Curriculum & Instruction

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South Carolina College and Career-Ready Standards

In March 2015, the South Carolina Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee approved the South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards for English language arts and mathematics. These standards provide a consistent framework to prepare students for success in the 21st century. These standards are fully implemented fo all grades.​

Career Planning

Career planning is an integral part of all students’ educations and ultimately prepares them for employment. It is never too early for students to begin exploring interests and possible career paths. To better facilitate career planning for students, the School District of Pickens County implements the South Carolina Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Plan. This plan enables the career planning to begin in the K-5 grades as counselors work with elementary teachers to introduce students to the world of careers. 

In the middle grades of 6-8, students begin the career exploration phase by participating in job shadowing activities and career fairs. They also complete various interest inventories to better understand what it is that they enjoy doing. Students in 8th grade will then move into a transition phase of career planning when they choose career clusters and majors that they can easily change at any time. After completing at least three different interest inventories, students will develop an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP). Parents are asked to participate in the career planning process by meeting with career specialists, counselors and/or faculty advisors annually to complete and approve the IGP.  Ideally, the IGP should be completed before a student schedules any classes for the upcoming year. 

Every high school has identified specific schools of study that will be offered at each campus. These schools of study encompass a limited number of career clusters and majors that schools are prepared to offer to students. Not all schools offer the same majors within their schools of study. The career center offers many majors that are specialized and cannot be duplicated in schools because of cost. 

The School District of Pickens County currently offers forty-five majors in all sixteen of the state and federal career clusters. For a comprehensive list of schools of study, career clusters and majors, please visit the Instructional Services/EEDA section of our website. These majors can be found in Personal Pathways to Success on the district website under Instructional Services/EEDA. 

After the student has completed his/her e-IGP and the parents have met and approved the document, the student can begin the registration process by reviewing course offerings that are related to the chosen major. Descriptions of the courses are found in the Career Planning Guide booklet. The most up-to-date version is on the district website.

Finally, students in ninth through twelfth grades will begin the phase of career preparation. This involves students connecting their educations to their careers of choice. Students in the tenth grade will select a major within their preferred cluster of study. To complete majors, students must complete four units/credits in the specific major. Students will be allowed to complete multiple majors, if they choose, and are not required to complete a major to graduate from high school.  

Work-Based Learning Initiatives

The Education and Economic Development Act of 2005 provides all students the opportunity to develop rigorous and relevant academic skills and the opportunity to connect what they learn in school with the real world through learning experiences at various work sites. These learning experiences include, but are not limited to, mentoring, shadowing and service learning. School-to-work experiences and youth apprenticeships are provided through majors at the career center and some career technology education (CTE) courses such as education and training, business, and agriculture at the high schools.

As students annually complete their Individual Graduation Plans, they have opportunities to discuss with a counselor and possibly plan an "extended learning opportunity" that is related to their career majors of choice.

Assessment

​The ACT includes four curriculum-based tests that measure students' educational development in English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. Most colleges accept the ACT for admission.  

South Carolina laws passed in 2014 established that a college and career readiness assessment for 11th grade students will be required. The ACT is one of the college readiness assessments for SC. As of the time of this handbook's publication, a determination of which 11th grade students will participate in ACT testing for the 2017-2018 school year is still to be made.

ACCUPLACER is the test that will be replacing ACT COMPASS beginning with the 2016-17 school year.  ACCUPLACER is a suite of computerized tests that determines your knowledge in math, reading and writing as you prepare to enroll in college-level courses.  ACCUPLACER is an interactive online learning tool that is computer-adaptive.  It is a college placement test that allows post-secondary educators to evaluate incoming students' skill levels and college-readiness. The results of the test can be used to place students in appropriate courses and connect students to the resources they need to achieve academic success. Eleventh grade students in SDPC take this test to help them identify areas of strengths and weakness as they prepare to select courses for their final year of high school.

ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system measuring "real-world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success.  ACT WorkKeys helps ensure that individuals are ready for work—and for life. Students take these assessments in high school to help them understand the skill levels required for the careers they are considering.  Educators can identify the appropriate coursework and training for the students based on their scores.  WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills.  As part of ACT's Work Readiness System, ACT WorkKeys has helped millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies build their skills to increase global competitiveness and develop successful career pathways.  Successful completion of ACT WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information can lead to earning ACT's National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), a portable credential earned by more than 1 million people across the United States

SC READY is the assessment for English and Math in grades 3-8. The South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC READY) are statewide assessment in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics that will meet all of the requirements of Acts 155 and 200, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), and the Assessments Peer Review Guidance.  All student in grades 3-8 are required to take the SC READY except those who qualify for the South Carolina National Center and State Collaborative (SC-NCSC).  SC READY Assessments are not timed.  Beginning with the 2016-17 school year SC READY will be administered online.  SC READY is aligned to our State's College and Career Readiness Standards, and the assessments are focused on college and career readiness.  Scores reflect the knowledge and skills students develop over time—across grades—and link these results to readiness for college and career, providing an evolving picture of student growth.  SC READY results will be used for federal accountability under No Child Left Behind.  

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school and to receive advanced placement credit, college credit, or both based on their performance on rigorous AP examinations. Different colleges have different policies concerning accepting AP credit. Students should check with the colleges of their choice for their requirements.  An additional 1.0 weighting is given to Advanced Placement courses.

CASE TE-21 is a benchmark test given to assess students' progress throughout the year. After our students take the tests, the schools receive feedback on student skills to ensure the students are ready for state testing.  The assessments are formatted and designed to mirror our state tests. Using these diagnostic reports, teachers can identify individual student needs and plan intervention strategies.

End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) - The Education Accountability Act of 1998 requires that end-of-course examinations in gateway or benchmark courses be given for grades 9 through 12. These examinations (which will count 20% of the student's grade in the gateway or benchmark course) include Algebra 1/Intermediate Algebra, English 1, U.S. History and Constitution, Biology/Applied Biology. Students in Intermediate Algebra will take the test; students in Foundations in Algebra will not. 

ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELLs).  It exceeds the requirements stipulated by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 and is used to measure and report growth in a manner consistent with the need for fulfilling these requirements.​

The W-APT (WIDA ACCESS Placement Test) is the screener used to identify students who may be candidates for English as a Second Language (ESL).  It is an adaptive test that determines students' proficiency up to and beyond level 5 of WIDA English language Proficiency (ELP) levels.  It is given to incoming students who may be designated as English learners.  It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs.  The test assesses the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  It is individually administered and adaptive meaning that part of the test may be discontinued as soon as the student reaches his or her "performance ceiling."

Identification of Gifted and Talented Students - An aptitude test and an achievement test are given to second graders in the fall of the school year. Students must score 93rd percentile or higher on the aptitude test and 94th percentile or higher on the achievement test in either reading or mathematics in order to be identified as gifted. 

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

SDPC uses an interim assessment called MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in grades K through 8. MAP is a computerized adaptive test developed by NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association). MAP measures students' academic growth from year to year in the areas of mathematics, reading, and language usage. When students take a MAP assessment, the difficulty of the test is adjusted to the student's performance. If a student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If a student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. Students take 48-52 questions, answering approximately half of the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is an estimate of the student's instructional level. The advantage of this testing process is that teachers and students receive immediate feedback; teachers can then personalize instruction based on the student's needs. 

The assessments are aligned with the South Carolina curriculum for each subject, giving specific information about the major goal categories. For example, in "Mathematics," the goal categories are "Algebra," "Data Analysis & Probability," "Geometry," "Measurement," and "Number & Operations."  MAP assessment reports provide information for each goal category in each subject for each student. This increases the value of the assessments as a tool for improving student learning because it enables teachers to recognize areas where the student needs help.

South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS) is the statewide assessment administered to South Carolina students in grades 4 through 8 for Science and Social Studies.  All students in these grades are required to take SCPASS except those who qualify for NCSC Alternate Assessment.  SCPASS includes tests in science and social studies.  Aligned to the South Carolina Academic Standards for each content area, SCPASS test items assess the content knowledge and skills described in the standards and indicators.  SCPASS results are used for federal accountability under No Child Left Behind. 

The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a multiple-choice test that measures critical reading, verbal reasoning, math problem solving and writing skills important for academic performance in college.  

