It is the intent of the Colleton County School District to provide a sound educational program.  Regular attendance is necessary to fully participate in the learning process.  Any absence from school represents an educational loss.  However, we recognize that some absences are unavoidable.


Please contact:

Audrey C. Ruth

CCMS Attendance Secretary

(843) 782-0040  ext. 22595

[email protected]


BELOW You will find information about our attendance procedures:


Lawful/Excused Absences

  • The absence is caused by the student’s own illness and whose attendance in school would endanger his/her health or the health of others.
  • The absence is due to an illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
  • The absence is due to a recognized religious holiday of the student’s faith.
  • The absence is due to school activities that are approved in advance by the principal.

Unlawful/Unexcused Absences 

  • The student is absent without the knowledge of his/ her parent/legal guardian.
  • The student is absent without a lawful cause
  • The student is absent due to vacation or lack of transportation.

Attendance Facts 

  • Parents are held responsible for regular school attendance.
  • The reality is an absence is an absence. Both excused and unexcused absences cause the student to miss classroom instruction.
  • Missed instructional time may negatively affect reading and math skills over time.
  • Good attendance in PK and K build academic and social skills for the future.
  • Missing two days a month can put your student at risk of academic failure.

When Your Student Returns To School 

A written excuse must be turned into the school attendance office within three (3) days after returning to school.

The student must submit a written excuse explaining the reason for his/her absence. If applicable, the student may submit an excuse from the doctor. If a student does not submit an excuse, his/her absence will be considered unlawful/ unexcused. Unexcused absences can lead to truancy. The excuse should include the following information: 

  • Student’s Name  
  • Date(s) of the absence(s)
  • Reason for the absence(s)
  • Signature of the parent/guardian
  • Telephone number


Frequently Asked Questions: 

How many days is my child allowed to miss school because of sickness?

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) states that a student is allowed ten (10) absences. In the event of a serious medical issue/illness, please contact your child’s school for further suggestions. 

I told my child to inform his teacher that he was absent because he was sick. Do I have to send in a written note? 

 Yes, a written note (excuse) is required every time your child is absent from school. The written note (excuse) must be submitted to the school within three (3) days of the student returning to school. 

One of my children is sick, are his/her siblings able to be excused from school because of the medical appointment? 

 No, if the siblings are absent from school, the absence is unlawful/ unexcused. 

My child missed the bus. Is this an excused absence?

No. If your child misses the entire school day the absence will count as an unlawful/unexcused absence. 

My child was late to school/signed out early, why has my child been marked absent?

Students must attend school for 50% of the instructional day to be counted present. If your child was not in school for at least 50% of the instructional day, then the student is considered absent.


South Carolina State Law Attendance Definitions 

Chronic Absenteeism: The Every Student Succeeds Act requires the school district to report students who are chronically absent each year. Students must attend class for at least half of the instructional day to be considered present. In addition, school districts are required to report students who are absent at least 10% (18 absences) of the time. The total number of chronically absent students will be included on the school report cards. 

Truant: A truant is a student that has three (3) consecutive unlawful/ unexcused absences or a total of five (5) unlawful/unexcused absences. The student must be between six to seventeen years of age. 

Habitual Truant: A habitual truant is a student 12 to 17 years of age that has been identified as a truant, fails to comply with the intervention plan, and accumulates two (2) or more additional unlawful/unexcused absences. 

Chronic Truant: A child ages 12 to 17 years who has been through the school intervention process, has reached the level of a “habitual” truant, has been referred to Family Court and placed on an order to attend school, and continues to accumulate unlawful absences. 

Tardy: A student that is late to school when he/she arrives after the established start time for the school day. 

Early Dismissal: A student is dismissed early from school when he/she leave the school premises prior to the end of the scheduled day.


Tips for Parents:

-Use PowerSchool to see real-time information about your child's attendance.

-Contact your child's teacher if you need username/password information to access PowerSchool.

-Develop good attendance habits such as going to bed early and preparing ahead of time.

-Only allow your student(s) to stay home if they are truly sick.

-Communication is key.  Discuss attendance issues as they arise.