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Truancy

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NEWS
February 6, 2007
The failure of so many Baltimore students to show that they had received required immunizations has brought new attention to the long-standing problem of truancy, which accounts for an estimated 6,000 schoolchildren roaming the city's streets on any given day. It's a problem that needs more attention and the expansion of some worthy efforts among school, police and court officials. Chronic truants have unexcused absences for 20 or more school days.
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NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2013
Students at two Baltimore schools were tapped for advice about how to keep children off the street and in the classroom this year, as a campaign revs up at City Hall to engage and protect the city's youths. Students at Maritime Industries Academy High School told Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Councilman Brandon Scott that they'd like to see more after-school and extracurricular activities, with more variety. Among the list of suggestions were poetry clubs, dance troupes, choir, college trips and career-oriented clubs that can help them build skills.
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NEWS
By Ginger Thompson | November 7, 1991
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.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2013
The Baltimore school system is paying bonuses to teachers and administrators at struggling schools that reduce suspensions, drawing criticism from union leaders who say the program could provide a financial incentive to ignore problems and jeopardize school safety. In addition to cutting down on suspensions for nonviolent incidents, the program pays bonuses for helping to reduce truancy and absenteeism. The school system has moved away from zero-tolerance discipline policies - a nationwide trend aimed at disciplining students in school rather than keeping them out through suspensions, which have risen in Baltimore over the past two years.
NEWS
March 25, 1992
Carroll's pupil services director says it's just as well the Frederick and Carroll delegations withdrew a bill to create a pilot truancy program in both counties because suggested amendments would have diminished the legislation's intent.The program would have authorizedlaw enforcement officials to issue citations to students if they believed the youths were unlawfully absent from school. The citation would have made students subject to civil fines and would have triggeredan intervention process involving schools and possibly the juvenile system.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff writer | February 12, 1992
A county commissioner and education administrator are expected to testify today before a House committee on legislation intended to crackdown on truancy in Carroll schools. Commissioner Julia W. Gouge and Pupil Services Director Edwin L. Davis plan to support the bill, sponsored by the Frederick County delegation, that would allow police officers to issue citations when they have "probable cause to believe" that a student is unlawfully absent from school.The citation wouldmake truants subject to a civil fine of up to $25 for a first violation; $100 thereafter.
NEWS
By Jane Sundius | March 18, 2008
There are many ways to fight truancy and poor school attendance, but one that is increasingly overlooked in this era of mandated testing is to make schools places where children want to be. If we want students to come to school, we need to provide the kinds of things they really enjoy, including sports, art, music, outdoor time, and clubs and programs that keep them safe and busy. Unfortunately, instead of such "carrots," Maryland has been focused on "sticks," and proposed legislation would push the state further in that direction.
NEWS
By Alec Klein and Alec Klein,SUN STAFF | May 20, 1998
In an attempt to eradicate the affliction of truancy in Southeast Baltimore, police and officials at Canton Middle School announced a plan of attack last night that they believe will get real results -- punish the parents."
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,sara.neufeld@baltsun.com | September 30, 2008
State and city officials are scheduled today to announce an interagency partnership aimed at combating truancy among juvenile offenders in Baltimore schools. The city school system and the Department of Juvenile Services will share student attendance data, enabling DJS case managers to monitor daily whether youth on probation are in school. DJS plans to expand from six to 16 the number of city schools where it places case managers who monitor and respond to attendance and behavior problems and other issues involving students under DJS supervision.
NEWS
April 6, 2007
The Maryland Senate approved a measure yesterday that would prevent habitual truants from obtaining learner's permits. The Senate voted 40-7 with slight changes to the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House last month. The bill would require a student under 16 to submit an attendance record when applying for a driving permit. A student with more than 10 unexcused absences in the previous school semester would be ineligible for a permit.
NEWS
Erica L. Green | November 8, 2012
An average of 35 percent of Maryland teachers missed 10 or more days of the 2009-2010 school year, according to a new report released by the Center for American Progress , which found that teacher absentee rates across the country are costing the country billions and having an adverse affect on student achievement. The report, titled: "Teacher absence as a leading indicator of student achievement," takes a comprehensive look at average absentee rates for each state, which are then ranked based on the percentage of teachers who miss 10 or more days of school.
