South Carolina law, as stated in the 1984 Education Improvement Act, requires that all students be in attendance 85 out of 90 days for a semester course or 170 out of 180 days for a year-long course. Any student who fails to meet this attendance requirement by having more than 10 days absent from a class may not be eligible to receive credit in that class.
An unlawful absence is defined as a student’s willful absence from school without the knowledge of the parents or a student’s absence from school by parents’ choice. When a student returns to school after an absence, a note of explanation from the parent, guardian, physician, or other health provider must be submitted within five (5) school days. Failure to submit notes for any absence within the five day period will result in the absence being marked unlawful regardless of reason.
The principal will approve or disapprove any absences in excess of five for semester courses or ten per year. All absences, whether lawful or unlawful, are charged against the maximum ten days allowed.
The parent will be notified before the maximum number of absences allowed is reached. The school will maintain on file evidence of notification, e.g., copies of letters sent, records of conferences held, etc.
Students who are ill and whose attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others may be excused from attendance. (A PHYSICIAN’S STATEMENT MAY BE REQUIRED) Students may be excused from attendance if there is a serious illness or death in their immediate family. Students may be excused for emergencies as APPROVED BY THE PRINCIPAL.
Chronic or extended illness requires a certification of the illness from a physician or other health care provider. The statement must be presented to the school at the time of registration or immediately following the medical diagnosis. Such statement will become a part of the student’s health file and will be placed in the permanent record. All absences in excess of ten days must be approved by the principal.
Absences as detailed below will be considered as lawful.
Field Trips – Field trips are permitted only if they apply directly to objectives of the school curriculum.
Early Dismissal for Competitive Events – Only for school sponsored competitive events may students miss class and these lawful absences are not to exceed five days during the school year.
Suspension–In-school suspensions will not count as absences. Out-of-school suspensions will count as lawful absences and will not count against the maximum ten days allowed.
Routine Scheduled Visits for Dental/Medical/Mental Health-Students who require routine periodic visits to their orthodontist, dentist, physician, mental health specialist, health department specialist and other health-related professionals should schedule their appointments at times other than instructional time. If such visits are required during the school day, they should be scheduled at varying times. Lawful absences for these purposes are not to exceed five days during the school year.
Late Buses–Students who are late to school due to the tardy arrival of school buses will not be counted absent or tardy.
Court Appearances–Student absences resulting from required court appearances will be considered as lawful provided that a statement is received from the court authority.
Late Entrance–Students who enter school after the first ten days and whose reasons for failing to attend school are not permitted according to Board policy will not receive credit for the school year.
South Carolina State Law, Section 59-65-90 requires that (1) “school officials shall immediately intervene to encourage the student’s future attendance when the student has three consecutive unlawful absences or a total of five unlawful absences, and (2) the district board of trustees or its designee shall promptly approve or disapprove any student absence in excess of ten days.”
A plan shall be developed in conjunction with the student and parent or guardian to improve future attendance.
To “intervene” means to identify the reasons for the student’s continued absence and to develop a plan in conjunction with the student and his/her parent or guardian to improve his/her future attendance. The School Board designee for the implementation of this policy is the school principal. Nothing within this policy interferes with the board’s authority to refer a child at any time to a truancy prevention program, or to the court pursuant to Section 59-65-50.
Students who are absent will be required to make up work missed in each class. The student will have one day to make up his/her work for each day he/she was absent. Once make up work is given, it is due on an assigned day. If another absence occurs, the original make up assignment is due on the student's first day back. A grade of “I” (incomplete) will be given until the assigned time for make up is completed. A grade of “0” will be given for work not made up by the assigned time.
It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to obtain all make-up work from his or her teachers immediately upon returning to school. It is the student’s responsibility to find out what work needs to be made up. Students can get their assignments from the school website.
Parents who anticipate a student’s absence of more than five consecutive days due to an extended health problem should apply immediately for homebound instruction by calling the school’s main office. A student on homebound instruction is not counted absent.
An appeal of the Principal’s decision will be processed through the District’s administrative functions (Academic Officer, District Superintendent, respectively) with the Board of Education being the final appeal.
These regulations apply to all students in grades K – 12. All attendance in high school credit courses will be maintained on a class-by-class basis. Elementary and middle school absences for more than one-half day of school will be considered as a full day’s absence.
FAMILY VACATIONS AND TRIPS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE CONSIDERED AS UNLAWFUL ABSENCES.
ANY STUDENT WHO MISSES MORE THAN TEN DAYS FROM ONE CLASS OR TEN DAYS OF SCHOOL WILL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A STATEMENT FROM A PHYSICIAN.