Seniors who failed exit exam get another chance for diploma

Special to the Fort Mill TimesJuly 7, 2014 

— Students who did not receive their high school diploma due to failing the exit exam will now have an opportunity to.

Act 155, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on April 14, eliminates the exit exam as a requirement for graduation beginning with the class of 2015.

Retroactive to the graduating class of 1990, students who failed either the Basic Skills Assessment Program or the High School Assessment Program can now petition the school board of the district they went to high school for a diploma per Act 155. Applicants must have met all other graduation requirements at the time of his or her high school attendance and must no longer be enrolled in public school.

The deadline to submit petitions to the Fort Mill School District is Nov. 1, 2015. The South Carolina Department of Education will accept petitions from school districts until Dec. 31, 2015. No petitions will be reviewed after that date.

After petitions are filed, the school board will determine the applicant’s eligibility to receive a diploma. The South Carolina Department of Education will order the diploma.

Act 155 opens doors for students that never received their diplomas due to failing the exit exam, said Chari Young, curriculum coordinator for the Fort Mill School District.

“These students are very excited,” she said. “It’s nice to have this opportunity.”

So far, Young said the Fort Mill School District has received four petitions, two of which are currently being analyzed and two are waiting for processing. She said Fort Mill has not had many students since 1990 fail the exit exam.

Students who wish to petition for a diploma under Act 155 should contact the school board of the district they attended high school.

Diplomas granted under Act 155 will not affect current graduation rates.

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