The health of Buffalo Public School students: Risky behavior to improving physical education

Jan 15, 2015

The Buffalo Public School District is working to provide a healthy environment for its students.  WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley recently spoke with the district's director of Health Related Services about the District's Wellness Policy.

Buffalo Public School students inside a classroom at the Makowski School on the city's east side.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Assunta R. Ventresca is Director Health Related Services for the Buffalo Public School District. Ventresca tells WBFO News the school district is really concerned with "improving the health of the school community."

The district conducted a youth survey in 2013 on Youth Risk Behavior.  "It looks at students' behavioral risks and over 11,000 students took it in 2013."  

Results revealed student health issues and risky behavior. 

"I think the most disturbing things is, the mental and emotional component. That we have a lot of students who not only thought about suicide, that have attempted suicide. That's very distributing," said Ventrusca. "Our sexuality of our students -- higher rates then the state and the nation."

"I think the most disturbing things is, the mental and emotional component. That we have a lot of students who not only thought about suicide, that have attempted suicide. That's very distributing," said Ventrusca. "Our sexuality of our students -- higher rates then the state and the nation."

"The district administered the Center for Disease Control & Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey for the first time in 2011.  That data drove the development of a comprehensive wellness policy which was adopted by the BOE in April 2012. Health Related Services has taken the lead in the policy implementation.
A health council, school wellness teams and district health committees have been established. Parents, students, and community partners are engaged in the process of change." said Ventrusca.

You can review the reports through the links below for Middle and High School as well as the full district Wellness Policy:

BPS YRBS Reports:

Middle School 
High School

Buffalo Public Schools Wellness Policy: