Students are required to attend school 170 days out of the 180 day school year. This is South Carolina Code of Laws 59-65-50 and South Carolina Board of Education Regulations.
**NEW:“The United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) defines an “absent student” as one who doesn’t attend 50% of the instructional day.”In the past, our elementary schools, if a student came to school for even a short time and left school, the student was counted as being present for all day.Under the new law our elementary schools, if students do not attend 50% of the school day, the student should show an all-day absent.
Any student who misses school must present a written excuse, signed by a parent/guardian, or a medical excuse. If this excuse is not turned in within THREE days after the student is back in school, the absence will be UNLAWFUL. The maximum number of days that will be recorded as lawful absences with the parent notes will be FIVE.
Students will be considered lawfully absent when:
- They are ill and their attendance would endanger their health or the health of others.
- There is a death or serious illness in their immediate family.
- There is a recognized religious holiday of their faith.
- The student is suspended from school.
- There is a necessary medical or legal appointment that cannot be scheduled during non-school time.
Students will be considered unlawfully absent when:
- They are willfully absent from school without the knowledge of their parent or guardian.
- They are absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of their parent or guardian.
A phone call is made to the home after each absence. After three consecutive absences, the teacher calls the parent/guardian. If the child misses 3 consecutive unlawful or 5 unlawful days, school officials are required to contact the parent for a conference to identify the reasons for the child’s absences and complete an intervention plan to improve attendance. Letters will be mailed to the home after 3, 5, and 10 days of absences. Excessive tardies may result in an intervention plan.
The maximum number of days a student is allowed to miss is TEN per school year (lawful or unlawful). When a student is absent more than 10 days, attendance will be one of the factors used in the promotion/retention decisions for grades K-5. More than 10 absences and/or excessive tardies could result in a referral to Family Court.