S.C. State Department of Education Regulation 43-274 says, “ a child 6 to 17 years meets definition of truancy when the child has three consecutive unlawful absences or a total of five unlawful absences.”
Once a student is determined to be truant, school officials are required to contact the parent/guardian for a conference to develop an intervention plan to improve attendance. The purpose of the plan is to resolve attendance problems without involving the court system. However, continued unlawful absences and non-compliance with the intervention plan, may result in a referral to family court.
For children with chronic illness, parents are asked to complete a Chronic Illness Form. This form is available at your child’s school. With physician authorization, you may verify absences by providing a note listing the symptoms requiring your child to stay home from school. It is important for parents to be aware that there are educational options for children who are seriously ill and are unable to attend school for a lengthy period of time in the way of homebound instruction.
The school year consists of 180 school days. To receive credit, students must attend at least 170 days of the school year as well as meet all academic requirements. Students will be expected to attend school regularly and must present a written excuse signed by parent, guardian, physician, or other appropriate person in all cases of absence. The excuse should include the date the excuse is written, the date(s) of the absence(s), the reason for the absence, and the required signature.
Students with absences beyond (10 days) whether lawful (including medical excuses) unlawful or a combination are subject to failure due to absences pending review by the Principal.
Excused absences will be recognized as follows:
1) Personal illness of child (includes doctor and dental appointments).
2) Serious illness or death of an immediate family member verified by a statement from the parent or guardian.
3) Recognized religious holidays of students' faith.
4) Extreme hardships, unusual or mitigating circumstances as approved by the principal.
5) Activities approved in advance by the principal.
Unexcused absences shall include:
1) Students that are willfully absent from school without knowledge of parent or guardian.
2) Students who are absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of the parent or guardian.
3) Students whose reasons for absence are not within the prescribed provisions of this policy.
Students are expected to make up all work missed during an absence. See assignments and make-up work.
NOTE: Suspension from school will be classified as unexcused absences, but will not count against the ten day state maximum. Any student missing more than half of any school day for reasons other than school business is not considered present for that full day of school.