NEWS
May 3, 2011
We write to commend The Baltimore Sun for the editorial, "Truancy and the courts" (May 1), calling for a continuum of interventions to reverse the epidemic of chronic absence that continues, despite some improvement, in the Baltimore City Public Schools. Our experience tells us that the approach described in the article — measures ranging from educating parents about the importance of school to intensive social services — is the most effective way to identify and address the root causes underlying truant behavior.
NEWS
May 1, 2011
When a student is chronically absent from class, school officials rightly hold parents responsible. Because school attendance in Maryland is compulsory until age 16, parents have a legal obligation to make sure their children show up for classes. If they don't, the courts can step in and compel them to comply with the law's requirements. But a case reported Monday by The Sun's Erica Green demonstrated what happens when that is taken to an extreme. The city has hauled more than 400 parents into court this year because of their children's chronic truancy, and in a dozen cases, the parents have received sentences.
NEWS
July 30, 2010
While the recent op-ed, "The importance of showing up" (Commentary, July 30), rightly emphasizes the link between school attendance and achievement, we are troubled by the authors' emphasis on programs that tend to focus on a "quick fix" rather than those that address the many complex problems that underlie truant behavior. It is critical to develop a continuum of interventions into truancy, ranging from a brief "reminder" telephone call to parents to prosecution in the courts, only as a last resort.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,kelly.brewington@baltsun.com | August 30, 2009
Young victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Baltimore are more likely to skip school, be abused or neglected or have a history of contact with the juvenile criminal system, a city Health Department report found. The study, released Friday and based on data from 2002 to 2007, sheds light on the intractable problem of youth violence in Baltimore and is part of the agency's effort to devise ways to intervene before young people get into trouble. The statistics show that children who were crime victims had roughly the same struggles with truancy and rates of abuse as youths who committed violence, making the two groups practically indistinguishable, said Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey, a Health Department deputy commissioner.
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,sara.neufeld@baltsun.com | September 30, 2008
State and city officials are scheduled today to announce an interagency partnership aimed at combating truancy among juvenile offenders in Baltimore schools. The city school system and the Department of Juvenile Services will share student attendance data, enabling DJS case managers to monitor daily whether youth on probation are in school. DJS plans to expand from six to 16 the number of city schools where it places case managers who monitor and respond to attendance and behavior problems and other issues involving students under DJS supervision.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer | August 10, 1995
In a sentence rarely given in Maryland, an Edgewood mother spent the day in jail yesterday for repeatedly failing to send her 13-year-old son to school.Mary Harris, 35, of the 500 block of Meadowood Drive was convicted last week in Harford County District Court on three counts of failing to send her son to school. She was given a 10-day sentence, with all but one day suspended.Mrs. Harris reported to the Harford County Detention Center about 6:25 a.m. -- 35 minutes early -- and was released at 7 p.m.Her sentence is the result of a chronic problem Mrs. Harris has had getting her son to school since he began kindergarten in 1986.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,kelly.brewington@baltsun.com | August 30, 2009
Young victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Baltimore are more likely to skip school, be abused or neglected or have a history of contact with the juvenile criminal system, a city Health Department report found. The study, released Friday and based on data from 2002 to 2007, sheds light on the intractable problem of youth violence in Baltimore and is part of the agency's effort to devise ways to intervene before young people get into trouble. The statistics show that children who were crime victims had roughly the same struggles with truancy and rates of abuse as youths who committed violence, making the two groups practically indistinguishable, said Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey, a Health Department deputy commissioner.
NEWS
By Barbara Babb and Gloria Danziger | June 11, 2008
Is giving a student an alarm clock part of the answer to truancy in Baltimore? Experience tells us that it can be. But make no mistake: There's no simple answer to this vexing problem. There are, however, a number of things that we know can help. In the University of Baltimore School of Law's Truancy Court Program, we work with students every week who are in danger of joining the thousands of city children who do not attend school. Since 2005, we have learned a few things about what connects truancy, suspension, dropping out, crime and violence.
NEWS
May 18, 2008
More suspensions the wrong answer The adage that experience is the best teacher is an appropriate response to those who believe school suspensions are the way to push children who misbehave out of our school systems ("Discipline's Cost," May 11). History demonstrates that the zero-tolerance policy has failed to act as a deterrent to students. Nine percent of the students in Maryland's public schools were suspended in the 2006-2007 school year, and that figure was up from just 6 percent 15 years earlier.
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