On February 12, 2020, I visited The Academy School #131, which serves students in grades seven to twelve. The Academy School has a revamped CTE model which includes, building trades, business, and cosmetology.
Principal Dr. Casey Young first gave me a tour of the program. On this tour, I met our outstanding Crisis Team, which is made up of mental health professionals, who are trained and available to provide crisis counseling and support at each of our Buffalo Public Schools.
While walking through the building, staff and students that I met were pleasant and welcoming. The climate of the building was well-structured with a good balance of staff nurturing and support. Principal Young emphasized a restorative approach at The Academy School and made clear the need for more staff to address the social-emotional needs of his students.
The best part of my visit was a circle conversation with several students and some staff (featured in image above). I was incredibly impressed with how all the students spoke about their experiences at The Academy School and at prior schools. Most were positive about The Academy School, especially about their relationships with staff and the small size of the school. Some spoke about feeing the need to be more recognized and prioritized by the District, with a few suggesting the need for more access to electives, such as music and art. I felt the presence of some informed, strong advocates in that circle.
You can learn more about the Academy School by clicking, here.