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Truancy and Drop-out Prevention

schoolingContact Pupil Personnel and Attendance Services

Mr. Steve Neff
Director of Pupil Personnel and Attendance Services
850 Hungerford Drive, Suite 211
Rockville MD 20850

Attending school is a normal and important part of the growing up process. When a student is repeatedly absent without an obvious reason, it is a warning of serious difficulties. Research data shows that students who become truant and eventually drop out of school put themselves at a long-term disadvantage for becoming productive citizens.

Parents bear primary responsibility for ensuring that their child regularly attends school. It is the school's role to monitor student attendance and provide meaningful educational incentives that promote good attendance. Many factors can impact school attendance. If school attendance is an issue for your child, please contact your child's teacher or school counselor for assistance. Another resource is the pupil personnel worker assigned to your child's school. Contact your child's school for the name and contact information for your pupil personnel worker.

The United States (U.S.) Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Department of Education has published a toolkit, Every Student, Every Day: A Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism. This toolkit includes hypertext links, contact addresses, and website information on a variety of resources. 

Because truancy is a community issue, Montgomery County has an interagency workgroup to address truancy and dropout prevention. The following agencies are members of this workgroup:

  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services-Child Welfare Services and Health Services
  • Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
  • Montgomery County, Maryland State's Attorney's Office
  • Montgomery County Department of Police, Family Services Division
  • Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission

Each agency has agreed to participate in an overall plan to respond to the habitually truant student. This plan includes school-based and Department of Student Services interventions, a referral process for cases resistant to intervention, an interagency Truancy Review Board, and a system for referral to court. The plan applies to all students between five and 17 years of age. Legal action applies to each person who has legal custody or care and control of a child who is 5 years of age or older and under 17.