Congratulations graduates, your diplomas are on the way. The South Carolina General Assembly passed Act 155 this past June, and a part of that makes it possible for individuals who had been denied a diploma to receive one. The new law removed the requirement for an exit exam in order to graduate with a diploma AND it did so retroactive to beginning of the requirement in 1990.
A provision of Act 155 contains a means by which individuals who did not receive a diploma solely because of the exit exam to petition their local school board for a diploma. They must petition the school board in the district where they graduated high school and do so prior to December 31, 2015.
At Monday’s meeting of the District 56 Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields presented the board with 31 petitions that had been received, reviewed and found to be in compliance with the law and thus eligible for a diploma under the new rules. Dr. O’Shields explained the review process to the board. Each petition must be reviewed to determine that not passing the BSAP or HSAP exit exam was the only reason a high school diploma was not issued. The individual must have at least the minimum number of course units required at the time of their graduation with no other issues that would have prevented the issuance of a diploma.
Since district employees are verifying petitions based on records dating back to 1990, many of the records are not automated so the process is time-consuming. But for 31 Clinton High graduates that verification process was successful and the school board voted unanimously to approve their petitions. The diplomas are now being ordered from South Carolina Department of Education, which will produce a diploma showing these 31 people to be graduates of Clinton High School.