Friday, June 15, 2012

Celebrating Success with the Truancy Court Program

Proud TCP Graduate Aaliyah Grimes poses with
Mrs. O'Malley (Photo by Tom Nappi). To view
more photos from the event, click here or here

"This has always been my dream," remarked Aaliyah Grimes, a third grade student at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. Aaliyah, a 2012 graduate of the Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) Truancy Court Program (TCP), was referring to the annual First Lady of Maryland’s reception for all the TCP graduates and their families.

 Maryland's First Lady, the Honorable Catherine Curran O'Malley, has served as a volunteer TCP judge since the program's inception seven years ago and has hosted the reception for the past six years. Two hundred TCP graduates, parents, school principals, staff, and teachers – the greatest number since the receptions began– participated in the festivities at the Governor’s Mansion and attended the graduation ceremony at the Senate Office Building.

The TCP has enjoyed unprecedented success this year. Over 75% of the program participants graduated, based on a minimum two-thirds decrease in unexcused absences and tardies and improved classroom behavior and academic performance. Participants overall averaged a 64% decrease in unexcused absences and an additional 43% decrease in tardies during the program. The data also indicate a 54% reduction in absences by participants in the ten weeks after the program concluded, as compared to the ten weeks prior to their participation in the TCP.