The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly SAT I: Reasoning Test), better known as the SAT, is a three-hour and forty-five-minute test that measures critical reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning skills that students have developed over time and skills that they need to be successful academically in college.

SAT Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) are designed to measure students' knowledge and skills in particular subject areas as well as their ability to apply that knowledge. Students take the SAT Subject Tests to demonstrate to colleges their mastery of specific subjects such as English, history, mathematics, science, and language.

NCSC Alternate Assessment – National Center and State Collaborative Alternate Assessment is an alternate assessment on alternative achievement standards for ELA and mathematics that are aligned to our State Standards.  This alternative assessment is for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed by alternative achievement standards as they are unable to participate in the general assessment program with accommodations. ​

South Carolina Alternate Assessment (SC-Alt) in Science and Social Studies is the science/biology and social studies test administered to students who meet the participation guidelines for alternate assessment and who are ages 9-13 and 16 as of September 1 of the assessment year.  The assessment consists of a series of performance tasks that re linked to the grade level academic standards although at a less complex level.

Exams

Courses without a State-Mandated End-of-Course Test

Yearlong Courses: Semester examinations will be administered to all students in Carnegie unit courses during the final four days of each semester. In yearlong courses, the examination grade will carry a weight of 20% when computing the semester average at the end of each semester. The final examination (second semester) will test only material covered during the second semester.

Examinations will be administered to all students at the end of the first semester and at the end of the course. Students with a cumulative average of 93 or above will be exempt from taking the final examination. No grade will be recorded for exempted examinations. Nine weeks tests at the end of the first and third grading period will be optional.

Semester Courses: In each semester course, the examination grade will carry a weight of 20% of the grade for the semester. Students with a cumulative average of 90 or above will be exempt from taking the semester course examination. No grade will be recorded for exempted examinations. A nine weeks test at the end of the first grading period for the course will be optional.

Courses with a State Mandated End-of-Course Test

The state-prepared end-of-course test will count 20% of the total grade for the course. No first semester examination will be given. No examination exemptions are allowed. The teacher has the option of giving nine-weeks tests at the end of the first, second, and third grading periods.

The principal’s responsibility for supervision of instruction will include seeing that the examinations are appropriate and well-prepared by the teachers.

Work-Based Learning Initiatives

The Education and Economic Development Act of 2005 provides all students the opportunity to develop rigorous and relevant academic skills and the opportunity to connect what they learn in school with the real world through learning experiences at various work sites. These learning experiences include, but are not limited to, mentoring, shadowing and service learning. School-to-work experiences and youth apprenticeships are provided through majors at the career center and some career technology education (CTE) courses such as education and training, business, and agriculture at the high schools.

As students annually complete their Individual Graduation Plans, they have opportunities to discuss with a counselor and possibly plan an "extended learning opportunity" that is related to their career majors of choice.

Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students

Policy IKE-R

Promotion of Students to the Next Higher Grade

The goal of this administrative rule is to establish and implement regulations for promotion, retention, and acceleration that will best meet the needs of the students in Pickens County. The regulations describe the standards our students must meet in order to maintain academic excellence and to be considered for promotion from one grade to the next.

The purposes of these regulations are to do the following:

  • to communicate the district's standards and expectations for academic performance to the community
  • to provide reasonable guidelines for teachers, counselors and administrators for determining the promotion or retention of a student
  • to stipulate the procedures to be followed for those students who have not met the promotion criteria
  • to stipulate the procedures to be followed for those students who may need acceleration

This administrative rule will be applicable to all students who are in the regular school program. Students functioning in special education programs will be governed by their Individual Educational Plans (IEP). The district will administer this policy fairly, equitably, and consistently in the schools.

Promotion/Retention

Kindergarten

Kindergarten students will be promoted to first grade upon successful completion of a full-year kindergarten program. Kindergarten students are expected to learn the literacy and numeracy skills contained in the state and district curriculum standards. Children who will be six years old on or before September 1 will be assigned to first grade unless sound documentation exists indicating that retention in kindergarten is warranted and in the best interest of the student’s future academic success. When formal and informal assessments indicate that a kindergarten student is not demonstrating growth toward academic readiness for first grade, retention may be considered by the teachers, principal, and parent/legal guardian. In retention decisions, developmental readiness factors including, but not limited to social, emotional, and physical maturity may also be taken into consideration. The final decision concerning promotion or retention will be made on a case-by-case basis involving parent/legal guardian, teacher, principal, and support staff.

