NARHS recognizes and evaluates high school credit whether the student did the work at a school or not. We extend this to include homeschoolers -- offering credentials to homeschoolers for their high school work.
We are a state-recognized private school, accredited at the highest level possible in the United States, offering to evaluate the coursework of high school students (and adults), and upon adequate documentation and evidence, we grant high school credits for homeschool work.
We are NOT an online school. Students may select curriculum that works best for them. We can provide guidance in text-selection and in course-creation through the advisory staff who work one-on-one with students.
NARHS allows students to transfer their work into our school. And, when a student has accumulated all of the required credits, he or she is eligible to receive a high school diploma.
For adults, we capture past high school credits, add them to work experience, advise on how to fill in coursework where needed, and then award the high school diploma when all requirements are met.
Founded as a private school in Maine, NARHS is still a State Recognized School in the state of Maine, though our business office is now located in Washington. Our current building is located in Yakima in central Washington. You can find us on a map by visiting the Where We Are page (find it in the About menu).
Our mailing address is:
14 South 6th Avenue
Yakima, WA 98902
We are a real high school issuing a real high school diploma.
Our school, North Atlantic Regional High School's official address is 9 N. River Road, Auburn, Maine 04210, but our business address is 14 S. 6th Ave. Yakima, WA 98902.
NARHS operates under the authority of Maine law. Specifically, the North Atlantic Regional Schools complies with the provisions of 20-A M.R.S.A. 5001 (a) which directs the Maine Department of Education to identify NARHS as “a private school authorized by the department as providing equivalent instruction.” (20-A MRSA §5001-A, sub-§1 (b). Please see a copy of our letter from Maine’s Department of Education, School Approval Office, located at the beginning of the handbook. Graduates from our school are afforded the same privileges as any other graduate from any other Maine high school. All NARHS graduates, regardless of their place of residence, are awarded a diploma from the state of Maine. Our students have gone to every possible type of college and university. Our graduates have gone to Harvard, Penn State, FSU, local colleges, technical colleges, the Air Force Academy, virtually everywhere. (One of our more than 2000 graduates went to Julliard! One of our 2001 graduates went to West Point.)
We have the authority and privilege to award a high school diploma in the State of Maine to qualified students and with that authority comes the responsibility for evaluating high school credits.
Before NARHS validates credits granted in the homeschool, every credit for every course for every year must be justifiable. That justification becomes part of the student’s file.
We build the student file to contain student records, evaluations, portfolio reviews, external credits, transferred credits, and more. All are contained in the student’s official educational file. When called upon by any college or university, the military, or an employer, we can justify every credit validated by the records in the student file.
And of course, every file is confidential, according to the Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements, and we release student information only after a release form is signed by the parent, legal guardian, or adult student.
Once the documentation is there, the credit is validated. Once the credits are validated, the diploma is awarded. Yes, this is a real high school diploma -- not a GED, not a certificate of completion.
In today’s educational world, living in one state and graduating from a school in another state is no longer unusual.
With distance learning, satellite classes, video courses, online classrooms, military families, job transfers, government employee assignments, etc., it is not uncommon for students to have these arrangements.
Currently we have students in every state and multiple foreign countries working on their high school diplomas. No Maine residency is required. No on-site attendance is required. All NARHS graduates, regardless of their places of residence, are awarded a diploma from the state of Maine.
Graduates from our school are afforded the same privileges as any other graduate from any other Maine high school. It bears repeating that our students have gone to every possible type of college and university. We have students at Harvard, at Penn State, at FSU, at local colleges, in technical colleges, virtually everywhere. One NARHS graduate is at Julliard, one of our graduates is a National Merit Scholar, and one of our graduates is at West Point. (Below this short narrative is a list of many of the colleges, universities and schools to which are graduates have been accepted.)
CONSIDER: It is not the NARHS diploma that will get you into college or keep you out of college. YOUR accomplishments will gain you college admissions, or keep you out. The diploma doesn’t apply to college -- the STUDENT applies to college. To that end, we work carefully to “package” each student’s transcript and records, and to make that “package” as formidable as possible to access the goal. Your goal might be college, the job market, an apprenticeship, or a trade occupation. Whatever it is, we will help the student’s specialty stand out in the “package.”
DENIAL of ADMISSION
Students are denied admission to schools for hundreds of reasons. Please do not assume it was your personal program or your choice of high school as the only reason for denial.
