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It's official! We have moved to our new District website, now located at acpsd.net. Please take a moment to visit and explore our new online home for updated information on all items related to Aiken County Public Schools.
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As a reminder, our individual school web pages will continue to link back to School Fusion (hosted at this site) until the start of the new school year when all school-related pages will make the transition to our new web platform.
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Thank you for your continued interest in and support of Aiken County Public Schools, and welcome to acpsd.net! á

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

State law 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.

The school year consists of 180 school days. High school students must attend 85 days of each 90-day semester to receive one-half unit of credit. They must attend 170 days through the course of the school year to receive one unit of credit.

STUDENT ABSENCES AND EXCUSES

The board believes that attendance is a key factor in student achievement. Any absence from school represents an educational loss to the student. However, the board recognizes that some absences are unavoidable.

In order to receive credit for a high school course, a student must attend at least 85 days (for a 90-day semester course) or 170 days (for a 180-day year course). The board may grant approval of excessive absences in accordance with board policy.

Any student, who misses school must present a written excuse, signed by his/her parent or legal guardian. The excuse will contain such other information as directed by the administration. Student excuses are considered to be a part of student records, and such excuses will be processed by those school-based employees designated to administer attendance regulations and will be provided to other staff who have a need to know. 

If a student fails to bring a valid excuse to school within five days, he/she will automatically receive an unexcused absence. If a student brings a false (or forged) excuse, his/her teacher must refer the student to the school administration for appropriate action.

The district will consider students lawfully absent under the following circumstances.

  • They are ill and their attendance in school would endanger their health or the health of others.
  • There is a death or serious illness in their immediate family.
  • There is a recognized religious holiday of their faith.
  • They are traveling or attending events that the principal approved in advance as an education experience.
  • Emergencies and/or extreme hardships at the discretion of the principal.
  • Other lawful absences are explained in administrative rule JH-R.

Chronic or extended illness requires a certification of the illness from the physician or other health care provider. Such statement will become a part of the student's health file and will be placed in the permanent record. A statement from a physician or other health care provider may be required for the temporary illness of the student or for a death or serious illness in the student's immediate family.

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

  • They are willfully absent from school without the knowledge of their parents.
  • They are absent without acceptable cause with the knowledge of their parents.

Intervention

The district plan for improving student attendance will include, but not be limited to, the following.

  • Establish reasons for excessive absences.
  • Identify a method to resolve cause of unlawful absences, i.e., influence change in environment, group and/or individual counseling, parent conference and others.
  • Notify the attendance supervisor immediately in writing; with a copy sent to the area assistant superintendent, for appropriate action under state attendance regulation in the event unlawful absences continue.
  • Maintain evidence of intervention activities, e.g., copies of letters to parents, intervention plans, etc.

After three consecutive unlawful absences, school officials will attempt to notify the parents first by phone and then by letter. After five total absences, school officials will identify the reasons for the child's continued absence and develop a plan in conjunction with the student and the parent to improve future attendance. The board of trustees designates the principal of the school to promptly approve or disapprove any student's absence of more than 10 days.

After three consecutive unlawful absences or a total of five unlawful absences occur, school officials will do the following.

After 10 unlawful absences, school officials will notify the parent of the absences. School officials will review the plan for improving attendance with the parent and student and clarify the consequences of continued absences. The district will refer students who continue to be absent from school unlawfully to the family court. In addition, the principal will be responsible for implementing and expediting the homebound program for students experiencing a prolonged illness or injury requiring them to be absent from school.

PROCEDURES FOR APPROVING/DISAPPROVING ABSENCES

Students are expected to attend school for the full year beginning with the first day of school. For students who enter school after the first 10 days (five days for semester courses) and whose reasons for failing to attend school are not accepted according to board policy, credit will be withheld.

Transfers from out-of-state or district

If a student begins school in another state or district and transfers into the school district, the following rules will be observed. Rules prevailing in the former school system will be considered. Prorata application of South Carolina attendance policies may be used.

Field trips

Students may be permitted to miss class to participate in approved field trips.

>    Notify the parent of the absences using the appropriate form. If the principal is unable to establish contact with the parent for the purpose of developing an intervention plan, the student will be referred in  writing who will make every effort to arrange a conference with the parent.

 

  • Hold a conference with the student and the parent at which time they will identify the reasons for the absences and develop a plan to improve future attendance. The student and the parent will sign this plan.
  • A copy of this plan will be sent to the attendance supervisor.
  • After the plan is in operation, if the student is unlawfully absent again, he/she will be immediately referred  to the attendance supervisor with a copy of the attendance card.

Suspension

In-school suspensions will not count as absences. Out­-of-school suspensions will count as lawful absences.                                                  

Routine scheduled visits for dental/medical/ mental health

Students who require routine periodic visits to their orthodontist, dentist, physician, mental health specialist, health department specialist and other health-related professionals should schedule their

appointments at other than instructional time. If such visits are required during the school day, they will be scheduled at varying times. Lawful absences for these purposes are not to exceed five during the school year.

Late buses

Students who are late to class or school due to tardy arrival of school buses will not be counted absent or tardy.

Court appearances

Student absences resulting from required court appearances will be considered as lawful.

 

MAKE-UP WORK

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.

School principals will exert every realistic effort to provide assurance that these regulations are adhered to in a fair and consistent manner. Principals will place special emphasis on coordinating implementation affecting students within the same family.

HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION

Parents who anticipate a student's absence of more than five consecutive days due to an extended health problem should apply immediately for homebound instruction by calling the school guidance office. A student on homebound instruction is not counted absent.