Grades one and two

Students in grades one and two are expected to demonstrate proficiency, at a minimum, in the state English/language arts and mathematics standards and demonstrate performance at the current grade level based on assessment results, the student’s class performance, and/or teacher judgment. Students who demonstrate grade-level performance in English/language arts and mathematics will be promoted to the subsequent grade. Students who do not demonstrate grade-level performance in either one of these areas may be considered for retention. Other factors that may be considered are report cards, interim reports, portfolios, attendance records, and intervention records. The principal, teacher, and support staff should work in partnership with the parents/legal guardians of students being considered for retention to ensure that interventions and support systems are in place to assist the students. The final decision concerning promotion or retention rests with the teacher and the principal.

Grades three through five

Students in grades three through five are expected to demonstrate proficiency, at a minimum, in the state English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies standards and demonstrate performance at the current grade level based on assessment results, the student’s class performance and/or teacher judgment. Students who demonstrate grade-level performance in all four core curriculum areas will be promoted to the subsequent grade. Students who do not demonstrate grade-level performance in one or more core curriculum areas may be considered for retention. Other factors that may be considered are report cards, interim reports, portfolios, attendance records, and intervention records. The principal, teacher, and support staff should work in partnership with the parents/legal guardians of students being considered for retention to ensure that interventions and support are in place to assist the students. The final decision concerning promotion or retention rests with the teacher and the principal

Grades six through eight

Students in grades six through eight are expected to demonstrate proficiency, at a minimum, in the state English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies standards and demonstrate performance at the current grade level based on assessment results, the student’s class performance, and/or teacher judgment. Students who demonstrate grade-level performance in all four core curriculum areas will be promoted to the subsequent grade. Students who do not demonstrate grade-level performance in two or more core curriculum areas may be considered for retention. Other factors that may be considered are report cards, interim reports, portfolios, attendance records, and intervention records. The principal, teacher, and support staff should work in partnership with the parents/legal guardians of students being considered for retention to ensure that interventions and support are in place to assist the students. The final decision concerning promotion or retention rests with the teacher and the principal.

Grades nine through 12*

Students in grades nine through 12 must earn Carnegie units as prescribed by the State Department of Education.

The requirements for grade placement are as follows:

  • grade nine - promotion or placement in the eighth grade as a student entering high school for the first time
  • grade 10 - fiveunits (one must be required language arts unit and one unit must be a required math unit)
  • grade 11 - 10 units (two must be required language arts units and two must be required math units)
  • grade 12 - 16 units (must be currently enrolled in course work that will permit graduation by end of school year)

* Students in special education classes will be promoted to the next grade level if they satisfactorily complete the requirements unless their Individualized Education Plans (IEP) designate otherwise.

Limited English proficiency students

Students identified as limited English proficiency (LEP) should be promoted in accordance with state and federal statutes and regulations. An LEP student should be advanced along with his/her age-level peer. Non-advancement must be documented with evidence that indicates the determining factors are other than English language proficiency. LEP students are eligible to participate in all age-appropriate school programs and receive available services.

Additional standards for grades one through 12

In addition to achievement criteria for the promotion of students to the next higher grade, students in grades one through 12 must meet the attendance requirements of the district/state.

Students in grades one through eight failing two or more of the following subjects will not be eligible for promotion to the next higher grade:

  • reading/English/language arts
  • mathematics
  • science
  • social studies

Appeals process

The parent/legal guardian may appeal the summer school, remediation program, or retention decision to a district review panel. Parents/Legal guardians who choose to appeal must do so in writing within seven days after the last day of the school year and must specify the reasons for disagreement with the recommendation. Letters should be sent to the assistant superintendent of instructional services. The district review panel will render a decision on the matter within 10 working days after receipt of the appeal. The decision and the reasons will be in writing and copies sent to the appellant and the principal.

