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Attendance Policy

 

South Carolina requires all children between the ages of five and 17 to attend a public or private school or kindergarten.  A parent whose child or ward is not six years old on or before September 1st of the school year may waive kindergarten attendance for his/her child.

  The Board expects children to attend school regularly.  Regular attendance is necessary if students are to make the desired and expected academic and social progress.

Students living in the Newberry County School District attendance area should be enrolled no later than the third official day of instruction.  The principal or his/her designee will contact the student and parent by telephone, letter, or home visit if a student is not enrolled or accounted for by the third official day of instruction. Students not enrolled by the fifth official day of school will be contacted again by the principal or his/her designee.  Also, a referral will be made to the district's attendance officer.

If the efforts of the attendance supervisor to enroll students due to non-attendance are unsuccessful, a complaint for truancy/educational neglect will be filed with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Family Court, Department of Social Services, or other appropriate agency.

If a student previously referred to the attendance supervisor fails to enroll after the eighth official day of instruction a second referral will be made by the principal/designee.  Upon receipt of this referral, the attendance supervisor will file a petition for educational neglect against the student's parents.

No student will be denied enrollment and/or admittance to school due to non-payment of instructional fee, provided the student, his/her parents and the principal can establish a plan or contact to assure restitution of required fees.

Any student who misses school must present a written excuse, signed by the parent or legal guardian.  The excuse will contain such other information as directed by the administration.

If a student fails to bring a valid excuse to school, he/she will automatically receive an unexcused absence.  The district will consider students lawfully absent under the following circumstances:

·         The student is ill and attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.

·         There is a death or serious illness in the immediate family.

·         There is a recognized religious holiday of their faith.

·         Absences approved in advance by school Administration

·         Only 7 parental excuses will be accepted per school year

The district will consider students unlawfully absent under the following circumstances:

·         The student is willfully absent from school without the knowledge of his/her parents.

·         The student is absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of his/her parents.

Unlawful (unexcused) absences will be counted following the first day the student is actually enrolled.  After three consecutive unlawful (unexcused) the principal or his/her designee will contact the student and his/her parents to determine the reason(s) for the student's continued non-attendance.

If the student is absent for two or more consecutive days, it is the responsibility of the parents to contact the school and identify the reason for the student's non-attendance.  Upon confirmation of the reasons for the student's non-attendance or at the discretion of the principal, the student's absences may be approved as lawful.

Absences may be approved as lawful (excused) or disapproved by the principal or his/her designee following a home visit, phone call, or receipt of written confirmation of the reasons for the student's absences from the parents/guardians, doctors, nurse, or mental health professional.

Absences due to suspension (not to exceed 30 days for the year) will be considered lawful.

The principal will promptly approve or not approve any student absences in excess of 10 days.  A conference will be held with the student and his/her parents to improve future attendance.  A copy of this plan or contract will be maintained with the student's attendance records.

If the principal, attendance supervisor, family court or social service agency has previously established a contract with the student and his/her parent to improve future attendance, a telephone call followed by a formal letter may be substituted for a conference.

Teachers will permit students to make up work missed during an absence as long as the student makes appropriate arrangements with the teacher no later than the student's fifth day back at school. The student must complete the work within 10 days after his/her return to school.

In order for a student to receive one Carnegie unit of credit, the student must be in attendance 120 hours per unit, regardless of the number days missed.  Therefore, the school will allow the student, whose excessive absences are approved, to make up work missed to satisfy the 120 hours requirement.

Students who do not meet the 120 hour requirement may make up academic time on an hourly basis.  The student will be responsible for the cost of the time.  Failure to make up time may result in denial of credit.


TRUANCY PROCEDURE

A.  After a total of three (3) unlawful absences, school officials will notify the parents first by phone and then by letter.

B.  After three (3) consecutive or a total of five (5) unlawful absences, school officials will notify the parents to come to the school to develop a Truancy Intervention Plan.  (A Case Manager will do a home visit at this time).

C.  If the student accumulates two (2) more unlawful absences after the request for the development of the Intervention Plan, the student will be referred to the Director of Student Services for further actions.

D.  The Director of Student Services will review the student's attendance records, and either refer the student/family back to the school, family court and/or the Department of Social Services.