59-65-47 Third Option Law Explanations
In lieu of the requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45, parents or guardians may teach their children at home if the instruction is conducted under the auspices of an association for homeschools which has no fewer than fifty members and meets the requirements of this section. Bona fide membership and continuing compliance with the academic standards of the associations exempts the home school from the further requirements of Section 59-65-40 or Section 59-65-45. The State Department of Education shall conduct annually a review of the association standards to insure that requirements of the association, at a minimum, include:
(a) a parent must hold at least a high school diploma or the equivalent general educational development (GED) certificate;
NOTE: If you don’t have either of the above but hold a higher-level degree, the usual understanding is that this requirement has been met.
(b) the instructional year is at least one hundred eighty days;
NOTE: If your child has been in a public or private school setting and you begin homeschooling mid-year, count previous days in the 180 day total. Also, the 180 days do not need to follow the normal public school calendar. You may school year-around, 3 months on/1 month off, 6 weeks on/1 week off, or whatever schedule best meets the needs of your family — as long as the total is 180 days per year.
(c) the curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the basic instructional areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and in grades seven through twelve, composition and literature; and
NOTE: This is usually understood to mean that after 6th grade, reading becomes literature and writing becomes composition. Some families just document these subjects as Reading/Literature, and Writing/Composition regardless of grade level, and in high school these subjects are covered as part of the normal English 1, English 2, etc. sequence.
(d) educational records shall be maintained by the parent-teacher and include:
NOTE: 59-65-47 is the only option which mandates parental maintenance of student records.
(1) a plan book, diary, or other record indicating subjects taught and activities in which the student and parent-teacher engage;
NOTE: This can be daily or weekly or somewhere in between. Learning objectives can be planned in advance or written down after the learning is completed. See my Record-Keeping and Testing FAQs for more information to help you determine the best record-keeping method for your family.
(2) a portfolio of samples of the student’s academic work; and
NOTE: You don’t need to keep a copy of everything your child does. Just include samples that represent your child’s work in the different subject areas. Some areas are a little more difficult to document than others, but it’s doable. See my Record-Keeping and Testing FAQs for more information.
(3) a semiannual progress report including attendance records and individualized documentation of the student’s academic progress in each of the basic instructional areas specified in item (c) above.
NOTE: This can be as simple as a report card, or it can be a non-graded summary of the topics studied and progress made in each of the subject areas. See my Record-Keeping and Testing FAQs for more information.
By January thirtieth of each year, all associations shall report the number and grade level of children home schooled through the association to the children’s respective school districts.
59-65-10 Kindergarten and Compulsory Attendance Requirements
(A) All parents or guardians shall cause their children or wards to attend regularly a public or private school or kindergarten of this State which has been approved by the State Board of Education or a member school of the South Carolina Independent Schools’ Association or some similar organization, or a parochial, denominational, or church-related school, or other programs which have been approved by the State Board of Education from the school year in which the child or ward is five years of age before September first until the child or ward attains his seventeenth birthday or graduates from high school. A parent or guardian whose child or ward is not six years of age on or before the first day of September of a particular school year may elect for their child or ward not to attend kindergarten. For this purpose, the parent or guardian shall sign a written document making the election with the governing body of the school district in which the parent or guardian resides. The form of the written document must be prescribed by regulation of the Department of Education. Upon the written election being executed, that child or ward may not be required to attend kindergarten.
In other words: Your child must attend kindergarten somewhere (public, private, or homeschool) if s(he) turns 5 before September 1st of that school year. Parents may sign a waiver, however, excusing their child from kindergarten if the child does not turn 6 on or before September 1st of that school year. The waiver is a simple statement that releases the school district from any educational “deficiencies” that occur due to the absence of your child from kindergarten. If you sign the waiver, they must honor it. If you’re homeschooling only a kindergartener and complete the waiver, you do not have to register with a homeschool association for oversight. Many parents, however, choose oversight by a homeschool association for their kindergartener in order to avoid contact with their local school district. The compulsory attendance age in SC is 5 years old (or 6 years old with a kindergarten waiver) before September 1 until the child reaches 17 or graduates from high school.
