The Buffalo School Board on Wednesday approved plans to solicit additional proposals for turning around troubled Bennett High School after the state agreed to push back a Sept. 1 deadline for submission of a reform plan.
The board also directed administrators to put together a timeline for dealing with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Institute School 39, another of the district’s persistently failing schools.
During a special meeting in City Hall, board members passed a recommendation from interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie that opens the door for the district to secure more proposals on what to do with Bennett. School officials now have more time to try to figure out a course of action for the troubled school – again – and the move allows the board to solicit additional proposals to the one recently submitted by a local consultant.
The new proposals will be accepted during the first half of the 2014-15 school year. The goal is to then implement whatever plan is decided upon by the 2015-16 school year, but no later than the 2016-17 school year, said board member Larry Quinn.
Bennett is at the end of its School Improvement Grant three-year funding cycle without having made sufficient academic progress. District officials originally wanted to transform the school into one focusing on science and technology.
But in April, the state Education Department rejected that transformation plan and ruled that the school could not accept any incoming freshmen this September. State officials demanded the district submit a new turnaround proposal by Sept. 1 for the 2015-16 school year..
Also during the special meeting, board members unanimously approved a resolution directing Ogilvie and his staff to put together a timeline of the district’s plans for MLK by Monday. In addition, by Dec. 31, the district will have not only the timeline, but details of the plans brought before the board’s Student Achievement Committee.
Initial plans were to close MLK and reopen it this school year as the Buffalo Medical Campus High School.