Our district policy is set in accordance with the South Carolina Compulsory Attendance Law that states “All children between the age of five (5) and seventeen (17) years old must attend school. This law places responsibility on the parents or guardian to insure that this law is complied with or risk the possibility of Family Court action being taken given their child accumulates more than ten (10) unexcused absences. State law requires students to attend school and be "physically in the classroom" a prescribed number of days, depending on course duration, to successfully receive course credit(s). The Colleton County School District has adjusted these prescribed days, due to block scheduling, in an effort to accommodate state attendance requirements. Students who exceed the number of allowed absences by the Colleton County School District must appeal their absences or be denied course credit.

In order to receive one Carnegie unit of credit, a student must be in attendance at least 120 hours, per unit, regardless of the number of days missed. The board may grant approval of excessive absences in accordance with board policy.
Absences from the school shall be unexcused unless they are excused pursuant to the provisions of this policy. No student in Grades 9-12 may miss more than 5 unexcused days in a 90 day course, 10 unexcused days for a 180 course, or 2 unexcused days for a quarter courses and receive credit for the course. Additionally, except in extreme circumstances, no student may miss more than 10 days in a semester course, 20 days in a yearly course that meets every day, or 5 days in a quarter courses, and still receive credit for the course.
Students at the high school level who have not reached age 17, and who have exceeded the legal limits regarding absences resulting in not receive credit for the course, must still attend school or be considered truant. Absences in Grades 9-12 shall be counted on a course-by-course basis.

Lawful Absences
The school principal or his designees are the only individuals that may excuse an absence. The school principal or his designee may excuse an absence for the following reasons:
● Students who have doctor, dentist, or clinic appointments or donated blood at school.
● Students who have documented circumstances beyond the control of parent or student.
● Students who are participating in interscholastic activities such as field trips, athletic contests, academic competitions, music festivals, student conventions, and similar activities.
● Absences excused by notes from parents. Parents may excuse up to twenty absences in 180-day course, ten in a 90 day course, and five in 45 day course, for the following reasons:
a. A student who is temporarily ill and whose attendance in school would endanger his health or the health of others;
b. A student whose immediate family member has a serious illness or death.
● Student moving into the district after school starts. Students who were enrolled last school term but come after the opening date will accumulate unexcused absences unless they present valid written excuses.
● Students who transfer from another district will have attendance and academic records transferred and the absences will be counted.
● Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) from school is an excused absence for truancy purposes only.
● Any other absences that the principal or his designee deems appropriate (family trips, community or church related performing groups, organized competitive events or related activities).
a. The Assistant Superintendent or his designee is authorized to excuse student absences on other good and sufficient bases.
● Non-traditional religious holidays must have board approval.

Unlawful Absences
Students who leave school without permission will be considered as cutting school. Class work missed while a student is absent may not be made up if the absence is unexcused. A grade of zero will be assigned for such work. After three (3) consecutive absences or a total of five (5) unexcused absences, school officials shall identify the reasons for the student's continued absence and proceed to take corrective action in accordance with board policy. Additionally, students and their parents/guardian should be counseled and/or notified of developing attendance problems at the end of each grading period and during interim periods as necessary.
The administration stresses the importance of school attendance in academic success. Attendance can determine the awarding of credits and/or promotion to the next grade level.
The district will consider students unlawfully absent under the following circumstances:
● They are willfully absent from school without the knowledge of their parent/legal guardian.
● They are absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of their parent/legal guardian.
Suspension is not to be counted as an unlawful absence for truancy purposes.

An excused absence is important because of its impact on make-up work and the awarding of credit.
A student must present an excuse to proper school authorities within three (3) school days following the return from an absence or absences. Students may be eligible to make up missed work in a timely manner during an excused absence.

Students who have medical excused absences may take up to the number of days missed because of illness to make up the missed work. Students that have a non-medical excuse are required to turn in all makeup work within two (2) school days after they return. Students whose absences are unlawful will not have the privilege of making up work or tests and will be given a zero (0) on tests and/or work. Exception: a student may be allowed to make up work ONE time during a school semester for the first out-of-school suspension absence(s) in order to give adequate and necessary support to school attendance. Teachers are expected to develop meaningful make up work procedures that are an integral part of a student’s overall grade.
All makeup time and work must be completed within 30 days from the last day of the course. The board or its designee may extend the time for student’s completion of the requirements due to extenuating circumstances that include, but are not limited to, the student’s medical condition, family emergencies and other student academic requirements that are considered to be a maximum load. Makeup requirements that extend beyond 30 days due to extenuating circumstances must be completed prior to the beginning of the subsequent new school year.
The principal will be responsible for implementing and expediting medical homebound instruction for students experiencing a prolonged illness or injury requiring them to be absent from school.

Students are responsible for keeping up with their attendance and the submission of excuses for any absences. Students should check Parent Portal regularly to make sure they are NOT in attendance violation. It is the student’s responsibility to keep up with his/her attendance for each course. The main thing students need to remember is that they do not want ANY unverified absences on their attendance records. Students with excessive absences will not be granted credit for a course regardless of the grade obtained.

In order to correct attendance discrepancies:
● Students are to check with their respective course teachers first for coding errors.
● Students are to check with the attendance office for parent/medical notes that are not coded in attendance.

Students lose credit when they:
● Have 6 or more absences in a quarter course (ANY REASON)
● Have 11 or more absences in a semester course (ANY REASON)
● Have 21 or more absences in a yearly course (ANY REASON)
● Have 11 or more absences in an “A/B” course (ANY REASON)
● Have 3 or more absences in a quarter course (UNVERIFIED)
● Have 6 or more absences in a semester course (UNVERIFIED)
● Have 11 or more absences in a yearly course (UNVERIFIED)
● Have 6 or more absences in an “A/B” course (UNVERIFIED)
● Students who do not receive credit due to excessive absences will be assigned an FA with a numerical value of 51.

Students may appeal for course credit due to EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES. All extenuating circumstances course credit appeals must be submitted within ten (10) days of the report card issue date for the respective course. Students who appeal but are denied course credit by the attendance committee may then appeal their days to the Assistant Superintendent. Students who receive an FA (Failed for Attendance) for a course will be placed on Attendance Probation for the following semester. If the student meets attendance requirements at the end of the probation semester, the FA (51) will be cleared and not added into the GPA. Students who continue to be in attendance violation will have to reschedule the course and the FA (51) will be calculated into the GPA.

When a parent finds it necessary to get a student out of school before the end of the day, the parent or an authorized adult must personally come to the school to get the student and sign him/her out. No student sign outs will be processed after 2:30 PM except in cases of extreme emergency approved by the Principal. Students who miss more than half of a class period will be marked absent for that class. A telephone call or written permission is acceptable only if an authorized school official can reasonably verify the authenticity of the call or note. When a student leaves school early, he/she must sign out through the Attendance Office. Students dismissed from school early for any reason are not to trespass on the grounds of any school during the remainder of the day. They must leave CCHS in a timely manner. If they must wait for a ride, they should remain in class until the attendance office calls for them. Students who fail to follow these procedures may be disciplined.