There is much discussion and activity in Buffalo Public Schools about creating positive change for students and families. The district is spearheading a strategic planning process, Say Yes to Education has coordinated a large-scale fundraising effort to support college and trade school scholarships for all students who graduate, and there is growing family and community engagement on many issues.
One aspect of school improvement that is not being given the emphasis it deserves is the health and safety of our children. A snapshot of public health indicators among Buffalo Public School students reflects a troubling picture. Forty-five percent of seventh-graders are overweight. Sexual health risk factors are the poorest in the state, and more than 200 students became pregnant last year. Nearly 30 percent of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless to the point where it interfered with their daily activities, and 14 percent thought seriously about committing suicide.