Students must attend the school that serves their legal residence in accordance with the local school attendance zones established by the board of trustees. Exceptions are as follows:
A request for an exception to a student assignment may be approved by the superintendent or his/her designee when the school capacity and program of the requested placement can accommodate the request and when one of the following conditions exists:
- Concluding Grade - Students who qualify for the highest grade placement in their respective schools and who change legal residence within Pickens County shall be permitted to attend their last year in the school in which they were legally enrolled at the end of the preceding school year.
- Family Relocation - The family has moved or will move from one attendance zone to another during the course of a school year or can demonstrate definite plans to do so prior to the beginning of a new school year. Proof of residence purchase, rental or lease agreement, or other appropriate documentation must be provided. The request may be to allow completion of the year at the current school or to begin the new year at the new school prior to actual relocation.
- Child Care - The family demonstrates unreasonable hardship and provides evidence that constant concern exists due to unavailability of after school care in reasonable proximity to the school and that a more appropriate childcare placement is available at another school location.
- Social or Emotional Adjustment - The family or school personnel, after consideration of reports from professional counsel, requests that a pupil be placed in a different school for reasons of social or emotional adjustment.
- Medical Reasons - A licensed physician recommends a new placement based upon health-related conditions or for medical purposes.
- Child of School Employee - The student is the child of a school employee and the request is to place the child in the school where the parent is employed or in the school with the appropriate grade level nearest the employee's work location.
- Curriculum - The student intends to enroll in a series of sequential courses (more than one academic year) within a curriculum area not offered at the school to which he/she is assigned.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may apply for student admission to a school outside their area of residence. An application for school choice should be submitted between January 1 and April 15 preceding the opening of school to enable schools to address staffing needs and budgetary considerations. The principal of the requested school, the principal of the serving school and the superintendent or his/her designee must approve any request for school choice. No requests for school choice will be approved once the school year begins.
South Carolina law states that students must attend school in the school district of the county in which their parent(s)/guardian(s) reside. It does, however, allow parent(s)/guardian(s) to request that their child attend school in a school district outside their residence. The School District of Pickens County will consider a nonresident student for enrollment provided:
- the student qualifies for enrollment (e.g. proper enrollment age, proper immunizations, in good standing from former school [not expelled], etc.);
- the parent(s)/guardian(s) pay tuition in the amount equal to the prior year's local revenue per child raised by the millage levied for school district operations and debt service. If any real property is owned in Pickens County by the student and/or by the parents, the school district will reduce the tuition amount by the amount of the school taxes paid to Pickens County on that property;
- a Student Assignment Application is completed and approval received from the requested school's principal as well as the superintendent or his/her designee; and,
- the student is released from attendance in the school district of the county of his/her residence. (A letter must be on file at the school district's Office of Student Services from the appropriate school district releasing the student for enrollment in Pickens County. The release letter must state the appropriate school year of release.)
- Out-of-County Tuition Rate
- Out-of-State Tuition Rate
If a student is approved for assignment outside of his/her designated attendance zone or county, the following conditions will apply:
- Transportation will not be provided by the school district. The parent/guardian must provide a safe and reliable method of transportation for the student.
- Student assignment is approved for the current school year only. Student assignments are evaluated annually by the principals and district administration. If a student is approved for student assignment and begins the school year in the requested school, the student will be expected to remain in the requested school for the entire school year.