From Masten Park High School to City Honors:- Table of Contents

Preface | 1973-74 | 1975-76 | 1976 | 1975-80 | 1980-95 | 1995-98 | Staff

A Brief History of City Honors High School From 1975 to 1998

1976: From Program to School

P.S. #17, at Main & Delavan.
Housed City Honors for four years, from 1976-1980. Now an Early Childhood Center.

(Photo by C. LaChiusa, 1998)

During the summer of 1976, the staff and students were surprised with the announcement from Associate Superintendent Murray that the school-within-a-school program was to become an independent honors school located at Main and Delavan (the PS #17 building) with further ties to Canisius College (library privileges and use of the pool in Koessler Center across the street) — and the addition of grades 5-8! Honors and Waterfront were the first two "magnet" schools (attracting students from across the city) that would reshape the Buffalo Public Schools in response to Federal Judge John Curtin's order to desegregate the schools.

The middle school students and many of the middle school teachers were moved from gifted education classes from other elementary schools, especially PS #81. There were about 175 middle school children and 175 high schoolers during the 1976-77 school year.

The year started off shakily, for this was the year of the infamous teacher strike, and during the first couple of weeks of school, students saw most of their teachers picketing outside the building.

The strike foreshadowed additional conflict among the faculty. The Middle School and the High School had two distinct faculties and this division was exacerbated by a power struggle between the Middle School/building principal (Jane Morris) and the High School principal (Bennett principal Ron Meer). Further, a philosophical debate ensued because the middle school program emphasized acceleration (City “Honors”), while the high school emphasized enrichment for students of varying abilities.

This page was created by the City Honors School Webmasters class under the supervision of Chuck LaChiusa
Color photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa

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