Buffalo Public Schools Attendance Policy

  •        The Buffalo Public Schools maintains a comprehensive attendance policy that is reviewed on an annual basis. Public input in encouraged and can be sent to the Office of Attendance Services (428 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202). You may also email your suggestions to Heath Frisch, Director of Student Support Services (hhfrisch@buffaloschoools.org).

        Buffalo Public School District

    Attendance Policy Highlights

             Every student has a right to educational opportunities that will enable the student to develop his or her fullest potential. Attendance policies are based on the principle that regular school attendance maximizes the student's interaction with his or her teachers and peers and is a major component of academic success. Improved school attendance generally increases student achievement. Therefore, attendance policies that provide for the early identification of attendance problems and effective methods to address them are most likely to succeed. Successful implementation of any attendance policy requires cooperation among all members of the education community, including parents/persons in parental relation, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff.

    Compulsory Attendance

              As of September 2001 the Buffalo Board of Education compulsory education requirement is 17 years of age.  Students must complete the school year in which they become 17 years old.


             The Buffalo Board of Education is committed to all students being provided every opportunity to achieve a high school diploma.  Consequently, the Board has adopted a school compulsory attendance age policy that exceeds State requirements and ensures that students attend full time instruction until the student completes the school year in which he/she turns 17 years of age. 


             At the same time as promoting attainment of the high school diploma, the Board also realizes that for certain students and their parents or guardians other educational avenues may be considered once the State requirement, that all children must remain in attendance until the last day of the school year in which they turn 16 years of age, has been reached.


             Therefore, the Board amends its policy to allow a minor child who attains 16 years of age prior to commencing high school or accruing high school credit, to be exempt from the policy provided they are enrolled in an approved high school equivalency program of the school district.  The minor child may enter such a program, with authorization from a parent or natural guardian, at the conclusion of the school year in which the minor turns 16 years of age. 


             Based upon our District's education and community needs, values and priorities, the School District has determined that absences, tardiness and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards.


             An absence, tardiness or early departure may be excused if due to personal illness, illness or death in the family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance and education, quarantine, required court appearances, incarceration, approved field trip, "Student to Work" Day, suspension (formal and informal), attendance at health clinics, approved college visits, approved cooperative work programs, military obligations or other such reasons as may be approved by the Board of Education.




             An absence, tardiness or early departure is considered unexcused if the reason for the lack of attendance does not fall into the above categories [e.g., lack of required immunization without a religious or medical exemption, family vacation, babysitting, unlawful employment, expressing solidarity with a cause, illegally detained by parent, no transportation, illegal pickup by a parent, missed bus, lack of proper clothing, truant (out of school without parental consent) obtaining learner's permit, road test, oversleeping]


    Intervention Strategy Process

              In order to effectively intervene when an identified pattern of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures occur, designated District personnel will pursue the following:

    • Identify root causes of the pattern (e.g., grade level, building, time frame, type of unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures);
    • Contact the District staff most closely associated with the root causes. In specific cases where the pattern involves an individual student, the student and parent/person in parental relation will be contacted;
    • Discuss strategies to directly intervene with specific pattern(s);
    • Recommend intervention to Superintendent or his/her designee if it relates to change in District policy or procedure;
    • Implement changes, as approved by appropriate administration;
    • Utilize appropriate District and/or community resources to address and help remediate student unexcused absences, tardiness or early departures;
    • Monitor and report short and long term effects of intervention.

    Disciplinary Consequences


             Unexcused absences, tardiness and early departures will result in disciplinary sanctions as described in the District's Code of Conduct. 


           Consequences may include, but are not limited to,  detention and denial of participation in interscholastic and extracurricular activities. 


           Parents/persons in parental relation will be notified by designated District personnel at periodic intervals to discuss their child's absences, tardiness or early departures and the importance of class attendance and appropriate interventions. 


           Individual buildings/grade levels will address procedures to implement the notification process to the parent/person in parental relation.


    Course Credit


              The District believes that classroom participation is related to and affects a student's performance and grasp of the subject matter and, as such, is properly reflected in a student's final grade.  For purposes of this policy, classroom participation means that a student is in class and prepared to work.


            Consequently, for each marking period a certain percentage of a student's final grade will be based on classroom participation as well as the student's performance on homework, tests, papers, projects, etc. as determined by the building administrator and/or classroom teacher.

    Attendance Policy

    The district's full Attendance policy may be accessed by clicking the file below. 

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