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Hamburg School Board approves funding for literacy and writing program training

Hamburg School Board members Thursday night approved funding that would allow a West Seneca school administrator to provide district teachers training and development services in a literacy and writing program.

The six board members in attendance at the special meeting agreed to fund the training offered by Jeanne Tribuzzi, West Seneca’s director of English language arts.

The program – Writers Workshop and Balanced Literacy – will cost a maximum of $17,250.

The meeting was called after the board last met June 11.

An executive session preceded the public portion of the latest meeting.

The program focuses on teaching students the reading and writing curriculum and aligning the district with the state’s Common Core standards, Tribuzzi said during a brief presentation.

Outgoing board President Jane Calkins said 88 teachers have already signed up for a two-day session with Tribuzzi over the summer.

“The teachers feel the need,” Calkins said of the training.

Ideally, Tribuzzi said, she would like to work with the school district for three or four years to develop a “full, well-developed” curriculum.

Board member Sally Stephenson, who at the last board meeting said she would vote against funding the training because she wanted to know more about the program and was concerned about the cost, did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

Some in attendance Thursday raised concerns that the sister of Jane Calkins, Lucy Calkins, developed the program out of Columbia University.

But Calkins said her sister would receive “no significant money” from the district buying into the program.

“In no way is this a conflict,” she said.