Baltimore schools tackle truancy

November 07, 1991|By Ginger Thompson

In an article yesterday in The Sun, reasons that many students are truant in Baltimore schools were incorrectly attributed to a school system official. In fact, the information was provided by officials at the city Housing Authority.

The Sun regrets the error.

Baltimore school system officials yesterday announced the start of an effort to combat its escalating truancy rate, already the highest in the state.

The $256,000 program, funded by federal housing dollars, will target students who live in six of the city's public housing developments, where more than 30 percent of 10,500 school-age children are chronically truant -- meaning they miss more than 36 days of classes a year.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Those housing developments are Lexington Terrace and George Murphy Homes in West Baltimore; Flag House Courts, Lafayette Courts and Hollander Ridge in East Baltimore; and O'Donnell Heights in Southeast Baltimore.

A four-member team will attempt to identify truant students, go to their homes and investigate the reasons for the truancy, and take action to get the students back in school. The team will be made up of a social worker, a counselor for parents, a drug-abuse counselor and a Housing Authority police officer.

Stuart Tabb, head of the schools' attendance office, says his investigations have shown that the leading reasons for students staying away from school include a poor diet, drug use in the family, and sometimes simply the lack of an alarm clock or adequate clothing.

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