The Kenosha Unified School District is offering a program designed to provide another option to students who are unable to meet the credit requirements for receiving their high school diploma. The District believes the Equivalency KUSD High School Diploma option will serve to decrease the number of dropouts and increase the number of high school graduates.
Students who are unable to meet the credit requirements to graduate with their cohorts are likely candidates to drop out of school and not graduate. With that in mind, the KUSD is offering an Equivalency Diploma that gives students an opportunity to graduate and to further their respective educational and career opportunities. Frequently asked questions and answers follow.
WHAT IS THE EQUIVALENCY KUSD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA?
- It is an alternate route to graduation in which a diploma is issued for a small percentage of students who meet all requirements and take and pass the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED).
- With this diploma, graduates can continue their education at the post-secondary level, join the military, or go directly to work. However, the diploma may not be accepted by all colleges, trade schools, businesses, apprenticeship programs, or branches of the military.
HOW DO STUDENTS QUALIFY FOR THE EQUIVALENCY KUSD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA?
- Students must be at least 18 years old and credit deficient.
- Students must be current residents of the Kenosha Unified School District.
- Students must be continuously-enrolled members of a KUSD cohort group.
- Students must meet the requirements for the writing and employability components.
- Students must have completed consumer education/economics, health, and government and politics, or comparable courses.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
- Interested students ages 17 and over who are credit deficient will meet with a counselor to determine credit status and feasibility of graduating through credit acquisition. Eligible students will fill out an application form, sign a consent, and be given information regarding the Equivalency KUSD High School Diploma option.
- Students will be offered an opportunity to attend school to prepare for the ITED.
- Students who attend school for test-preparation will be subject to all classroom, school, and District rules and policies.
- Eligible students who complete all course requirements and pass the ITED can graduate with the Equivalency Diploma. Those not satisfying both conditions prior to their twenty-first birthday are ineligible for this Diploma.
- Students receiving the Equivalency Diploma will be allowed to participate in the Equivalency Diploma graduation ceremony.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF STUDENTS WHO WISH TO TAKE THE ITED?
- Eligible students must have on file with the alternate diploma teacher a signed Equivalency KUSD High School Diploma Student Participation Form and transcript showing that course requirements have been met (health, consumer education/ economics, and government and politics/civics).
- Students who did not test at a proficient or advanced level in writing on the WKCE as a 10th grader must complete a writing component.
- Students must verify work experience or complete an employability skills component.
- Eligible students should have paid in full all fees required prior to testing.
- Students will take the ITED, which measures knowledge in the areas of reading, written expression, vocabulary, mathematics, social studies, and science.
- Prior to taking the graduation ITED, students may be required to demonstrate their readiness by passing ITED practice tests.
- ITED candidates shall present at the testing site a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or Wisconsin identification card that includes the applicant’s photograph, legal name, birth date, address, and signature.
- Students must pass the ITED by achieving a minimum stanine score of four in each of the subject areas. Until their twenty-first birthday, students who fail one or more tests may re-test during each testing cycle.
- The tests are administered in English.
- Students with documented specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, or physical or emotional disabilities may be eligible for special testing accommodations.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS?
- Students will be fully apprised of each diploma’s potential value in terms of getting a job, entering post-secondary education, or joining the military.
- Informational fliers/letters will also include the contact information of the student’s guidance counselor or principal’s designee, who will provide more detailed information regarding the program.
- Schools will provide opportunities for preparatory work to increase the likelihood of success for students who choose the Equivalency KUSD Diploma option.
- Principals or their designee will oversee testing accommodations and will monitor student eligibility and identification for this option.
- Principals or their designee will provide written notification to students who have not passed the graduation ITED.
WHAT IS THE PARENT’S/GUARDIAN’S ROLE?
- The school district has developed a parent notification letter and a parent signature letter. The parent/guardian signature is required prior to participation by students who are under the age of 18.
- Parents/guardians are encouraged to meet with their student’s counselor or teacher to be fully informed about the Equivalency KUSD Diploma option.
WHEN WILL STUDENTS RECEIVE THE EQUIVALENCY KUSD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AND WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
- Students successfully completing the program will be awarded the Equivalency KUSD High School Diploma at an Equivalency Diploma graduation ceremony.
- The Equivalency KUSD High School Diploma will look similar to a regular high school diploma but will indicate that the student graduated through testing.
WHAT PROVISIONS ARE MADE FOR STUDENTS WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE COURSE REQUIREMENTS BUT DO NOT PASS THE GRADUATION ITED THE FIRST TIME?
- Principals or their designee are responsible for providing written notification to exited students who have not passed the graduation ITED.
- Until their twenty-first birthday, students who have not passed all tests will be allowed to retake the tests they failed.
WHERE CAN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE KENOSHA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’S EQUIVALENCY KUSD HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA BE OBTAINED?
- Information can be obtained through your high school’s guidance office.