BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown and other school leaders are stressing the importance of school attendance Tuesday. Leaders were at the Waterfront School, to talk about several new activities that are being planned for this year, to keep kinds in the classroom.
Leaders say students' attendance is directly linked to graduation rates. There is now a focus on getting students into classrooms to hopefully help them finish overall. Educators are not shying away from the fact that there is a major problem in the City of Buffalo, when it comes to the education system, specifically graduation rates.
The Education Counts campaign is focusing on the importance of being in the classroom. Superintendent Brown said, "Because truly the two go hand in hand. We know that students who have strong attendance generally demonstrate better grades, better school performance overall."
One of the many partners in the campaign is Erie 1 BOCES. Their attendance coordinator says improving the way students go to school is often overlooked. Nicole Bycina said, "It goes from very simple things like meeting and greeting students at the door, making calls to parents, having competitions in classrooms so kids are pressuring each other to come in."
The school system also has outside factors that disrupt attendance, such as parents ability to provide a ride, pay for clothes and a child's embarrassment for not being prepared to go to school. They are all factors in Buffalo, but all problems can be identified and solved.
Another program is being used to identify chronic absences, and has been used for the last two years.
Buffalo Schools Attendance Support John Crabbe said, "We did that for the first time in 2011-12, and we were able to achieve that year a really historic improvement in our attendance."
September is National Attendance Awareness Month.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York on December 11, 2013.
Intense Lake Snow Weakens Tonight; Strengthens & Shifts N Thur PM
A local family is still seeking justice for a father's violent death. This comes after the man originally convicted of the crime--- was set free--- after police say they had the wrong man all along. But the victim's family says otherwise.
Lewiston Police say they were able to follow tracks through the snow to the home of a suspected burglar, where they recovered $6,000 in stolen property.