thanksgiving, maybe...

One of the most frustrating issues for parents in Buffalo Public Schools is that getting information about small things is often as difficult as getting information about big things. The 2013-14 school calendar is a prime example.

While every other area school district publishes and distributes their calendars by early September, the Buffalo school district waits until the school year is nearly half over before publishing its school calendar. This year is no different. It appears the Buffalo school district doesn't think parents deserve to get a hard copy of their child's school calendar until the holiday season unless they are willing and able to download it online.

Given the fact that the school calendar is approved by the school board in June, the reasons for a five- to six-month printing delay are unfathomable. By the time parents get the calendar, next year's school registration process will be almost over and all the school open houses will have passed.

Unfortunately, this is par for the course in Buffalo. Last year, parents had to wait until December to receive a calendar that was filled with school and district activities and events that happened in September, October and November. Today, spokeswoman Elena Cala said the calendar should be distributed by late November. Not only is this almost as late as last year, but it's also a lot later than originally expected.

I last wrote about the school calendar delay in an Oct. 1 blog post. At that time, Cala said in calendar should be printed in about two weeks. That was still late, but an improvement.

Today, she stated that the calendars are in print production now but won't be delivered to the district's distribution center until Nov. 20.  Perhaps the district thinks we should consider ourselves lucky to get the school calendar before Thanksgiving (assuming that actually happens).

Buffalo school officials give plenty of lip service about the importance of parent involvement, but actions speak louder than words. This printing delay is more than a bad habit. It's an insult to parents who have the right to expect such basic information about their child's education. 

-- Sandra Tan

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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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