State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - South Carolina

June 2018

This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 5 before September 1st S.C. Code Ann. § 59-65-10
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before September 1 S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-20;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-65-10
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5, if the student substantially initiated a public school kindergarten program in another state that has a different attendance age requirement from South Carolina.
Opt-in: Age 6, if substantially initiated grade 1 in another state or completed one year of a public school kindergarten program.
Opt-out: Age 6, parental waiver may allow a student to postpone school entry until age 6.
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-65-10;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-20
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? Yes S.C. Code Ann. § 59-65-10
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Full-Day S.C. Code Ann. § 59-35-10
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 6 hours per day for kindergarten and elementary students. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-1-425
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? Average 1:21 based on average daily enrollment in reading and mathematics class in grades K-3. Maximum 1:30 for grades K-3. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-205
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: All pre-service teacher education programs including MAT degree programs must require all candidates seeking certification at the early childhood or elementary level to complete a twelve credit hour sequence in literacy that includes a school-based practicum and ensures that candidates grasp the theory, research, and practices that support and guide the teaching of reading, specifically developing skills in diagnosing a child's reading problems and are capable of providing an effective intervention. The Read to Succeed Office must guide and support districts and collaborate with university teacher training programs to increase reading proficiency through offering courses in reading and writing and working collaboratively with higher education institutions to offer courses in reading and writing.
Professional Development: Reading/literacy coaches are required to be employed at each elementary school with the purpose of providing ongoing professional development to teachers based on an analysis of student assessments. Early learning and elementary education certified classroom teachers are required to earn the literacy teacher add-on endorsement within ten years of their most recent certification by taking at least two courses or six credit hours every five years, or the equivalent professional development hours as determined by the South Carolina Read to Succeed Office. The State Reading Proficiency Plan must include professional development to increase teacher reading expertise and reading expertise and literacy leadership of principals and assistant principals.
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-180;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-110;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-130;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-140
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Teacher Preparation: Training programs must ensure that teachers must have basic skills in mathematics. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-26-10
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Early Childhood Certification, pre-kindergarten through grade 3. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-180
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Every student entering publically funded pre-kindergarten and kindergarten is administered a readiness assessment focused on assessing early language and literacy development, mathematical thinking, physical well-being, and social-emotional development. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-150
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Results are used to inform instructional strategies and developmental activities. The results must be reported to parents or guardians and the Read to Succeed Office. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-150
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? Schools are required to establish programs to assist children and their parents with the transition between the various levels of schooling. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-267
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Under the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness program, school readiness is defined as the level of child development necessary to ensure early school success as measured in the following domains: physical health and motor skills, emotional and social competence, language and literacy development, and mathematical thinking and cognitive skills. School readiness is supported by the knowledge and practices of families, caregivers, healthcare providers, educators, and communities. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-152-25
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Districts must administer reading assessments to all Pre-K through 12th grade students as part of the state reading proficiency plan. The State Board of Education is required to develop and implement formative assessment program that includes the subjects of English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies in grades three through eight. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-140
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-18-310
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? The results must be reported to the Read to Succeed Office. The results of the reading assessments are used to inform instruction and intervention. The results of the reading assessments must be shared with parents as part of the proses of promoting reading and writing at home. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-140
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions is available to students in K-3 who are below grade level in reading. Interventions include: supplemental instruction, family engagement, reading specialists, individual and small group tutoring, progress monitoring. Students eligible for retention may enroll in a summer reading camp. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-110
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-150
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-160
Is there a third grade retention policy? Third grade retention is required for student who fail to demonstrate reading proficiency, with a good cause exemption. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-160
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Yes, family engagement is included as a requirement of transition plans. S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 43-267
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Parental notification is required and parental appeal is allowed. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-160
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Social-emotional development is included in the kindergarten readiness assessment. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-155-150

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