Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Record Keeping for Diploma Fairness - Homeschooling High School in Ohio

My oldest son, Calvin, went to EMT and paramedic training at a local hospital. On the application there was a section that wanted to know the name of his "accredited" high school. He had graduated from a local digital charter school which had only been open for a few years, so I was a little concerned about whether or not that would count.  It apparently did because he was accepted to the school and earned his credentials.
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That made me wonder about the diploma I issued for my second son, who graduated from our homeschool in 2011. Would he face a problem if he applied to college, or sought employment opportunities?   So far he has not had any problems getting a job with his homeschool issued diploma and he has not been asked to get a GED. But could that be a problem for him in the future?

I was right to wonder.  In 2014 a homeschool graduate, with some completed college courses and relevent work experience found a job offer rescinded because his high school diploma was from his homeschool. In 2013 an institute of higher learning told a qualified homeschooled student to come back with a GED. Another student who had already been accepted at an institution was told to produce a GED or leave right in the middle of a semester!


Sam's Graduation Mass 2011 012

Luckily, in June of this year, Ohio passed the Diploma Fairness Statute. (Ohio Revised Code 3313.6110)

What this means the average homeschool graduate and his/her parents have two options upon graduation:

1.  Have the diploma include a certification by the superintendent in the student's district of residence that the student and parents have complied with the requirements of the state home school instruction law.

This might mean constructing the diploma in some way to include a statement similar to this: "Mary Smith has complied with the requirements of the State of Ohio home school instruction law."

and then taking a trip down to the superintendent's office to get a signature.

Homeschool Diploma Option 1 has a diploma very close to that.


or

2.  Hang on to the official letter of excused issued by the district superintended for the student's FINAL YEAR of home schooling.

This is the option I will probably pursue.  That means that the letter from the superintendent that has been coming for the past 20 years for my children has suddenly become very very important.

For that reason I will:

  • I'll probably make a copy of it for my student's portfolio
  • Keep the original with important papers in a lock box.  
  • Scan it into the computer for digital back up. 


Most importantly this means that for the purposes of employment, or any other situation that requires proof of this requirement, a diploma granted with either of these top options is considered proof of completion of a high school education.

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