Tapestry School’s board of directors has voted to keep Tapestry from moving to a bigger school building at 345 Olympic Avenue (lead image). A number of parents voiced their opinions that they wanted the school to remain at its current location, instead of heading to the Olympic Avenue.
In response to the board’s decision, Masten District Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr. drafted a letter to the Tapestry board, asking for some transparency regarding the vote.
After a recent vote was conducted by your board, the decision was made for Tapestry Charter School to remain at its current site, 65 Great Arrow Ave, instead of expanding the program to 345 Olympic Avenue. As Council Member of the Masten District, I make every effort to provide my constituents with transparency. In doing so, I am requesting that each of you provide a personal explanation as to why you voted to deny this expansion.
Board Members, I struggle to understand how you came to this conclusion, knowing the inadequacies that exist at your current location. There are teachers operating out of closets, while others are facilitating small group sessions in hallways. Students requiring state mandated one-on-one services are meeting with their instructors under stairwells. Music classes are being held in mobile trailers. Due to the size of the gym, the school track team practices in the hallways.
The need for change at Tapestry Charter School is evident; however, after years of research, what appeared to be a clear and fiscally responsible solution was voted down by you and your fellow board members. What compelling and overwhelming information did you receive in the days leading up to the vote that was undetected by the leadership that conducted extensive research? How were you able to vote “no” on this expansion when the feedback that fueled your decision was comprised of only a small percentage of parents whose race represents a minority of your programs’ families?
Not only did you fail to act in the best interest of the students by deciding against this expansion, you also turned your back on your administration. You placed your principal, who has served your program since its inception, on administrative leave after she expressed her concerns against your decision.
In an effort to rationalize the board decision, I am asking for three things:
- Provide individual explanations via email or verbally at the next Education Committee meeting as to how you arrived at your decision to vote against expansion at 345 Olympic Avenue
- Hold a re-vote after ALL parents have had the opportunity to provide input in the future of Tapestry Charter School
- Have Dr. Thomas Ramming, step down as Chair of the Board of Trustees due to irresponsible governance.
This letter will be filed with The City of Buffalo Common Council to be discussed at our next Committee on Education meeting to be held on March 10th, 2016 at 1:30pm.
I look forward to hearing back from each of you,
Hon. Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr.
Masten District Council Member