SDPC Attendance Policy

SDPC Attendance Policy
Posted on 08/30/2018
Attendance Policy

Dear School District of Pickens County families,

We want to make you aware of a new attendance policy that South Carolina has put in place this school year.

Under the new policy, South Carolina students are “absent” if they miss 50% of their instructional day for ANY reason, regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused. 

THIS MEANS SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PICKENS COUNTY STUDENTS, ALONG WITH ALL OTHER SC STUDENTS, NOW HAVE TO BE IN SCHOOL FOR AT LEAST HALF OF THE INSTRUCTIONAL DAY TO BE COUNTED “PRESENT” FOR THAT DAY.

For our schools, those new attendance requirements will look like this:

In elementary school, a student who misses more than 50% of the school day for any reason will be counted absent.  The student will not earn credit for perfect attendance if he or she misses more than 50% of the school day.

In middle and high school, attendance is based on class periods. For example, if a student attends five of seven periods, he/she is marked present in five and absent in two. This student would be marked present for the day based on the policy's 50% definition.  If the student attends three of seven periods, he or she is marked present in three and absent in four.  When the total minutes for the absent classes are greater than 50% of the instructional day, the student is marked absent for the day based on the policy's definition. 

If the middle and high school students’ daily attendance reflect an absence, the student will not earn credit for the day for perfect attendance.

In addition, attendance will be taken during every class period at the middle and high school level.  If a student reaches a certain number of unexcused absences in any particular class, they will not meet the state-mandated attendance requirement, and will receive a failing grade for that class. Students must be present for at least half of the period to be counted present.

Our state's new policy is the result of guidance from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, and the South Carolina Department of Education is now requiring all SC school districts to report students who are “chronically absent”.  Research shows that students with a history of “chronic absenteeism” face a serious risk of falling behind in school, making it more difficult for them to succeed.

We appreciate your understanding as we adhere to these new SC school attendance requirements.  If you have any questions or concerns, please call the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Student Intervention Services at (803) 734-3057.

Regards,

John Eby

SDPC Public Information Specialist