Having a high school diploma from ANY HIGH SCHOOL does not guarantee a school's graduate will be granted admission to any college. There are many reasons students are not admitted -- some as simple as a college's poor experience with the student's interview, essay, finances, etc. Colleges are using other sources for information, not just the student's academic records.
We are discovering that colleges and scholarship committees have other reasons. using other sources for information
__ Criminal record
__ Juvenile record
__ Terminated by a former employer
__ Expelled or Suspended from their school
__ Identity confusion -- perhaps the student has the same name as a delinquent father, or a convicted felon, or runaway teen, or an abducted child, or has the same name as someone on the government's "NO FLY" list?
__ Does your student have an account on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. and could there be anything there that would cause officials to question your student's qualifications or suitability?
__ Could this student's NAME (not necessarily him, but his NAME) have any other mention in the "public record" in your town or county?
These reasons may never be spoken, but they can play a central role when colleges decide to accept or reject a student.
Colleges and Universities that have accepted NARHS Students:
Green River Comm College
Grove City College
Hartt School of Music
Highland Comm College
Hillsboro Comm College
Holy Cross (College of the)
Hudson Valley Comm College
Indian River Comm College
Iowa State University
Ivy Technical Comm College
James Madison University
Jefferson Davis Comm College
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson and Wales University
Kansas State University
Keene State College
Kennebec Valley Tech College
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Lake Sumter Comm College
Laramie County Comm College
Lewis and Clark College
Loma Linda University
Long Island University
Louisiana Tech University
Lyndon State College
Maine College of Art
Manhattan School of Music
Marymount Manhattan College
Massasoit Community College
Merrimack Community College
Mesa Community College
Miami-Dade Comm College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Mississippi State University
Monroe Community College
Montclair State University
Moody Bible Institute
Motorcycle Mechanic Institute
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Ida College
Mount St. Mary’s University
New Brunswick Bible College
New College of Florida
New England Bible College
New England Conservatory
New Hampshire Community Tech
New Tribes Bible Institute
New York University
North Carolina State University
North Central University
North Greenville College
North Idaho College
New Mexico Tech
North Park University
NYU Tisch School of the Arts
NYU Steinhardt School of Education
Oakton Community College
Odessa Community College
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Olivet Nazarene University
Oregon Institute ofTechnology
Orlando Culinary Academy
Palm Beach Comm College
Pasco-Hernando Comm College
Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins
Pensacola Christian College
Philadelphia Biblical University
Pinecrest Bible College
Plymouth State University
Raritan Community College
Rensselear Polytechnic Institute
Reynolds Comm College
The three most important words are document, prove, and portfolio.
DOCUMENT: This is your testimony about what happened in that course. For homeschool work, documentation is usually done through a Daily Log Book -- keep a daily log record of what was done, course-by-course.
PROOF: Think of yourself on the witness stand. The documentation in your Daily Log Book is your “testimony” about what happened. But as good as your testimony might be, it is not “evidence” -- testimony is only your say-so. Now we need evidence. That’s where the portfolio shines. Make your evidence complete, convincing, and compelling for each subject. We must have some physical evidence to be convinced this work actually occurred.
PORTFOLIO: This is where the “testimony” and the “evidence” come together. Each homeschool course submitted for credit must be included in a portfolio review at the end of each year. Once we have received the portfolio, our specially-trained staff evaluates the portfolio to ensure that the neccessary evidence has been included.
6. Course descriptions for self-designed courses.
This portfolio review will include six necessary items:
1. The Daily Log Book
2. The Collection of Evidence to review
3. The Homeschool Transcript
4. The Summary Sheet
5. The check for return postage
For more information on each of these, please see the NARHS Handbook.
We do not issue a curriculum...you pick the curriculum best suited for your student. YOU use it, so YOU choose it !
And it can be custom-matched to your student.
For example, you may use Addison-Wesley for English, Houghton Mifflin for science, Saxon for math, and HBJ for history... you decide, because you know your child best (or you soon will).
Of course, if you would like us to, our staff can work with you to determine a curriculum that might work well for your student., but we do not have ONE prescribed curriculum; it's customized. Our requirement is not in curriculum, but in the documentation of what was used and the student’s performance.
Yes. Here’s what we need:
- If the work was done in a public or private school, or through a correspondence school, then all we need is a transcript from that school showing you took and passed that course. In some cases, a copy of the school’s report card will give us the same information.
- If the work was done in a homeschool program, that requires a bit more paperwork. We require samples, documentation, and recordkeeping about the course. We require it to have a grade, and we prefer a percentage grade such as 74, 83, 91. Documenting and grading homeschool work can be a hard thing to do for some families -- records have been thrown away, or you never thought you'd need them, etc. DO NOT GIVE UP !!! We are masters of reconstruction. There are many variables we can use to reconstruct that program and award that credit. So talk to us.
