The South Carolina State law requires that all students who attend public school in South Carolina must be in attendance a minimum of 170 days to receive credit for any course. This law is excusable only for cases of illness certified by a physician. The student is responsible for being aware of his overall number of days, absences, and his individual class absences.
Absences fall into two categories: excused and unexcused.
Lawful Absences Include:
- Illness-Illness that is certified by a doctor's statement is an excused absence. AN ILLNESS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A DOCTOR'S STATEMENT WILL BE AN UNLAWFUL OR UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.
- Illness or death in the family-When there has been a serious illness or death in the student's immediate family and the student has been absent as a result of either of these, then the absence will be excused. Administration may require evidence in addition to a parent/guardian statement.
- School functions/activities: Student absences that are school-related will be counted as an excused absence.
- Religious Holidays of Faith: Student may be excused for religious holidays of their faith when these holidays fall on a school day. Administration may require evidence in addition to a statement from a parent/guardian.
In addition to the above four specific types, the Director has the discretion of deciding if an absence is excused or unexcused. If the Director feels the absence is due to an emergency situation which was beyond the student's control, then the director may excuse the absence.
Unlawful Absences Include:
- Students who are willfully absent from school without the knowledge of their parents.
- Students who are absent from school without acceptable cause with the knowledge of their parents.
- Absences for which a student fails to furnish a valid excuse. This could include absence (s) for religious holidays unless adequately documented as determined by the proper school official.
- Students missing the bus to the Center because of circumstances which are their own fault will be charged with an unlawful absence.
The law requires school districts to develop a plan of intervention after a certain number of unexcused absences. This requires contact with parents to determine the cause of absence and develop a plan if necessary, for improved attendance.