City school year begins with promising graduation rates

Sep 7, 2018

A new school year is underway in the Buffalo Public School District.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the district begins the start of school with very promising graduation rates.

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash appeared at the Da Vinci High School on the D'Youville College campus Thursday.  He highlighted the school because of its diverse population and a 94-percent graduation rate - one of the highest among 17-city high schools. Overall, the city's graduation continues to grow.

“Close to 65-percent. It was at 63 last year and now it’s about 64.87 and I expect, during my tenure here, to get to 70 percent or higher, that would be an historic all-time high,” Cash declared.

“I’ve got butterflies in my stomach because it’s the first day of school. It’s such a great thrill ever year – it never goes away,” remarked Principal Gregory Lodinsky, DaVinci principal.

Lodinsky was very excited to begin a new school year. He noted how unique the school is, sitting inside the D'Youville College campus on the west side.

“Da Vinci is a special place, founded on the strength of our diversity and the strength of the incredible teachers that we have here and also the core principles of kindness, courtesy, dignity and respect,” Lodinsky said.    

Da Vinci provides a rigorous curriculum and more than 30-percent of the students take AP classes. D’Youville partners with Da Vinci and now will offer students more college credits through its health science courses. In addition, D'Youville’s upcoming medical HUB that will be created on the west side.

Da Vinci High School students were heading down a staircase - changing classes on their first day. We spoke with second year student Carolyn Dokey and junior Nakina Nor who were ready to begin their school year.

“As a junior, you have to start thinking about college and college essays, college applications, so it’s a lot about that. SAT’s are a big thing. I’m studying for SAT’s so a lot of focusing on college,” Nor replied.

“Well I know I need to focus on my grades because last year I was trying to get settled into high school, making friends and dealing with all that, so this year is definitely my year to buckle down, focus on my college classes, extra-circulars I’m doing and my grades,” Dokey said.

Both students said they feel the pressures of academics and teenage life. Nor boldly explained she already sought help to deal with her stress and mental health.

“You shouldn’t not go to a professional if you are stressed out about school. If it is really heavy on you, you feel like you are in endanger to yourself. I feel like you should definitely go talk to someone. It’s not a bad thing,” Nor described.

A new mental health curriculum is now being taught in schools across the state, guiding students on mental wellness