Buffalo Public Schools offer attendance incentive

Posted at 11:34 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 09:08:28-05
Teachers in the Buffalo Public School District like Ruyvette Townsend know first hand about the challenges of teaching students who miss class. 
"I had one student that was out 33 days," Townsend said. "On a daily basis, I have about three to five students absent, and it affects my teaching because we're constantly teaching new things everyday. That means, you have to find time to go back and catch these students up."
Townsend teaches 5th grade at Buffalo Public School #3. She says the district-wide attendance problem is no secret, and it starts at home. That's why when her students are absent, she makes a point to call home and find out why.
"Some may say they were sick. Some say it was cold and they missed the bus. I've had parents tell me they just didn't feel like getting up."
It's a problem the district is hoping to tackle head on. The district reports attendance has increased this school year, and is currently at 90.1%.
That breaks down to:
41% of students who have missed between 0-5% of school this year, 26% of students who have missed between 5-10% of school, 20% of students have missed between 10-20% of school and 13% have missed more than 20% of school.
"Over the last few years, the number of students who are falling into severe is dropping immensely," said Eric Rosser with the Buffalo Public School District.
To encourage attendance, the district is rolling out its School Attendance County initiative. It's a point system where students earn points for good attendance and are entered into a drawing for a number of prizes. 
"We have to do everything we can to make sure that our child can make it to school," said Townsend. 
You can learn more on the district website.