Duval School District Looks To Help Students Without Diplomas

Jul 19, 2016

Credit 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 certificates from 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 negotiating selling 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.

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