Academic assistance

When a student’s lack of achievement is evident, the parent/legal guardian should be notified. Concerns should be shared with the parent/legal guardian as soon as the need is apparent. A plan to provide appropriate interventions and support systems should be developed and implemented to address the student’s lack of achievement. The student’s progress should be monitored and additional feedback should be provided to the student and parent/guardian on the progress. Documentation of the communication, conferences, interventions, and support systems should be maintained.

A student’s score on an end of year assessment may not be the sole criterion for retaining the student in his/her current grade or requiring the student to attend summer school.

Acceleration

Grades one through eight

A consideration for change in a student’s educational program may be initiated upon written parent/legal guardian request addressed to the school principal and citing specific reasons for the request. Any student who, in the opinion of his/her principal and teacher(s), warrants consideration for acceleration and/or adjustment either in subject instructional level or in grade placement for all subjects will be carefully evaluated in order to determine the educational program in the student’s best interests. Source material for the evaluation will include the following:

  • academic achievement level
  • cognitive ability
  • background experiences
  • emotional and social development (maturation)
  • complexity and rigor of the current and proposed curricular programs

A child study committee composed of the student’s teacher(s), principal, guidance counselor, school psychologist (if needed), and superintendent or his/her designee will examine the information available to them and make any appropriate recommendations. The parent/legal guardian may submit independent information to the committee members. Any change in the student’s educational program will require the approval of the parent/legal guardian. The decision of the committee will remain final for the academic year under consideration. Any recommended program change will be subject to a six-week probationary period in which student performance and adjustment will be carefully monitored. Educational program changes will be made at minimally intrusive points in the academic calendar, i.e., at the start of the school year, at the start of marking period, or at a semester change. Consideration by the committee for student acceleration will be allowed no more than twice in a student’s academic career.

Acceleration of students in grades nine through 12

See policy IKFA, Early Graduation, and administrative rule IKFA-R.

Communication with Parents/Legal Guardians

The district will distribute the promotion/retention/acceleration policy to every student and parent/legal guardian. The district will also make every effort to educate and inform parents/legal guardians and students through newsletters, student handbooks, and PTO meetings.

As soon as school officials make a recommendation for retention, summer school attendance, and/or remediation program the principal or his/her designee will communicate this decision in writing to parent/legal guardian. This notification will be made no later than the last working day for teachers.

 

Gifted and Talented Programs

The School District of Pickens County welcomes parent/student interest in its programs for academically gifted and talented (GT) students.

Definition: Gifted and talented students are those who are identified in Grades 1-12 as demonstrating high performance ability or potential in academic and/or artistic areas and therefore require an educational program beyond that normally provided by the general school program in order to achieve their potential. (R43-220)

The School District of Pickens County is funded to serve students who are academically gifted and talented in Grades 3-11.

Purpose of the Program: The purpose of the programs that serve gifted and talented students is to provide curriculum, instruction, and assessment that maximize the potential of the identified students. Educational programs for academically gifted and talented students exhibit the following characteristics:

- Content, process, and product standards that exceed the state adopted standards for all students;

- Goals and indicators that require students to demonstrate depth and complexity of knowledge and skills;

- Instructional strategies that accommodate the unique needs of gifted learners;

- An integrated approach that incorporates acceleration and enrichment;

- Opportunities for worldwide communications/research; and

- Evaluation of student performance.

Special Note: Any student who has been identified gifted but who chooses not to participate in the program at any point in the year must have a parent sign a waiver to be excluded from service. The student may petition the school to receive GT service the next school year. She/he will not be readmitted during the same school year in which the waiver was granted.

Identification: Students must qualify for service in two of the three dimensions below:

Dimension A: Reasoning Abilities

Students who score at or above the 93rd national age percentile in either verbal/linguistic, quantitative/mathematical or non-verbal on an individual or group aptitude test have met the criterion for this dimension. A composite score of 96th national age percentile makes a student automatically eligible for services.

SDPC tests all second grade students during the fall semester of each school year with an aptitude test.

Dimension B: High Achievement in Reading and/or Mathematics

Students who score at or above the 94th percentile on either the reading comprehension or the math concepts/problem solving subtests of a nationally norm-referenced achievement tests (MAP or PASS) have met the criterion for this dimension.

