Attendance BPS Citizen Action Community Meeting
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Attendance BPS Citizen Action Community Meeting

November 11, 2015
Heath Frisch, Director Student Support Services BPS & Brian Trzeciak, Citizen Action
Heath Frisch, Director Student Support Services BPS & Brian Trzeciak, Citizen Action
Eve Shippens, Buffalo Science teacher
Eve Shippens, Buffalo Science teacher
The community at Citizen Action Attendance Policy meeting
The community at Citizen Action Attendance Policy meeting
Director Heath Frisch and Citzen Action Lead Community Organizer Brian Trzeciak
Director Heath Frisch and Citzen Action Lead Community Organizer Brian Trzeciak
Citizen Action organized a meeting to provide the community an opportunity to hear and to contribute their ideas to the Buffalo Public Schools draft Attendance Policy at the Merriweather Library on Tuesday, November 10th.

Sue Gillick, a former candidate for the North District school board election 2013, introduced Heath Frisch, Director of Student Support Services, Buffalo Public Schools.

He shared a copy of the Attendance Policy, while members of the audience discussed their ideas about what they would like to see included in the policy that is still being updated.

Maria Rosa, Attendance Officer, Buffalo Public Schools assisted Mr. Frisch field audience questions about attendance.

One audience member asked why district calls the home of students suspended?

Officer Rosa responded how Attendance is multifaceted that proper documentation in the Student Management System the district uses Infinite Campus is important.

If the suspension has not yet been entered into the computer, instead of an exempt absence, it appears as an absence for this reason there is an automated daily telephone call to the home.

Mr. Frisch solicited the input from the community on the draft copy of the Attendance Policy he had shared at the meeting.

The newly appointed Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash in a Buffalo News story called absenteeism the No. one priority in the district, while district officials addressed the problem at a committee meeting last Wednesday.

East District Board Member Sharon Belton-Cottman commented the district needs more Attendance Officers, while North District school board member Carl Paladino took a more punitive approach submitted a resolution calling for charges to be filed against parents with the Buffalo Police and Erie County Child Protection Agency

Before 2005, there were 15 Attendance Officers working in the BPS most of them laid off from 2005 through 2011, over the single health carrier insurance dispute between the BTF and the district. Today, there are only 13 officers in a district with nearly 35,000 students.

Citizen Action of Western New York, an affiliate of the Public Policy and Education Fund was one of 30 groups across the country allocated funds from a $500,000, Kellog Foundation grant on April 2014.
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