Student attendance is very important! Hammond Hill Elementary (HHE) expects all students to attend school and arrive on time each day. School begins at 7:30 a.m. A student is considered tardy if he/she is not in the classroom when the tardy bell rings at 7:30 a.m.
Students are required to bring written documentation for absences within 5 days from the day they return from an absence. Parents who anticipate a student’s absence of more than five consecutive days should apply immediately for homebound instruction.
The principal shall approve or disapprove absences in excess of 10 (5 for semester classes). A medical note or other documentation will be required after a student accumulates 10 absences (5 for semester) in order to assist the principal in making that decision.
Absences with no documentation are automatically considered unlawful.
Students who accumulate 3 consecutive unlawful absences or a total of 5 unlawful absences will be considered truant. Parents/guardians and students (12 years and older) will be contacted to develop a written Attendance Intervention Plan. Failure to participate and/or adhere to the plan will result in a referral to the District Attendance Office and/or Family Court.
- The student is ill and attendance at the school would endanger the student’s health or the health of others.
- There is a death in the student’s immediate family. Three absences per occurrence.
- There is a serious illness in the student’s immediate family. Absences of this nature should not exceed three per year.
- Recognized religious holiday of the student’s faith.
- Emergencies and/or extreme hardships at the discretion of the principal.
- The student is willfully absent from school without the knowledge of his/her parents.
- The student is absent without acceptable reason with the knowledge of his/her parents.
- The student is absent and fails to turn in an acceptable note within 5 days of the student’s return from an illness.
- The student accumulates more than 10 absences and a medical note is not received.
Truant: A child from age five until age seventeen years meets the definition of a truant when the child has three consecutive unlawful absences or a total of five unlawful absences.
Habitual Truant: A child, ages 12 to 17, who accumulates two or more additional unlawful absences after an intervention plan has been developed by the school, parent/guardian and the child.
Chronic Truant: A child, ages 12 to 17, who has been through the intervention process and who has reached the level of habitual truant, has been referred to Family Court and placed under a school attendance order, and continues to accumulate unlawful absences.
Section 59-65-10A Responsibility of parent or guardian. All parents or guardians shall require their children or wards to attend regularly a public or private school or kindergarten of this State which has been approved by the State Board of Education, a member school of the South Carolina Independent Schools’ Association, a member school of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools, or some similar organization, or a parochial, denominational, or church-related school, or other programs which have been approved by the State Board of Education from the school year in which the child or ward is five years of age on or before September first until child or ward attains his seventeenth birthday or graduates from high school.
Section 59-65-20 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina allows a penalty for failure to enroll or cause a child to attend school. The law reads as follows: Any parent or guardian who neglects to enroll his child or ward or refuses to make such child or ward attend school shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than FIFTY DOLLARS ($50.00) or be imprisoned not more than THIRTY days; each day’s absence shall constitute a separate offense; provided the court may in its discretion suspend the sentence of anyone convicted of the provisions of the article.
Unexcused/Unlawful tardies are considered a violation of the CSAL (Compulsory School Attendance Law) in that instruction time is missed. Unexcused tardies will be addressed in an Attendance Intervention Plan and may result in a referral to the District Attendance Office and/or Family Court.
Lawful Tardies (In order for a tardy to be excused written documentation must be provided.)
- Illness on part of the student with written medical excuse
- Emergency and/or hardships at the discretion of the principal
- Doctor or Dentist appointment
- Late bus arrival
- Teacher, Guidance or Administrator Conference
Unlawful Tardies (Three written parent excuses for any reason or combination of reasons will be accepted per semester. Any additional excuses must be official written medical excuses etc. or will be considered unlawful.)
- Illness on part of the student without a written medical excuse
- Oversleeping, traffic, carpool trouble or other “personal reasons”
- Missed Bus
- Car trouble
To support the goal of the Compulsory School Attendance Law and decrease a possible referral to the District Attendance Office and/or Family Court, schools may implement the following actions:
Tardies & Actions
1-3: Verbal and/or written warning by school personnel (Level 1)
4-6: Verbal and written offer to connect parent with support services (Level 2)
7-9: Verbal and written letter for an Unlawful Tardy Intervention Plan (School Level) (Level 3)
10-15: Verbal and written letter for an Unlawful Tardy Intervention Plan (School Level) (Level 4)
Level 1: Warning Level
Level 2: Support Services Letter: (i.e. Student Services Worker, Guidance, Transportation, etc.)
Level 3: Unlawful Tardy Intervention Plan (School Level)
Level 4: Unlawful Tardy Intervention Plan (School Level)
*All referrals to District Attendance Office will be dependent upon amount of loss instructional time.
Parents who anticipate a student’s absence of more than five consecutive days because of an extended health problem should apply immediately for homebound instruction by calling the school office. If the student qualifies to receive homebound instructional services, a teacher can be sent to the home at no cost to the parent.
Transfering Your Student to Another School
If you are planning to move your child from HHE to another school or area, please give the attendance office advance notice. Transfer forms must be prepared and completed by the office staff and teachers. Notice of at least 24 hours would be much appreciated as it takes time to complete the withdrawal process. All text books and library books belonging to HHE must be returned upon withdrawal.