Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Surviving Seat Time

Tips and tricks to avoid getting seat time and the process of serving your time if you do get it.

Notorious in the Class of 2024 for my many, many, many…hours of seat time, I figured it was about time I wrote a Talon article about it, and what better than saving it for my last article of the year? So, here are some tips and tricks to avoid getting seat time and how to get through it if you do end up having to serve some time.



How to avoid getting seat time:

  • This is a given, but just COME TO SCHOOL.

While it’s understandable that there may be times when it can’t be helped, at least try to get a medical note for the days you miss if possible. If you’re not actually sick or don’t have a valid excuse, just come. I know there will be days when you simply don’t want to come, but just come, trust me. It’s easier to just come to school than to stay longer on a half day, early release, or even a teacher workday to make up seat time. You don’t want to be the only one who isn’t able to hang out with your friends after school on one of these days just because you have seat time. Also, if you’re really just not up to it, but you’re okay enough to come to school, you could always go to guidance if the reasoning is that you genuinely don’t feel well about going to class or just communicate with your teacher. I’m sure they’ll be understanding but also don’t take their kindness for granted.


  • If you do miss school, try and keep it under 10 unexcused/parent notes.

You’re only allowed 10 unexcused/parent notes before you’d have to start getting seat time, so try your best to keep it under that limit. However, for classes like government and economics that you take during your senior year, which are only semester-long, the limit is 5 days. Make sure to keep these numbers in mind when absent, and once again, get medical excuse notes when possible. Medically excused notes do not count towards seat time.


  • It’s better to be late than absent.

If you’re already running late, you may feel it’s easier to miss the whole block to avoid awkwardly coming into class late, but a tardy is much better than an absence. If you miss a block, that’s 90 minutes you’d have to make up. Additionally, a tip that not many know is if you at least come to class before the halfway mark of the block, you’ll still be counted as present. As long as you are in class for at least half of the time, 45 minutes in our case, you won’t get an absence. So, for example, as long as you make it to your first block before 9:20, you’ll just get a tardy over an absence.


  • Lastly, disregard everything I said; I’m still serving my time.

Clearly, I’m not a reliable source to avoid getting seat time, as some may know, but I can offer you some advice on how to conquer it or, as of my current status, get through it and hopefully complete it.




The process of getting seat time and how to get through it:

The rules of seat time are you either:

  • stay after on a half-day
  • stay after on an early release day
  • come on a teacher workday (this one isn’t that common)

Now, I’m not exactly sure how they will be doing it next year, but usually, it would be with Cosgrove in the room upstairs by Mr. Phillip’s room or in the lounge area outside Cosgrove’s office. They have also had it in the front office area before. However, it all really depends on who is available to do it and if the person overseeing seat time has any of their own things they need to be doing in any specific areas of the school. Recently, they have been holding it after school in Mrs. Gigi’s office. However, this could be due to the lack of early release or half-school days left in the year. So I guess, if you are going to get seat time, try to avoid getting it towards the end of the year so you will only have to stay a little one day a month and not after school for multiple days.

  • Seat time contract

After exceeding the number of missed days allowed, the first step of seat time is getting the seat time contract. The contract will be given and discussed with you either by the lovely attendance lady, Ms. Fisher, or Mrs. Gigi. The contract shows which classes you have exceeded the maximum amount of absences for and how many minutes of seat time you owe for that class. You have to get this contract signed by your parent, sign it yourself, and return it to attendance as soon as possible. Additionally, the contract will outline all the rules and what you need to bring to seat time, as well as provide a table for the teachers for whom you have seat time to fill out which assignments you may have missed due to missing their class.

  • Await for a message of your selected day

Sometimes, the seat time contract will tell you which day you have to stay or come in to make up your time, but if not, you’ll most likely get an email about when you’re supposed to stay.

  • Show up and stay for your allotted amount of time

It’s that simple: show up and stay for as long as you have to or as long as the session duration if you have more minutes than the amount of time they’re doing seat time that day. Use the time to complete any missing assignments or upcoming assignments. If you don’t have any work to do, try and at least look like you’re doing something. Honestly, they’re not trying to be mean when giving you seat time; it’s just a requirement so you can graduate. As long as you don’t trouble them, they won’t give you any trouble back. They want you to be able to get it over with too.

  • Lastly, complete your time and try your best to not miss any more days

Overall, seat time isn’t as scary as you think or as intimidating as imagined, or at least it isn’t at magnet. Yeah, it’s not the most fun thing to do, but I mean, that’s what you get for missing too many days. And, because it’s magnet, there’ll always be work for you to do to pass the time.

Don’t be scared of seat time. It’s not that bad.





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