HAGERSTOWN, MD (August 7, 2006) – A collaborative effort of three agencies is making a difference for chronically truant students in the Washington County Public Schools. The Washington County Truancy Intervention Program’s results from the first implementation of the novel program have been very successful, with eight of ten targeted cases resolved prior to court action.
“We are very pleased with these results,” said Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, Superintendent. “We have a good working relationship with these agencies and by jointly addressing each individual child’s situation, we have been able to affect needed change on behalf of students to improve their educational, social, and emotional well-being.”
The program brought together representatives from the Washington County Public Schools (WCPS), the State's Attorney's Office for Washington County, and the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), to address chronically truant students under the age of 15½, with a focus on middle school aged students. The group set and met three goals: to improve attendance rate to 80% for the identified chronically-truant youth; to provide a legal procedure with identifiable consequences for both the student and the parent(s) in cases of extreme truancy; and to deter other students who are demonstrating truant behavior and promote greater compliance with WCPS attendance policy. The program will continue this school year.