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Duval School District Looks To Help Students Without Diplomas

USAID Guatemala

The Duval School District may begin offering support for students who leave high school with a completion certificate instead of a diploma, because walking away with a certificate doesn’t leave students with many options.

Students who earn Certificates of Completion pass their classes but not state tests. They can walk at graduation, but can’t join the military or get into a four-year university.

These are some of the reasons Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti wanted to ban students with certificatesfrom taking part in the graduation ceremony last year. He said it could leave students feeling a “false positive.”

Students earning the certificate can enroll in community college, but won’t get a college diploma unless they also score high enough on the SAT or ACT.

That’s why board member Paula Wright said in a board workshop Tuesday those students need someone to help them pass college readiness exams so they’ll have a diploma. And she thinks Duval Schools should provide the classes.

Duval is currently negotiatingselling one of it’s buildings to Edward Waters College, and Wright is suggesting the college provide space for students with a certificate of completion who are pursing a diploma.

A request for the number of Duval County students with just a certificate of completion in this past school year was not immediately fulfilled.

Photoused under Creative Commons

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.