BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo School officials have something to brag about when it comes to school attendance. For the first time since 2004, attendance was just shy of 91%. Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown said that is the highest figure for student attendance since 2004.
Now the district is continuing to push a campaign to increase in attendance and they want every student in class on the first day of school on Thursday, September 4, 2013. Educators say you can have the best teacher, with the best resources, but you can't teach a child who is not in class.
The Superintendent joined Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown inside Waterfront School where he read a proclamation recognizing September as "Attendance Awareness month." The city kicked in $200,000 for the district to hire additional attendance teachers. There are now 12 in the Buffalo Public School district.
$7,000 was spent on new stickers, bookmarks and posters that say "Hey Buffalo! Attendance Counts."
The district is using simple methods to get kids to school. Nicole Bycina of Erie 1 BOCES said, "it goes from very simple things like meeting and greeting students at the door when they first come in, making calls to parents, having competitions in classrooms so kids are pressuring each other to come in and popcorn parties to celebrate improved attendance."
Ready Freddy is program that is being rolled out in 19-Buffalo Schools this year. It encourages parents to work closely with their child's school.
Superintendent Dr. Brown wants parents to tap into the district's parent portal on the website to check their child's daily attendance.
Nekia Kemp is an involved parent with a message. "Our first job, our first priority is making sure we give our kids a head-running start, a full start as little ones, pre-k is just as important as 8th grade to make sure students are going every single day."
"Parents we want you to partner with us even more during this school year, make sure that your children get to school, on time each and every day," said Dr. Brown.