Only one of these criteria needs to be satisfied to meet standard on this dimension.

If the standard has been met on both Dimension A and B, the student is eligible for service. If the student has met the standard in Dimension B but not in Dimension A, the district may administer a second aptitude test, the "In View" test.

Dimension C: Intellectual/Academic Performances

Students who have met the criteria in either Dimension A or Dimension B are eligible to move on to Dimension C. Students may take the STAR Performance test once in either Grade 2 or 3 and/or once in either Grade 4 or 5. These tests will be given in February or March each school year and will be scored by an independent contractor. They are secure documents. The standard is "16" for either verbal or non-verbal in the second grade. The standard is "18" for either verbal or non-verbal in the third grade. The standard is "16" for verbal or "22" non-verbal for fourth grade and "18" verbal or "25" non-verbal for fifth grade students.

Students in Grades 5-10 may qualify for gifted and talented services by using high performance on their end-of-year report card. A 3.75 on a 4.0 scale in the core academic subjects will satisfy the requirements for this dimension.

Screening and Referral Process: The School District of Pickens County conducts a census screening of second-grade students during the fall semester. Students whose aptitude scores are more than two years old are referred for aptitude testing in August/September as well. Parents, teachers, and administrators may refer a student for testing at any time during the year. After the aptitude tests have been administered, the Evaluation Placement Team at the school makes recommendations for identified students to be placed into the program in accordance with Regulation 43-220.

Program Models: The following models are used to deliver services to academically gifted and talented students:

Pull-Out Class: In this model, gifted and talented students are removed from the regular classroom for a specified period each week to receive differentiated instruction. Multi-grade grouping may be used in this model to constitute classes of sufficient size.

Special Class: This model is a self-contained gifted and talented class organized around one or more academic disciplines. The special class delivers services to identified students through a curriculum accelerated to meet their needs.

Parents who would like additional information on identification procedures or program services may contact the student’s school or the district gifted and talented coordinator.

English for Speakers of Other Languages

The School District of Pickens County offers the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. The ESOL program provides instruction to Non-English Speaking (NES) and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students using a tutorial model. ESOL services are provided to students according to each student’s level of proficiency as determined by the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) and Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS).

The ESOL program supplements the services the ESOL student receives in his or her regular classroom. Working collaboratively with the child’s classroom teacher, the ESOL teacher prepares an individualized curriculum for each student to meet his or her general language needs. This curriculum reinforces concepts in the student’s content area classes but does not replace the content instruction in the regular classroom.

The goal of the School District of Pickens County’s ESOL program is to provide equal educational opportunities to students who have a primary or home language other than English. The ultimate goal of the ESOL program is for each student to achieve listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency to be successful in all classes.

Migrant Education Program

The purpose of the Migrant Education Program (MEP) is to ensure that migrant students have the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and students’ performance standards that all children are expected to meet. School districts provide educational and support services that assist migrant students to overcome educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, and other problems that result from repeated moves. A "migratory child" means a child who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory worker in the agriculture or fishing industry, and who, in the preceding 36 months, has moved to obtain temporary or seasonal employment in the agricultural or fishing industry. For more information, please contact your school or the SDPC administrative offices.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures education rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The Act ensures that homeless students enroll in school immediately and continue their education with as little disruption as possible. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. For more information, please contact your local school or the SDPC administrative offices.

Field Trips

Field trips are planned to meet specific instructional goals. Costs are always kept to a minimum. Written permission from the parents is required before a child is permitted to participate. Each school administration has the right to refuse participation on field trips based on problems with conduct. Students must ride on the bus when on field trips.

Field trip chaperones must be at least 21 years of age and must have had the School District of Pickens County volunteer training. As a part of their duties, chaperones must ride with the students on the furnished transportation. No additional children may be brought by chaperones.

SDPC checks all visitors and volunteers through the National Sex Offenders’ Registry. We also require a background check through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for all persons who chaperone students on field trips and those who escort or supervise students without a district employee present. The chaperone/volunteer will be required to pay $25 for his/her check. Checks should be made payable to the school.

A chaperone/volunteer who needs a background check should request and pay for it two weeks before the date of any field trip.

