In augmentation of the State of South Carolina’s Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children, Sumter School District provides the following additional guidelines in reference in enrollment, attendance, academics and end of year completion.
- Active duty military members may provide a copy of the military member’s order showing assignment to the local area to enroll a child into Sumter School District. All other records can be requested from the previous school.
- If the military family is residing in temporary housing, military members may request enrollment in the school where their permanent residency will be established within Sumter School District. If the only residency is temporary base housing, the schools serving the base will be considered the home school until a permanent address is obtained.
- Non-custodian parents or someone serving in loco parentis may enroll a military child whose military parent(s) are deployed. A military child may also reside with a loco parentis The loco parentis designee will serve as the parent representative and can sign appropriate school documentation. A military child may continue enrollment in the district even if the loco parentis designee resides outside of the district without tuition fees as long as the designee provides transportation. The period covered is one month prior to the service member’s departure from their home station on military orders through six (6) months after return to their home station. A copy of the military member’s order and a power of attorney or other military guardianship paperwork is sufficient.
- A military child will continue enrollment in the same grade level as enrolled in the previous school regardless of this district’s age or grade placement requirements.
- A military child shall be given thirty days (30) from the date of enrollment to obtain any immunizations required by the State of South Carolina.
- A military member may request five (5) excused absences to visit with the military child’s parent or legal guardian who has been called to duty for, is on leave from or immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat supporting posting. Additionally, an unaccompanied, remote duty assignment of six (6) months or greater will also be included. Deployment is defined as one month before the service member’s departure from their home station through six months after return to their home station. These absences will be recorded as excused, labeled MC (Military Compact) in official school records including PowerSchool.
- The principal shall have leeway in granting approval for specific dates in consideration of federal, state, and district requirements such as standardized testing dates, evaluation periods, etc. To be granted these excused absences, the student may not already have excessive absences and/or tardies and must be passing academically.
- If a military child has missed 10 school days or more from the date of departure from the previous school due to permanent change in station unto the first day of enrollment in Sumter School District, the student may be tested to determine academic status. The District’s Executive Director of Academics will be consulted in these cases. Sumter School District can only award credit for days attended and enrolled in this district. Missing 10 school days or more during the school year in between permanent duty stations may place the student’s academic performance, graduation, and promotion in jeopardy. This is especially critical for high school students due to mandatory state seat time attendance requirements to receive credit for high school courses. Content and seat time recovery will be considered depending on the total days missed.
- Gaining schools will honor the initial student placement from the previous school. Course placement includes, but is not limited to, Honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathways courses; however, the gaining school may consider additional evaluations or assessments to ensure continued enrollment in these courses are appropriate.
- If the course placement is not available at the gaining the school, parents will have the option of considering enrollment at a school within the district that provides these courses, if available, so long as the parent provides transportation. A military member must make this request within the first five (5) days of enrollment. District deadlines for such approvals do not apply in these situations.
- Gaining schools will honor placement in educational programs received at the previous school including, but not limited to, gifted and talented, English as a second language, etc.; however, the gaining school may consider additional evaluations or assessments to ensure continued enrollment in these courses are appropriate.
- Gaining schools shall initially provide comparable services to a military child with disabilities based on child’s IEP or 504 plan; however, the gaining school may consider additional evaluations or assessments to ensure continued enrollment in these courses are appropriate.
- A military child shall be eligible for extracurricular participation regardless of applications deadlines to the extent the military child is otherwise qualified.
- Specific course requirements for graduation, promotion, or completion of state requirements may be waived provided that similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in the previous school. The school may provide reasonable justification if the wavier is denied. Should a waiver not be granted, an alternative means of acquiring required coursework so that graduation or promotion may occur on time must be provided.
- Sumter School District will accept exit or end-of-course exams required for graduation or promotion from the previous school or national norm referenced achievement tests or alternative testing in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in South Carolina.
- If a high school senior transfers during his/her senior year and is ineligible for graduation by South Carolina graduation standards, but is eligible by the previous school standards, the gaining high school will work with the previous high school to ensure the senior is able to graduate from either the sending or receiving high schools.
- When a military child transfers to another school district, the school will provide an unofficial copy of the needed documents from the student’s cumulative record to assist the military family in enrollment at the gaining school until the official transfer request can be made by the gaining school.
End of Year Completion: If a military family’s permanent change of duty station, retirement, or separation occurs prior to the end of the school year, the following guidelines for granting credit for completion of the school year is provided:
- Sumter School District will award credit for completion of the school year provided that the military child’s last day of attendance is no greater than 14 school days prior to the last official day of student attendance. The district’s Director of Accountability and Assessment will approve these requests and coordinate with the appropriate school counselor and parent.
- Requests for completion when the military child will miss more than 14 school days but within the month of May will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed approval. If denied, the military child will have to withdraw from Sumter School District and transfer to the gaining school. The district’s Executive Director of Academics will approve these requests and advise the Director of Accountability and Assessment to coordinate with the appropriate school counselor and parent.
- The parent of the military child must make a request for this approval to the district’s Director of Accountability and Assessment. The request should be made no later than two weeks prior to the requested final day of attendance. If there is a special circumstance, the request should be made as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to explore options for granting approval.
- Any military move prior to May will be a withdrawal and transfer to a gaining school and school district due to state attendance requirements.
- The military child must be passing each academic course and have no more than 10 excused or unexcused absences when the request is made to receive credit for the year.
- The military child must successfully complete all final exams, major projects, assignments, and tests early in order to receive credit. For end-of-course examinations, a military child may take the test early if available. The district’s Director of Accountability and Assessment may have to approve access for this early testing. If this option is not available, an alternative must be provided.
- The school counselor at the military child’s school will prepare a written agreement for the parent to sign listing all of the requirements that must be completed before the approved final day of attendance in order for the military child to receive credit for the school year. Such requirements must be completed no later than one day prior to the final day of attendance to allow the teacher sufficient time to grade or score the assignments or test and post the final grade.
- The parent must provide a copy of the military orders to place in the permanent records as justification for the approval. As needed, the parent may be requested to provide the out-processing, port-call, or report-no-later than dates.
- For high school seniors, graduation credit and diplomas will be awarded at the same time as all other graduating seniors. The parent will need to provide a forwarding address to send these documents.
- For school attendance, the missed days after the approved final day of attendance shall be counted as excused absences and recorded as MC (Military Compact) in the official records and PowerSchool.
Sumter School District will provide this procedure to the Shaw Air Force Base School Liaison Officer. The School District will request that this information be shared with the Military Personnel Flight, Airmen and Family Readiness Center or another other flight squadron or organization that might provide information or briefings to military personnel regarding military moves including in-processing and out-processing. The district’s Director of Accountability and Assessment and Shaw Air Force Base School Liaison Officer shall coordinate and work together on these issues. Military members should contact the Shaw Air Force Base School Liaison Officer if the member has concerns, issues, or problems regarding these guidelines, who in turn, will contact the district’s Director of Accountability and Assessment to resolve the issue.