59-65-46 Homeschooling Foster Children
A foster parent may teach a foster child at home as provided in Sections 59-65-40, 59-65-45, or any other provision of law [includes 59-65-47], if, in addition to any other requirements, home schooling of the child has been approved by the Department of Social Services or other agency having custody of the child.
14-7-845 Postponement of Jury Duty
(A) If a student selected for jury service during the school term requests, his service must be postponed to a date that does not conflict with the school term. For purposes of this subsection, a student is a person enrolled in high school or an institution of higher learning, including technical college.
(B) If a public or private school employee, a person primarily responsible for the elementary or secondary education of a child in a home or charter school or a person who is an instructor at an institution of higher learning including a technical college, selected for jury service during the school term requests, his service must be postponed to a date that does not conflict with the school term. For purposes of this subsection, a “school employee” is a person employed as a teacher, certified personnel at the building level, or bus driver by a school, a school system, or a school district offering educational programs to grades K-12 and to institutions of higher learning, including technical colleges. For purposes of this subsection, “school term” means the instructional school year, generally from September first until May thirtieth or not more than one hundred ninety days.
(C) A person selected for jury service who requests a postponement pursuant to subsection (A) or (B) must provide evidence of school enrollment or employment, or evidence of educational responsibilities during a home or charter school term coinciding with the dates of jury duty.
59-63-100 Equal Access to Interscholastic Activities
(A) As used in this section:
(1) Charter school student is a child enrolled in a charter school established pursuant to Chapter 40, Title 59.
(2) Governor’s school student is a child enrolled at a Governor’s school established pursuant to this title.
(3) Home school student is a child taught in accordance with Section 59-65-40, 59-65-45, or 59-65-47 and has been taught in accordance with one of these sections for a full academic year prior to participating in an interscholastic activity pursuant to this section.
(4) Interscholastic activities includes, but is not limited to, athletics, music, speech, and other extracurricular activities.
(B) Individual Governor’s school students and home school students may not be denied by a school district the opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities if the:
(1) student meets all school district eligibility requirements with the exception of the:
(a) school district’s school or class attendance requirements; and
(b) class and enrollment requirements of the associations administering the interscholastic activities;
(2) student’s teacher, in the case of a Governor’s school student, certifies by submitting an affidavit to the school district that the student fully complies with the law and any attendance, class, or enrollment requirements for a Governor’s school. In addition, a charter school student’s teacher, in the same manner required by this subsection for a Governor’s school student, also must certify by affidavit to the student’s school district that the student fully complies with the law and any attendance, class, or enrollment requirements for a charter school in order for the student to participate in interscholastic activities in the manner permitted by Chapter 40 of this title;
(3) student participating in interscholastic activities:
(a) resides within the attendance boundaries of the school for which the student participates; or
(b) in the case of a Governor’s school student, resides or attends a Governor’s school within the attendance boundaries of the school for which the student participates; and
(4) student notifies the superintendent of the school district in writing of his intent to participate in the interscholastic activity as a representative of the school before the beginning date of the season for the activity in which he wishes to participate.
(C) A public school student who has been unable to maintain academic eligibility is ineligible to participate in interscholastic activities as a charter school student, Governor’s school student, or home school student for the following semester. To establish eligibility for subsequent school years, the student’s teacher shall certify by submitting an affidavit to the school district that the student meets the relevant policies of the school at which the student wishes to participate.
(D) A Governor’s school student or home school student is required to fulfill the same responsibilities and standards of behavior and performance, including related practice requirements, of other students participating in the interscholastic activities of the team or squad and is required to meet the same standards for acceptance on the team or squad.
(E) A Governor’s school may not be denied by a school district the opportunity to have a team representing the school participate in interscholastic activities if the team meets the same eligibility requirements of other teams. An individual Governor’s school student may not participate in an interscholastic activity of a public school district if the school that the student is enrolled in has a team or squad participating in that interscholastic activity.
(F) A school district may not contract with a private entity that supervises interscholastic activities if the private entity prohibits the participation of charter school students, Governor’s school students, or home school students in interscholastic activities.
And that’s that…
We hope this page has helped you understand our homeschooling law. If you have any questions or concerns about the law or the explanations here, please email us and/or consult an attorney. Although we’ve tried to include the usual interpretations of the law here, we’re not attorneys or “experts” and can’t give you legal advice.