With Exit Exam No More, Retroactive Diplomas Available

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
Around 60 people who attended Kodiak High School in the past dozen years or so that did not receive a diploma at graduation are now eligible for that piece of paper, thanks to the education bill that passed out of the legislature this year. Superintendant Stewart McDonald explains:
“Because the state had put in place this exit exam component, anybody who completed everything but that, received a certificate of completion, which meant they met the standards for graduation, but didn’t pass all the components of that exam. Those students now that the state has repealed the high school qualifying exit exam are now eligible to receive their high school diploma.”
McDonald said the school district is actively reaching out to those students:
“First thing that we did, was locally, we sent out a letter to the last known address to every one of these individuals. And we received a number of them back with return to sender because we don’t have their current address. The state department of education and early development is committed to helping us find those remaining individuals that we were not able to get a hold of. So it’s going to be an effort by both the district and the state to locate everyone and make sure they know they can come and claim their high school diploma.”
But even if those former students are unable to get back to receive their diploma, McDonald said they can now say they have one.
“Here’s another way to look at it: If you’ve received a certificate of completion, whether you have your piece of paper or not from us, you can officially declare on any job application that you in fact have a high school diploma. Whether you actually received the actual piece of paper or not, it’s official, you have a diploma.”
McDonald said he would be happy to do a little more than just toss a diploma in the mail if the former student so desires.
“Every single one that we’re able to get here in person, if I can have a board member present, we will certainly recognize them with as much pomp and circumstance as we can afford at that moment.”
Give the Kodiak Island Borough School District central office a call if you didn’t pass the now-defunct state exit exam, because they have a high school diploma waiting for you.

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