As Richland One continually works to improve academic achievement, it is important that parents and guardians recognize that attending school daily and maintaining a strong attendance record is essential to their child’s success in school. Please note these important facts about student attendance:
- The South Carolina Compulsory Attendance law SECTION 59-65-10 requires that a child attend school from the school year in which the child is 5 years old before September 1 until the child’s 17th
- A child, at least 6 years old but not yet 17, who has three unexcused absences in a row or a total of five unexcused absences at any point in the school year, is truant and in violation of the South Carolina Compulsory School Attendance Law. The law also states that once a child is found to be truant, the parent/guardian must work with the school to develop an attendance plan.
- Anytime that a student is absent, the parent or guardian must provide a written note to the school explaining the absence within 48 hours of the child returning to school. Legal absences include, but are not limited to illness, death in the immediate family, and recognized religious holidays of the student’s faith, emergency conditions as determined by the school administration, inclement weather, and short-term suspensions.
- Students may be referred to the school social worker or other support services staff at any time it is deemed appropriate for excessive excused/unexcused absences.
- Parents also can check their child’s attendance at any time by contacting their child’s school or by logging into the Parent Portal.
Children will be considered lawfully absent when:
· They are ill and their attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others, and they can provide a written excuse from a medical professional.
· There is a death or serious illness in their immediate family—with proper documentation (i.e. bulletin, death notice, obituary, etc.).
· There is a recognized religious holiday of their faith and it has been pre-approved by the school principal.
· They are participating in sanctioned school activities.
· The student is suspended from school.
· There is a necessary medical or legal appointment that cannot be scheduled outside of the school day.
Children will be considered unlawfully absent when:
· A student is absent without acceptable cause with or without knowledge of his/her parents.
· They are out of town on trips or vacations.
When it comes down to how absences affect a student’s on-time graduation or their failure to graduate, there’s no difference between excused and unexcused absences. A student is either present in class or not. It’s not about why a student is absent; rather, it’s that a student is absent and missing valuable instructional time.
Let’s work together for your children’s success. When your children see that parents and schools are working together, they will understand that education is a top priority at school and at home and that attendance really matters.
For more information about school attendance laws and policies, contact our office at 803-231-6757.