Yes. All of the above. Many high-quality courses exist on the Internet today that offer interactive lessons -- some with teachers on duty and available to confer with the student online in almost real time.
Some courses on video are magnificent. Series have been made by PBS, Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and others that have curriculum plans, teachers guides, etc. They are complete in their approach to teaching unforgettable lessons. Some are single lessons and some are complete courses.
CD-ROM courses have been around for years now, and they are quite sophisticated. The quality of the lessons is sometimes better than that of some textbooks. The color and sound and action is attention-keeping and really drives the lessons home.
Of course, this high-tech stuff is not for everyone. Old-fashioned textbooks still work very well, too. But, YES, there are many active resources available for homeschoolers to use. They can use these resources at will, in a safe place, and in creative ways.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that not all curricula are created equal. If you have any questions about a curriculum you would like to use, check our publication The High School Resource Advisor or call your advisor.
Homeschooling means the parents are in charge. In some cases, the curriculum will have an answer key for each subject, and you will grade the student’s work based on that answer key. This is as simple as checking the answers against the score key. In other cases, you might decide to make up your own tests and assignments. In that case, you will decide the criteria for grading. For some, this takes practice, but parents can do this well, too. In still other instances, it might be a subjective project that needs to be graded. Such projects may be graded on the final product, but not necessarily.
An example might be researching how to make a cake from scratch -- the cake may have come out terribly, but the research, effort, and technique deserve a better grade than the taste! Perhaps the planning that went into the project, or the effort that went into it, or the effect it had on others are the real lessons, and not the final product. In all cases, however, the parents are in charge. If they need help, we can provide that, too. NARHS has published another book, High School Resource Advisor. It details practical ways to grade work, from science labs to essays.
Whenever the required 17-1/2 credits are completed, and all the paperwork is in order, the student may graduate. But remember, 17-1/2 credits is the MINIMUM number of credits required -- you may add as many as you like. (One NARS student graduated with 49 credits!)
NARHS recommends that students begin their high school studies around the age of 14. However, students under the age of 14 can earn high school credit in the core curriculum: language arts, history, math or science. No self-designed course studies can earn high school credit below the age of 14 unless the student has already completed 3 credits in the core subjects.
We also have had students in their 60s -- they never finished their high school program, and now they want to earn their diploma. We have had students who left school just 5 years ago, and now they realize how valuable that diploma would be. They are back, and they are getting their diploma now. So, there is NO age limit.
NARHS recommends that students take no more than 8 credits per year at the most, 4-6 is the recommended study load. WIth the 17.5 credits minimum required for graduation, it is possible to finish the basic requirements in 3 years.
Struggling students and functionally disabled students graduate from public high schools. Therefore, in special cases, we apply similar criteria to our private school students who have a documented learning disability.
If a 10th-grade student is capable of doing only 6th-grade-level math, and that is truly his or her capacity according to the other conditions noted below, then he or she may be awarded a high school credit in math for completing the 6th-grade material.
- IF the student has been identified as being in the 9th grade or above, and
- IF the student has been diagnosed as having a learning difficulty which has a documented history (e.g. Individual Education Plan or IEP), and
- IF the student is performing at or near HIS OR HER capacity for learning in that subject, and
- IF the student is showing that this year’s work is progression from last year’s work, and
- IF the student has completed all of the requirements of the course to the satisfaction of the parent, and
- IF the work (or number of hours) have been documented to the satisfaction of our school, and
- IF the student is one of our registered students,
THEN that student will be granted a high school credit for the course.
We are not attempting to lower our high school standards. We are simply trying to make appropriate accommodations for students with learning difficulties.
YES, we have had students in their 60’s -- they never finished their high school program, and now they want to earn their diplomas. The value of the CREDENTIAL we call a high school diploma is sometimes not realized until we have some “real living” under our belts.
At NARHS, we realize it’s never too late. We make every accommodation possible to recover high school credits from 30 or 40 years ago. If that school system still exists, we can probably recover the records. We also take work experiences and convert them into high school credits. Does it make sense to convert an electrician’s 22-year career into a science credit? We think so.
Personal experiences may convert to high school credits. For example: It makes sense to convert a retired soccer coach’s 12 years of coaching into one Phys Ed credit.
