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Attendance improves in Buffalo schools; find your school

Last school year, the district commissioned what turned out to be an eye-opening study of student attendance that found that half of high school students missed 18 days of school or more -- and one-third missed at least seven weeks of school.

The landscape wasn't a whole lot better in the elementary schools. Forty-three percent of kindergartners missed 18 days or more, for instance.

Well, that study got district officials taking a closer look at attendance. Over the summer, they initiated automated wake-up calls to students who miss 10 percent of school days. More attendance teachers were added this fall at low-performing schools. And the district is about to take practices from other districts and pilot them at some Buffalo schools.

So far this year, attendance has improved across the district. Average daily attendance, through the end of November, increased from 88.9 percent to 91 percent.

Western New York Day Treatment saw a 12.5 percent increase, to 96 percent. At Riverside -- historically a school with one of the worst attendance rates -- average daily attendance increased from 69 percent to 80 percent.

Associate Superintendent Will Keresztes says he's waiting to get the results of a more thorough data analysis, which will drill down to indicate whether there's been improvement at each school in the percent of "chronically absent" students -- those missing at least 10 percent of school days.

"Comparing average daily attendance is necessary but insufficient," he said. "It doesn’t allow to dig deep into individual students."

For the moment, though, average daily attendance is what we have available.

While there has been improvement in most schools, there's still a considerable disparity.

Consider: at the district's alternative school, The Academy, on an average day, two-thirds of students showed up. At Riverside, Bennett and East high schools, about four out of five students showed up.

On the other hand, at City Honors, Olmsted 156 and Middle Early College, about 95 percent of students showed up on average.

Here's the complete breakdown, comparing average daily attendance in each school through the end of November 2011 to average daily attendance through the end of November 2010:

School number School Average daily attendance through 11/30/11 Average daily attendance through 11/30/10 Increase/decrease
3 D'Youville Porter 92.98% 92.09% 0.89%
6 BEST 92.38% 88.63% 3.75%
17 Early Childhd Ctr 17 90.26% 90.05% 0.21%
18 Pantoja 93.10% 89.96% 3.14%
19 Native Am Magnet 94.39% 90.77% 3.62%
27 Hillery Park 93.66% 92.75% 0.91%
30 Frank Sedita 92.65% 90.68% 1.97%
31 Harriett Ross Tubman 92.83% 90.63% 2.20%
32 Bennett Park 93.63% 92.66% 0.97%
33 Bilingual Center 33 91.90% 90.33% 1.57%
37 Futures Academy 90.29% 88.92% 1.37%
39 MLK 92.74% 89.22% 3.52%
43 Lovejoy Discovery 92.73% 91.13% 1.60%
45 Intl School 45 94.14% 92.00% 2.14%
53 Community Schl 53 91.50% 90.44% 1.06%
54 Blackman 93.47% 91.73% 1.74%
59 Drew Science Magnet 92.47% 91.64% 0.83%
61 Early Childhd Ctr 61 91.32% 91.29% 0.03%
64 Olmsted 64 95.94% 95.44% 0.50%
65 Roosevelt 91.95% 88.16% 3.79%
66 North Park Middle 92.90% 91.00% 1.90%
67 Discovery 95.78% 95.56% 0.22%
69 Houghton 92.42% 91.23% 1.19%
72 Lorraine 93.94% 91.33% 2.61%
74 Hamlin Park 91.65% 89.76% 1.89%
76 Badillo 90.43% 88.39% 2.04%
79 Grabiarz 92.91% 91.19% 1.72%
80 Highgate Heights 93.64% 93.32% 0.32%
81 School 81 94.67% 92.73% 1.94%
82 Early Childhd Ctr 82 91.57% 91.31% 0.26%
84 Erie Co Health Ctr 86.93% 87.79% -0.86%
89 Wright 93.73% 92.30% 1.43%
90 Drew ECC 90 90.38% 89.79% 0.59%
91 BUILD 92.42% 91.58% 0.84%
93 Southside 93.21% 90.62% 2.59%
94 West Hertel 91.80% 88.95% 2.85%
95 Waterfront 92.86% 90.29% 2.57%
97 Austin 92.70% 90.77% 1.93%
99 Makowski 93.09% 92.62% 0.47%
131 The Academy School 67.30%    
156 Olmsted 156 94.54% 92.25% 2.29%
187 Performing Arts 92.61% 90.38% 2.23%
195 City Honors 96.50% 95.03% 1.47%
197 Math Science Tech Prep 87.90% 89.31% -1.41%
198 Intl Prep 90.89% 85.30% 5.59%
200 Bennett HS 80.04% 71.93% 8.11%
202 Grover Cleveland      
204 Lafayette 84.14% 76.02% 8.12%
205 Riverside 79.53% 68.95% 10.58%
206 South Park 81.48% 79.99% 1.49%
212 da Vinci 93.08% 91.45% 1.63%
301 Burgard 81.24% 76.37% 4.87%
302 Emerson 89.79% 86.58% 3.21%
304 Hutch Tech 91.43% 89.59% 1.84%
305 McKinley 83.72% 76.18% 7.54%
307 East 80.48% 78.00% 2.48%
402 Occupational Trng Ctr 93.00% 92.62% 0.38%
407 WNY Day Treatment 96.06% 83.58% 12.48%
415 Middle Early College 94.88% 92.23% 2.65%
  Total 90.95% 88.91% 2.04%

 

- Mary Pasciak

facebook.com/mary.pasciak     twitter.com/SchoolZoneBlog    [email protected]

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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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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