BUFFALO, NY - Superintendent Pamela Brown will revise district policy to send notifications of school closures by at least 5:30 a.m. in the future, a move prompted by delayed notifications from the Buffalo Public Schools on Wednesday.
Brown maintains that the district followed decades-old policy by notifying WBEN radio by 6 a.m. Wednesday, but some parents did not receive automated calls until much later. In an email, school board member James Sampson asked the Superintendent: "Why did we wait?" He urged Brown to revise her policy to make closure decisions by 5:30 a.m.-- and she wholeheartedly agreed.
"I had a meeting with my staff this morning," Brown said. "We reviewed that, and took a closer look at those bus routes and schedules, and as a result, we have made a commitment that from this point on, we will send that notification out by 5:30 a.m. at the latest.
Sampson planned to introduce a resolution at Wednesday's committee meeting to put this policy on the record, but he declined to pursue the resolution after Brown publicly embraced the policy. Sampson said he fielded calls from concerned parents who'd sent their kids to bus stops in anticipation of the school day. Krystal Gibson, whose son uses a wheelchair and attends School 84 Health Care for Children, said they waited for his bus at 6:40 a.m., but did not receive an automated call until 6:42.
Some bus drivers had even begun their routes already.
"I was just upset with the fact it was so late," Gibson said. "I hope this is a one-time thing."