Truancy prevention program to hold first in-person Montgomery Co. graduation

A program created to support kids at risk of dropping out in Maryland’s Montgomery County will hold its first in-person graduation since the pandemic began.

The Truancy Prevention Program launched in 2010. Teachers and parents on Wednesday will gather at the circuit court to celebrate 42 middle schoolers who overcame the odds to graduate.

An additional 20% of the kids showed an improvement in the classroom.

“We make a big deal out of it. It’s a real family experience,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

An estimated 9,000 Montgomery County children don’t attend school on a regular basis.

“I believe one of the ways in which we could reduce juvenile crime was to try and get kids reengaged in their education,” said McCarthy.

Students cannot have more than six absences to participate, and are only allowed to have four unexcused absences.

For those who have committed to completing the program, McCarthy says it’s a reminder anything is possible if they work hard.

“The key to a better life for all of these children is an education. It’s one of our proudest moments each year.”

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this story.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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