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Truancy Court Program E-Newsletter


University of Baltimore School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families,
Children and the Courts

Edition #7  

October 2013    

In This Issue
TCP Year in Review
Reflections from CFCC Student Fellows
Kids & the Arts Program Improves Attendance and School Engagement
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The 2013-2014 TCP Schools

Baltimore City's 2013-2014 TCP schools are:
  • City Springs Elementary/ Middle
  • Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy
  • National Academy Foundation
  • Forth Worthington Elementary
  • Walter P. Carter Elementary/ Middle
  • The Historic Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary
  • Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School

In Montgomery County, CFCC is operating the TCP in these schools:  

  • Roberto Clemente Middle
  • Argyle Middle
  • A. Mario Loiederman Middle

In addition, the TCP is providing technical assistance for operation of the program at Francis Scott Key Middle School.

The TCP Announces 2013-2014 Grant Funding 

CFCC has received continued funding to operate the TCP from the AT&T Aspire Program, the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, and the Charles Crane Family Foundation. In addition, the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office has contracted with CFCC to operate the TCP in Montgomery County.  
TCP by the Numbers

1,869...Total Students and Families Served by the TCP since Its Inception

286...Students Served by the TCP in 2012-2013

65%...2012-2013 TCP Graduation Rate

870...Total Reduction in Unexcused Absences among TCP Participants over a 10 Week-Period in 2012-2013

90...Number of Baltimore City TCP Participants Who Received Tutoring from UB Volunteers
TCP Spring 2013 Photo Albums

Judge Yvette Bryant poses with a spring TCP graduate at New Era Academy

The TCP held graduations in all eleven schools in May 2013, recognizing 100 Spring TCP graduates.

First Lady Rec. Spring 2013
First Lady Rec. Spring 2013
Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Over 300 TCP graduates, family members, and school and TCP staff members attended the annual First Lady's Reception in honor of the TCP graduates - the highest number in the TCP's history.  Click here for pictures of the proud graduates!

Welcome to the University of Baltimore School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts Truancy Court Program's October E-Newsletter!

Inside this issue, you will find news about Truancy Court Program (TCP) data for the 2012-2013 school year, reflections from 2012-2013 CFCC Student Fellows, a description of the TCP's ancillary Arts Education programs, and information about the TCP's end-of-year celebrations.

The Truancy Court Program Year in Review   

The Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) Truancy Court Program (TCP) enjoyed a year of growth, expansion, and renewed success in 2012-2013. The program served eight schools in Baltimore City - Collington Square Elementary/Middle, The Historic Samuel C. Taylor Elementary, Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle, National Academy Foundation Middle/High, New Era Academy Middle/High, Patterson High, Violetville Elementary/Middle, and Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle - and three schools in Montgomery County - Francis Scott Key Middle, Loiederman Middle, and Neelsville Middle. The TCP served a total of 286 students and their families. Further, 186 students (65 percent) graduated from the program, achieving at least a 65 percent reduction in unexcused absences and improved academics and behavior.


In Baltimore City, the AT&T Aspire Program grant enabled the TCP to focus on the critical transition from middle to high

school. Additional funders included the Maryland Administrative

Spring 2013
TCP Graduates at National Academy Foundation (NAF).

Office of the

Courts, the Charles Crane

Family Foundation, the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund.


The Montgomery County Council created a line item for the TCP in its FY2013 budget. CFCC operated the TCP at Francis Scott Key and Neelsvile Middle Schools, which were originally funded by CFCC's federal earmark grant from Spring 2010 through Spring 2012. After a successful Fall semester, the TCP expanded in the Spring to Loiederman Middle School for the Arts. The TCP served 43 students in Montgomery County, and 31 graduated from the TCP (66 percent).   TCP participants in Montgomery County averaged a 68 percent reduction in unexcused absences and an additional 64 percent reduction in tardies.


Continue reading to see what TCP students and parents had to say about TCP this year.

Reflections from CFCC Student Fellows  

Fall 2012 CFCC Student Fellows
The Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) Student Fellows Program I and II course provides law students with a unique perspective on family law, focusing on policies and theories that underlie family justice system reform and cutting-edge family law issues.  In addition to participating in a seminar, CFCC Student Fellows are involved in CFCC's projects, including the Truancy Court Program (TCP), where they are members of the TCP team. The following are reflections of several recent CFCC Student Fellows.


Navneet Pal, 2L         


My first semester as a Student Fellow, I learned the effects of truancy, not just on the student but on his family and his entire community. Truancy leads to higher dropout rates, a higher risk of incarceration, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, as well as a higher rate of crime in the areas surrounding the schools... This semester, being a part of the Truancy Court Program at a local high school, I get to see first hand how truancy negatively impacts students. The kids come in every week, failing their classes, unable to catch up, getting suspended, and having no way to get on track. Some of them don't have the support or discipline at home; others have parents who don't know what they can do for their children. It is evident that a lot of the students want guidance and advice. Some of them, despite not making it to school other days, have been to TCP every week. They are upset when we see their grades, or embarrassed when they realize that they let us down by skipping school or coming in late.... I see the difference we have been making to many of the participants whom others may have written off as "too far gone" to help.


Read what other CFCC Student Fellows said about their experiences in TCP. 

The TCP's Ancillary Arts Education Programs Successfully Improve Attendance and School Engagement

CFCC operated its Kids and Theater program in the Fall at Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School and, with funding from the University of Baltimore UB21 Catalyst Program, debuted the Kids and the Arts program in the Spring at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School and New Era Academy. In partnership with UB's Integrated Arts Program, CFCC's Kids and the Arts  provided instruction, mentoring, and guidance for students interested to explore the arts and created a way for students to reconnect to education, their schools, and their futures.



WPC Kids and the Arts 2013
Kids and Theater students from Walter P. Carter wrote funny and imaginative short skits and performed them in front of the entire school body, leaving everyone in the audience entertained. They celebrated later with a reception.
Kids and the Arts students at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School implemented an Integrated Arts Project using photography, character study, acting, public speaking, and design skills to make a difference in their community. They created a proposal to re-design the Harwood Playground, which had been destroyed by fire, and presented it to politicians, architects, and community leaders, including Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes. Plans are underway to renovate Harwood Park and to follow the students' design in renovating the park outside Margaret Brent.
New Era Academy students wrote an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet to tell the story of two Baltimore families. They made an audio recording of the performance and edited it for a podcast that they later debuted at a reception at New Era.

Continue for more details about the 2013 Kids and the Arts Program.



Barbara Babb, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts


TCP Staff: Gloria Danziger, CFCC Senior Fellow; Andrea Bento, TCP Manager and School Liaison; Catherine Jackson, TCP Co-Manager; Anthony "Bubba" Green, TCP Mentor Coordinator;  Jana White, TCP Mentor; Eliseba Osore, TCP Social Worker; Katie Davis, TCP Coordinator; Elizabeth Mullen, CFCC Program Administrative Specialist; Christopher Gibson, CFCC Administrative Assistant  


Editing Staff: Barbara Babb, Editor/Writer; Gloria Danziger, Editor/Writer; Andrea Bento, Editor/Writer; Elizabeth Mullen, Editor


University of Baltimore School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children & the Courts

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