Diplomas, Graduation and Home Instruction
Graduation and Diplomas for Home Instruction students:
Home Instruction (school) high school students do not earn course credits or a high school diploma from Frederick County Public Schools, the FCPS Home Instruction Office or the State of Maryland. However Home school students are eligible to receive a high school diploma under the circumstances found in Question 21 of the MSDE Home Instruction FAQ document. Diploma options include a Home Schooled student receiving a parent issued, or program issued, diploma. In addition Home Instruction students are eligible to take the GED at the age of 16 in order to earn a Maryland State High School Diploma.
21. Does a child receive a Maryland High School Diploma upon completion of his or her home instruction program? No. A Maryland High School Diploma is a specific kind of high school diploma that can only be issued by public schools, and which can only be issued after a child has met the requirements of COMAR 13A.03.02.09B. This type of diploma is therefore not available to students who complete their secondary education in a home instruction program. If a child transfers from a home instruction program to a public school and meets all graduation requirements, then he or she may receive a Maryland High School Diploma. Alternatively, if a child is enrolled in a nonpublic or church-exempt school and meets that school’s graduation requirements, then the child may receive a diploma issued by that school’s legal authority. COMAR 13A.09.09.09E states, however, that the diploma of a nonpublic secondary school may not imply that the requirements for graduation from a Maryland public secondary school have been met. Similarly, there is no provision that prohibits a parent or guardian, or a supervising nonpublic school or institution, from issuing a diploma upon completion of the home instruction program, but it may not imply that it is a Maryland High School Diploma. Another option is to obtain a Maryland High School Diploma by examination, which requires that a child successfully complete the General Educational Development (GED) test. If a child is 16 years old or over, and is either participating in a home instruction program or has completed such a program, he or she may register for the GED test. If the child has not completed his or her home instruction program, however, and does not achieve passing scores in all subject matters on the GED test, the child must continue to participate in a home instruction program or enroll in school until he or she reaches the compulsory attendance age. For questions about GED requirements, contact the GED Testing Office of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) at (410) 767-0538.
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