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School by school attendance figures for Buffalo lay bare disparities

When you see the student attendance data for the Buffalo Public Schools, it's clear: the city has a problem.

And that problem is far more severe in some schools than in others.

At the high school level, it's clear that the worst attendance is at the lowest-performing schools.

Consider: At each of Buffalo's six persistently lowest-achieving high schools (Lafayette, Burgard, South Park, Bennett, Riverside and East), more than 40 percent of students missed more than seven full weeks of school.

Less than half the students at each of those schools graduated in four years. (Check out our WNY database of graduation rates.)

Compare that to City Honors, where 1 percent of students missed that much school. And 89 percent of students graduated in four years.

Or da Vinci, where 7 percent missed that much school -- and 90 percent of students graduated in four years.

Middle Early College, a program that enables high school students to earn college credits at ECC, reported 10 percent of students in that category of "severe" absenteeism. (Sorry, no graduation rate was available for this program.)

And Hutch Tech had 14 percent of students in that category -- and an 86 percent four-year graduation rate.

What gives?

Some will argue that parents need to do a better job getting their kids to school.

Parent leader Sam Radford argues that the district needs to do a better job creating excellent schools that kids want to go to.

Which is it?

That debate will no doubt continue -- and it's one that ought to give the district and all of its stakeholders plenty of material for constructive conversations.

In the meantime, the numbers clearly bear witness to the disparity among schools.

School # School name   Chronic: 18-35 days   Severe: 36 days or more   Chronic + Severe
3 D'Youville Porter Campus   30%   7%   37%
6 Buffalo Elementary School of Technology   26%   9%   35%
17 Early Childhood Center 17   33%   15%   48%
18 Antonia Pantoja   24%   9%   33%
19 Native American Magnet   25%   7%   32%
27 Hillery Park   23%   8%   31%
30 Frank Sedita   28%   10%   38%
31 Harriet Ross Tubman   31%   10%   41%
32 Bennett Park Montessori   25%   4%   29%
33 Bilingual Center 33   31%   13%   44%
37 Futures Academy   31%   15%   46%
39 Martin Luther King Jr.   33%   10%   43%
43 Lovejoy Discovery   25%   9%   34%
45 International School   19%   4%   23%
53 Community School 53   29%   11%   40%
54 George Blackman   25%   6%   31%
56 Olmsted 56   19%   4%   23%
59 Drew Science Magnet   28%   9%   37%
61 Early Childhood Center 61   28%   11%   39%
64 Olmsted 64   9%   1%   10%
65 Roosevelt Early Childhood Center   34%   15%   49%
66 North Park Middle Academy   30%   8%   38%
67 Discovery   11%   1%   12%
69 Houghton Academy   28%   10%   38%
72 Lorraine Elementary   21%   7%   28%
74 Hamlin Park   30%   10%   40%
76 Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy   31%   19%   50%
79 Grabiarz   37%   5%   42%
80 Highgate Heights   18%   6%   24%
81 School 81   20%   4%   24%
82 Early Childhood Center 82   28%   14%   42%
84 Erie County Health Center   31%   24%   55%
89 Lydia T. Wright   24%   6%   30%
90 Drew Science Magnet 90   34%   14%   48%
91 BUILD Academy   27%   12%   39%
93 Southside Elementary   29%   9%   38%
94 West Hertel Academy   27%   13%   40%
95 Waterfront Elementary   26%   7%   33%
96 Campus West   24%   10%   34%
97 Harvey Austin   31%   13%   44%
99 Stanley Makowski   27%   9%   36%
187 Performing Arts   27%   10%   37%
195 City Honors   8%   1%   9%
197 Math Science Technology Prep   28%   18%   46%
198 International Prep at Grover   24%   30%   54%
200 Bennett High School   26%   51%   77%
202 Grover Cleveland   19%   76%   95%
204 Lafayette   23%   45%   68%
205 Riverside Institute of Technology   28%   51%   79%
206 South Park High School   32%   41%   73%
212 Leonardo da Vinci   23%   7%   30%
301 Burgard   27%   42%   69%
302 Emerson   33%   22%   55%
304 Hutch Tech   25%   14%   39%
305 McKinley   33%   39%   72%
307 East   36%   43%   79%
350 Academy Program at Floss   16%   64%   80%
351 Academy Program at 44   22%   63%   85%
407 WNY Day Treatment   15%   62%   77%
415 Middle Early College   20%   10%   30%

 

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at mpasciak@buffnews.com or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News' education page at www.buffalonews.com/schools.

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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