My Frustrations with Small, Private High Schools and Why There Needs to be a Change

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We sent our son to a small, private high school and actually had a positive experience with it. I have nothing against the school he went to and even as a public school educator, don’t have anything against private schools….Until Now.

My husband, Robert, age 45, is a US Air Force Veteran. He graduated from high school in 1986. After high school, he went into the Air Force. He trained as a paramedic and served during the Gulf War. After his years of service, he went into the flooring business which he has now done for over 20 years. For several years, he has talked about going back to school to get his degree. We contacted one of the best community colleges for Gunsmithing, which is a trade he has decided he wanted to pursue, to find out what he needed to do to move forward with this goal.

Let me preface this by saying that I completely understand Federal Laws; well, maybe I don’t completely understand some of them, but I acknowledge there is a reason we need to have these laws. In order for Robert to go to college he needs his high school transcripts. An official copy, not even one that might be shown in his military paperwork, not his high school diploma that we have a copy of, not anything else. He needs an official transcript from the high school of where he graduated.

No problem for most people right? There is when you attend a small, private high school that no longer exists and NO ONE has a copy of transcripts. We have called everyone we know to call; county Board of Education, state Board of Education, Director of that particular state’s Private Schools,  the former headmaster’s brother, which led us to the former headmaster, which led us to the headmaster after the school developed into another school, which led us to people searching and searching but to no avail.

My high school graduate husband, who is a Veteran of our military, now has to get his GED. Needless to say, he is frustrated. Additional paperwork, additional placement testing, then having to take his GED is leading to additional hurdles for a 45 year old man that made a huge decision to go to college in order to make a change in his career. It is disheartening.

But for his admiring and persistent wife, it is a plea that it become mandatory that any and all private schools be required to move transcripts to the State Department of Education if they close. When you are 18, you certainly don’t think that your school could possibly be closed 10, 20, or even 30 years later, but it happens. With this day and age of technology, transcripts should be scanned and placed into a database that is easily accessible for any college admissions office. If I can access all my medical records online now, I should be able to access all my transcripts from any schools or colleges attended.

This hurdle won’t stop him from reaching his dream. Going to college and getting a degree is a bucket list item for many and he will achieve it. But there should be changes in the accountability of small private high schools that decide to close their doors.


Kim Shoppingfever Signature

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