About Schoolhouse

I thought Buffalo needed a schools blog where parents can see more information about schools in a digestible format and begin to have a productive conversation about how parents can help improve the Buffalo schools environment. That’s it really: how can parents support schools? How can we be prepared for starting kids in school? What sort of power do we have here? And can parents change schools?

I’m a writer and editor who has lived in Chicago, Germany, New York City and the Bay Area who is working on a novel. My first daughter was born in 2010, my second here in 2013. (She was really born in Buffalo, if you want to know). We all moved to Buffalo in 2011, where my daughter entered the Buffalo Public Schools in Fall 2013. I found the experience of learning about the city schools as an outsider, and as a parent new to this community, bewildering, frustrating, and overwhelmingly negative. There is no fear like fearing your child will not find a school to go to, that there are no “good” schools here. I hadn’t realized that just starting school for your child was an education in itself. And now that my daughter is in school, there is so much more to learn. I have been encouraged by the attention given to the city’s schools this past year, despite turmoil and conflict at the level of the Board and a whole lot of uncertainty and confusion with regards to newer State regulations, I think the community is newly turned on to the topic of how to grow our schools.

I’ve found a few more frustrated yet hopeful parents who want to explore the topic of Buffalo Schools here. So far we are four women, but we’d welcome more, and others, such as male parents, students, etc, We seek a diversity of expression here. This blog will only work if we can get those of you we don’t know to contribute your time and opinions, like with the Schools Survey completion. Please consider filling out the schools survey!

(For now, the schools survey is linked here and embedded below. Any parent can fill it out for any city public, charter school and a few of the popular private grade schools)

Contact me with questions. katesteilen@gmail.com .

Schoolhouse doesn’t yet have FB or Twitter, but it will.

Schoolhouse isn’t trying to be overly political, but it definitely believes in public education and trying to give students, especially students from disadvantaged homes, a fair and equal education. Let’s make Buffalo the place that those with means, or those without the means for private school, move to, instead of flee when it comes to placing their children in schools. Let’s keep our younger generation thriving here.


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