Tapestry Charter School in north Buffalo remains on target to open a new K-through-five elementary school building this August. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the final steel beam was installed on the building Tuesday.
A small group of Tapestry students’ worn hardhats as they gathered at the construction site of the new building on Great Arrow Avenue. One student had the honor of waving a 'yellow construction' flag to crews, signaling them to hoist the steel beam into place.
Tapestry broke ground last August for expansion next to the current school campus. Tapestry Charter School executive director Eric Klapper also announced the addition of another kindergartner class.
“We’re going to be increasing an additional kindergartner class. That will allow us to reduce our class size to a ten to one certified teacher ratio,” Klapper explained.
An open house will be held for the new kindergartner this Friday. Klapper noted as the school's physical footprint expands an improvement plan is underway for academic achievement.
“Continue to increase the academic program strength, but key to that is the school culture and that’s what we really attribute a lot of our success to – the school culture that’s unique to our school – teachers are happy, students are happy – they feel loved – they feel attention,” Klapper remarked.
The school has a diverse population of students. Klapper said an Erie County Legislature committee recently approved the request to help fund another social worker at the school to meet social and emotional needs of their students.
“A subsidized position, which would make it very affordable for us at Tapestry to have a social worker on site. Erie County has been gracious enough to allow us those funds so we can have that subsidized person – every help we can get – city of Buffalo has students and families that have experienced a good amount of trauma and we want to be able to address every single that we possibly can,” Klapper replied.
The new building is expected to be completed in August before students return for the fall. Each student in kindergartner through fifth grade had a chance to sign their name to the beam to be part of the school's expansion history.