According to SDPC Policy IJOA, a school may set specific standards in the areas of behavior, attendance, and grades for students to participate in a field trip. These standards must be approved by the superintendent or designee prior to going into effect. After being approved at the district level, these standards must then be communicated to parents/guardians in writing in advance of the field trip.

In order for a school’s standards to be approved at the district level, the following conditions must be present:

  • To disqualify a student for misbehavior, the student must have a discipline record that contains an out-of-school suspension. The principal must then verify that this out-of-school suspension was earned for bona fide inappropriate behavior.
  • To disqualify a secondary student due to attendance, the student must have already exceeded the maximum number of unlawful absences allowed in a specific course.
  • ​To disqualify a secondary student for grades, the student must be failing a course that is required for promotion to the next grade or for graduation that would be missed due to the field trips.

 

Policy IJOA – Field Trips

Purpose: To establish the board's vision and the basic structure for conducting student field trips which ensures the safety and welfare of students.

Definition

A field trip is defined as any learning activity which is sponsored, approved and supervised by the school and which requires the student(s) to leave the school grounds. Regularly scheduled athletic and band events are not required to follow the procedures outlined in this policy. The principal will approve schedules for all athletic and band events which are part of the regularly scheduled school program.

Introduction

Field trips that directly relate to concepts and objectives of the approved curriculum for the particular subject area and grade level may be scheduled as part of the instructional day. Field trips, like any other instructional activity, must be wisely chosen, thoroughly planned and carefully conducted. Special attention must be given to clarifying the purposes/objectives of a field trip and to providing meaningful follow-up discussion and activities after the trip has been completed. Trips to amusement parks strictly for the purpose of entertainment or a reward will not be approved.

Regulations

  • All field trips will be approved by the school principal. After securing principal approval, field trip requests must be approved by the superintendent's designee.
  • A request for an overnight trip must be submitted two months in advance to permit sufficient time for study. No overnight group trips, in-state or out-of-state, will be permitted for more than three consecutive school days.
  • Each student who goes on a field trip must have written parental permission on the district approved form.
  • Students may be asked to pay all or part of the expense of field trips, provided arrangements can be made for the payment of expenses for those unable to do so. No student should be denied field trip opportunities based on his/her ability to pay.
  • The board encourages groups to use district activity buses, state-owned buses or other forms of commercial transportation with sufficient liability insurance coverage for field trips. Groups must not use private vehicles without special permission. Students will not drive private vehicles except in special circumstances with approval of principal and appropriate waiver signed.
  • When school buses or commercial buses are used for field trips, the following procedures must be followed for the safety and welfare of the students.
  • Routes should be planned to avoid dangerous road hazards and heavy traffic routes.
  • Each bus must be numbered.
  • A roster should be made of all occupants of each bus. The roster should also include the name and phone number of parents/legal guardians. (Copies of the roster should be maintained at the school and on the bus.) A copy of the approved field trip form with signatures and including the name and phone number of the school contact person(s) will be transmitted to the district office prior to the trip. These copies will remain at the school for the remainder of that school year.
  • Each child should wear a nametag on inside clothing.
  • Teachers should be briefed on what to do and who to contact in emergency situations.
  • No advertisement, announcement and/or discussion of the proposed field trip with students or parents/legal guardians will take place until the principal has received approval from the superintendent's designee.

A school may set specific standards for students in the areas of behavior, attendance and grades in order for a student to have standing to participate in a field trip. These standards must be approved by the superintendent or his/her designee prior to going into effect. After being approved at the district level, these standards must then be communicated to parents/legal guardians in writing in advance of the field trip.

In order for a school’s standards to be approved at the district level, the following conditions must be present.

  • To disqualify a student for misbehavior, the student must have a discipline record that contains an out-of-school suspension. The principal must then verify that this out-of-school suspension was earned for bona fide inappropriate behavior.
  • To disqualify a secondary student due to attendance, the student must have already exceeded the maximum number of unlawful absences allowed in a specific course.
  • To disqualify a secondary student for grades, the student must be failing a course that is required for promotion to the next grade or for graduation that would be missed due to the field trip.

If a student is disqualified from participating in a field trip for behavior, attendance or grades, the school must offer the student an alternative curriculum at school for the time of the field trip.