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Williamsville Board of Education elects new leadership

The Williamsville Board of Education will have new leadership for the 2014-15 school year.

Patricia M. Losito will serve as president and Michael J. Schmidt will serve as vice president after the board unanimously elected them to the leadership posts during its annual reorganization meeting Wednesday night.

The board appointed Jay Smith parliamentarian.

Losito and Schmidt were also sworn into their second terms on the board, along with Ronald Shubert, who was sworn into his sixth term.

Losito replaced Michael J. Littman as board president. Littman, who nominated Losito to serve as president, said she had "served as a "highly competant vice president" during the 2013-14 school year. 

The board also honored the Williamsville South varsity girls softball team for its Class A state championship win last month. 

--Denise Jewell Gee 

Live blog at 4 p.m.: New Buffalo school board to hold first meeting

In the days before its first business meeting, the new Buffalo school board majority has given us a sneak peak at what might be in store for evening.

That includes the likely installation of Donald Ogilvie as interim superintendent, and possibly some discussion on the board majority's vision for the future of the Buffalo schools. Board member Carl Paladino has also put forth several resolutions to tie up some loose ends at Bennett High School and the former Pinnacle Charter School.

The School Zone team expects this to be an eventful and significant meeting that will set the tone for the next few years in the Buffalo schools. Reporters Tiffany Lankes and Deidre Williams will be blogging live from the meeting. And you never know. Sandra Tan may even make a guest appearance for a full trifecta.

We'll start the discussion at 4 p.m., when board members are expected to discuss Ogilvie's contract in executive session. Feel free to bring us your questions and comments before the board begins its regular business meeting. The regular meeting agenda can be found here.

Live Blog Buffalo School Board Meeting - July 9, 2014

Williamsville Board of Education calls emergency meeting to discuss unspecified 'legal matters'

The Williamsville Board of Education has scheduled an emergency special meeting tonight.

The board posted notice this afternoon that it intends to meet and immediately close the session to the public to discuss "particular person(s) and legal matters."

How many special education students does your Buffalo public school have?

Below is a chart of every Buffalo public school, broken down by the number and percentage of enrolled students with disabilities. Overall, the district listed 6,857 students -- 22 percent -- with disabilities as of June.

Disabilities include physical and mental disabilities, though students who need only speech therapy services and otherwise receive general education instruction are pulled out as a separate subgroup. A total of 5,755 -- 18 percent -- are considered students with more significant special needs.

Terms of Keresztes' employment as interim superintendent

Wednesday night's Buffalo School Board meeting was productive, but long. At 11:40 pm, the board came out of a closed session to approve a two-page employment agreement with Will Kerestzes. (This is why News reporters stay to the very end.) The letter lays out the terms of his employment and compensation.

Of primary interest is Keresztes compensation as interim superintendent. He will earn a daily rate of $345 in addition to his regular pay as chief of student support services. Though Keresztes is not expected to stay in the position longer than a few weeks at most, we did some math for fun.

Transcript of Hamburg school board member misconduct hearing

The Hamburg School Board misconduct hearing against School Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci was conducted in public Wednesday night, and transcripts of the previous sessions, held behind close doors, were provided. Read them below.  

A final parting gift

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but their absence is even more telling.

At least when it comes to the hallways of the Buffalo school district offices.

Visitors to the district’s City Hall headquarters likely noticed what amounted to a museum of sorts showcasing former Superintendent Pamela C. Brown.

Brown sitting at a student’s desk in a classroom. Brown at a groundbreaking. Brown with state education commissioner John King.

Live blog: Final 2013-14 Buffalo School Board meeting at 5:30 pm

Please join us at 5:30 pm for a live blog of tonight's Buffalo School Board meeting, the last meeting before a changing of the guard for Buffalo's board leadership.

Tonight's meeting marks the final one for members Florence Johnson and John Licata as incoming board members Larry Quinn and Patti Bowers Pierce prepare to be sworn in on July 1. The board packet can be found here, and a live stream of the meeting should be available here, as well as on the district's Web site. The meeting will be held in Room 801 of City Hall.

Live Blog Final 2013-14 Buffalo school board meeting June 25

Six families to challenge New York's teacher tenure laws

Six New York State families plan to sue over the state's teacher tenure laws.

A new educational advocacy group called the Partnership for Educational Justice announced today that it will support the families as they challenge the state's tenure laws.

The families plan to file a lawsuit in Albany within the next few weeks that would claim that teacher removal laws keep ineffective teachers in the classroom and violate the right to basic education for all students, according to the Partnership for Educational Justice.

Which local high schools see the most on-time graduates?

The Board of Regents today released New York State graduation rate data for 2012-13. Here's a look at how local high schools in Erie and Niagara counties have done during the last five years.

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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 | djgee@buffnews.com


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 | tlankes@buffnews.com


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 | stan@buffnews.com


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 | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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