BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Public school leaders are hoping an educational consultant from Oregon can come up with some solutions to solve the serious attendance problems within the district.
On any given day, roughly 4,000 of the district's 34,000 students are absent.
Dr. Randy Sprick, founder of Safe and Civil Schools, is visiting three Buffalo schools Thursday. He started his day with a visit to Lafayette High School.
Sprick has worked with numerous rural, suburban and urban districts across the country, including Chicago Public Schools.
Trainers from his firm have worked with BPS before.
He assembled a team of personnel from Lafayette High School, and they are monitoring everything from passing periods in the hallways to classroom behavior to interaction between students and staff.
Recommendations will be made if he believes there need to be changes.
Sprick said the overall climate of a school can affect attendance.
"I would in no way say we are the solo answer to the attendance issue, but our aspect of trying to improve the attendance is trying to ensure that the overarching climate is a place that students want to be. [We want to be sure] there are no barriers in terms of bullying, in terms of safety [and work on] just the positive nature of the climate," said Sprick.
Sprick won't walk away after his visit and have a clear cut answer to the attendance problems.
He's hoping the in-school team he developed can continue to work to improve that issue.
Sprick said BOCES is paying for his consulting fees, but he said he wasn't sure exactly how much that amounts to.