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Questions, Answers, and Clarifications

How can I get my ECHSDA transcript for the Common App?
Send the transcript release form to ECHSDA and we will mail you an official (signed and sealed) copy of your transcript which you can then scan and add to the Common App on your computer. We can also scan and email your transcript directly to you; if you prefer that, just make the request on the transcript release form.

Can vocational-technical courses be counted towards basic course credits?
Vocational-technical courses which have other content such as math or science can be accepted as credit for both vo-tech and basic course credits only if the superintendent of the district in which the student resides accepts them as such.

May I take two English courses in one year to graduate early?
Erie County Home Schoolers Diploma Association will not be used to facilitate students cutting a year of school arbitrarily. If a student plans ahead and works year round, it may be possible to complete the required courses early. If an evaluator verifies in writing that this is possible or advisable, we will issue a diploma upon completion of the work.

Can the research papers count for both English and another subject?
Yes, the research papers can count for both English and one other subject because the English papers can be written on any topic. However, to be used as the sole method of documentation or as an honors credit, the papers must be ten pages long.

What "school number" should Erie County Home Schoolers use on PSAT, SAT and ACT forms?
Erie County Home Schoolers should use the number 391281 on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT forms. If you use this number for the PSAT, please notify us with your address so that we can send the results to you.

What is the advantage of using this number?
We receive the scores on a label that we can affix to the student’s ECHSDA Diploma Transcript.

How do I fill out the ECHSDA Diploma Transcript?
The correct way to fill out the transcript is to enter the course title and final grade for that course, and state the number of credits earned (1, ½, ¼) for the course. The final grade can be assigned as a letter grade, a percentage, or a pass/fail. Please consider that most colleges prefer a letter grade or a percentage. Many will not accept a pass because it could mean that the student earned a D in the subject and/or because a GPA cannot be computed with the pass/fail system.

If the student is working toward a General Diploma, all credits must be listed in the "G" column. If working toward an Academic Diploma, all credits are listed in the "A" column. If working toward an Academic Diploma with Honors, only the honors subject gets credits listed in the "H" column and all credits (9th through 12th) for that honors subject should be listed in the "H" column. On a transcript indicating honors credits, all non-honors course credits go in the "A" column.

Credits listed on the transcript for each year must match credits agreed to at the evaluation and/or listed in the evaluator's letter.

Providing the social security number, GPA, and/or test scores is optional.

The date next to the evaluator's signature for each school year should be the evaluation date for that year of high school.

Is there a place to include our home school's grading scale on the transcript?
You can type or print it neatly at the bottom of the right hand column under elective courses.

What should I do if my student is interested in a large group graduation with ECHSDA?
Anyone interested in participating in a large group graduation with Erie County Home Schoolers should indicate this on the Filing Form (due February 28 of senior year).

If my student does extra work, can more than one credit in English be awarded?
Yes, more than one credit can be awarded, however, the extra work should be documented as a separate course, e.g. Journalism, Debate, Speech, Creative Writing, Poetry, Shakespeare, Mythology, etc. If the extra work consists of reading additional books, it is recommended that the student strive to earn the honors diploma.

How do we count college courses for high school credit?
Each one semester, three credit college course counts as one full single credit course on the ECHSDA Diploma Transcript. If the student is pursuing Academic or Honors English, all of the ECHSDA requirements must be met in addition to the college course requirements. For example, many college English courses are writing only, so the additional reading must also be completed to receive the ECHSDA credit. A literature course most likely will include enough reading and writing, but a speech must still be given.

Is Psychology a science or social studies course?
The subject of psychology has been considered by ECHSDA to be a social studies course. That continues to be true for many introductory psychology courses. However, researchers now know much about the physiology of psychology. If a psychology course consists primarily of this aspect of the subject, it can be considered a science. In that case, it is the responsibility of the supervisor of the program to demonstrate this. If a student wants to earn honors in science and chooses to use this course for one of the experiments and papers, the experiment must deal with the physiology of psychology.

Can changes be made on a transcript after it is filed with ECHSDA?
When a supervisor would like to change anything on a transcript already filed with ECHSDA, the supervisor must first consult with the evaluator who signed the transcript for the year(s) involved. If the evaluator will send a letter explaining the change and indicating his/her agreement with the change, we will modify the transcript on record or accept a revised transcript.

Must an affidavit be filed with the school district for high school students who are not of compulsory school age?
In a memorandum dated June 5, 2008, "…the Pennsylvania Department of Education clarifies compulsory attendance requirements as they pertain to education by home education organizations that the Department has recognized as being able to issue diplomas…" and states, "…home education organizations cannot provide their high school courses to students who are not of compulsory school age and issue diplomas to those students, unless the students are continuing in a home education program with the acceptance of the school district."

Can a student whose parent is a Pennsylvania certified teacher and home schools under the provisions of the Home Tutor Law obtain an Erie County Home School Diploma?
In order to receive an ECHSDA diploma, an evaluation of the student's educational progress must be completed each year in grades nine through twelve. In addition, due to the Pennsylvania Department of Education clarification referenced in the previous paragraph, home tutored students must be "continuing in a home education program with the acceptance of the school district" through their senior year. Therefore, students who have previously been home schooled under the provisions of the home tutoring law, must at some point in high school (prior to senior year as a minimum) switch to full compliance with the home education law, i.e. file an affidavit by August 1, maintain a log and portfolio to be reviewed at the end of the year by an evaluator, submit the evaluation to the school district at the end of the school year.

Filing Deadline

February 28 of the student's senior year marks the postmark deadline for the Filing Form and attachments as described under "Procedures". The ECHSDA Administrator will order diplomas promptly after that date and expect delivery of the diplomas eight to ten weeks later in time for graduates to claim their diplomas for graduation celebrations. A second diploma order will be placed on July 15 for those who miss the February 28 deadline and pay the $20.00 late fee. Diploma delivery for this second and final order each year would be expected by late August.