Dear Former Student of Lorain City Schools,
You may of contacted us or we recently contacted you because we believed that you qualified for a high school diploma under HB 197 which allows local school districts graduation flexibility to grant diplomas to individuals who have successfully completed the curriculum, but were unable to take the OGT this spring and summer due to the pandemic. However, I regret to inform you that based on information we received from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), we misinterpreted the spirit of that law and as a result, we are unable to award you a diploma.
Below is the press release from the ODE:
Earlier this afternoon the Ohio Department of Education directed the Lorain City Schools to stop granting diplomas to certain former students who did not receive diplomas solely due to not having passed the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs), and to retract any diplomas erroneously granted. The actions by Lorain City Schools were based on an unreasonable interpretation of the phrase “on track to graduate” and is a misapplication of the flexibility granted by the General Assembly in H.B. 197 to address issues related to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the phrase “on track to graduate” is subject to local interpretation, it is beyond reasonable to assume that any and all prior students who had not graduated by virtue of not having passed the OGTs were “on track.”
Individuals wishing to take the OGT in order to earn a diploma will continue to have opportunities to do so until July 2022.
I apologize for the confusion and take full ownership for the fact that while we were following the literal language of the law, we misinterpreted the spirit of the law and its restrictions. However, just because we can’t help you through HB 197 doesn’t mean our efforts will stop. Through this process, we discovered hundreds of individuals who would potentially qualify for a diploma under this provision. We’re ready to help.
Therefore, our attention and efforts to award diplomas to individuals who earned the appropriate credits needs to be refocused. If you want more information or access to available supports to assist you completing the requirements necessary for graduation, please contact our Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, Sarah Egan-Reeves, at (440) 830-4057 or [email protected]
. Updates on future opportunities to take the OGT will be sent to your email address.
Superintendent Lorain City Schools