NARHS is honored to assist veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam whose high school years may have slipped past them. NARHS is able to convert much of their military experience into high school credits. The Class of 2002 included a 76-year-old Navy veteran from World War II.
Yes, even if you’re old enough to be a grandparent, you can still earn that valuable high school diploma.
1. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
Colleges, quite often, accept homeschoolers with good SAT scores and good records verifying their work. But the records originating from homeschools, understandably are not standardized and pose problems for admissions officers, requiring special attention. It is becoming more common for colleges to require proficiency or GED testing for incoming home school students. In contrast, however, homeschool records standardized through the regionally accredited NARHS program, aren't even questioned. The NARHS records complete the student’s application. To the admissions people, it is another qualified applicant from another recognized school.
Most PRIVATE scholarships, trusts, organizations, and scholarship committees automatically make graduation from a recognized secondary institution a prerequisite for granting their scholarship money. Homeschoolers may not qualify if all they have is a computer-generated diploma from their parents.
In contrast, our school is a state-recognized private school on the official roster of private schools in Maine. Even if the admissions officer has never heard of us before, they can log on to the State of Maine's website and verify that we are a real school.
(1) Having an LD child does not prevent you from homeschooling. In fact, the individualized instruction possible through home schooling is often ideal for these students.
(2) every year, LD students graduate from high school. So, there must be a way to make that happen. There is. Every case is NOT the same; therefore, we cannot offer specifics here. A good answer to your situation would require our knowing your details. Please call NARS and we can be more specific about the possibilities for your student. Just rest assured that YES, LD children graduate from high school. Maybe we can help yours. Call us at 800-882-2828.
NARHS has a No Refund Policy
The NARHS “no refund policy” has been in effect for years, and there are good reasons for its existence. Making this policy known to families before they commit to our program is the purpose of this announcement. Here are the reasons for the policy:
For some, registering with NARHS becomes their way of avoiding truancy. After they register and “pass inspection” by the school authorities, they ask for a refund, claiming they never used any of our services.
For some, registering with NARHS becomes their ticket to insurance discounts and good student auto insurance policies. Then once the insurance company receives the verification of student status, the family asks for a refund, claiming they never used our services.
For some, registering with NARHS becomes their ticket to continue qualifying for SSI or to continue receiving disability payments, or for health insurance coverage for dependent children, or for food stamps, or for other public assistance. Then, once the parent proves to the agency that the child is in school, they ask for a refund, claiming they never used any of our services.
For some, registering with NARHS becomes their way to prove they are in school and therefore continue to qualify for child support payments, especially in custody issues with ex-spouses. Then once the custodial parent proves the child is in a school program, the parent asks us for a refund, claiming they never used any of our services.
Teens tend to change their minds…they waiver from one position to another. Sometimes it is because they are using their ever-widening knowledge base to direct them to one “cause” or another, or from one status to another.
As a school, NARHS cannot be in a position where we are registering and un-registering students. If our position to refuse refunds remains constant, parents can use that as a reason why an education plan cannot change this year. If NARHS refuses to issue refunds, individuals looking for an opportunity to deceive with an “enrolled status” will look elsewhere.
We ask parents to check out our program carefully and register with us intentionally. Once the enrollment has happened, many decisions and appointments, database entries and processes are in place to service the family to the fullest extent we are able. Consider your registration a commitment on your part, and we will provide everything we can to make your student’s high school education a success.
At NARHS, a credit is a year’s worth of work. There are two different kinds of credits:
1. Textbook credits are for studies done completely from a textbook. What exactly is a textbook? A textbook is a course guide that includes all the #1 reading, #2 exercises and #3 tests required for the course. Nothing else needs to be added. At the high school level, the publisher of a text will state whether the course is intended for half a year (.5 credit) or a complete year (1 full credit). There are many resources available that do not have all three components. Some may have questions to answer but no tests. Others might have no exercises or tests. These types of resources may be useful for study but cannot be regarded as textbooks.
The grade for a textbook course can be based on the average of all the tests, which must be taken closed book, or on the average of all the exercises, which can be taken open book. A closed book test should be supervised and graded by an adult. If a test is taken open-book, then it is regarded as an exercise.
2. Self-designed credits need hours logged in order to determine the amount of credit earned. Self-designed courses can utilize all types of resources to create studies or skill-building activities that lead to earning high school credit. Such self-created courses can include physical education, art, music, or even some of the core subjects, without relying on a textbook. Other resources can be used such as speakers, internet, manuals, tutors or supervisors, books that are not texts, community classes etc. There are three things that you must know about self-designed courses.
1. A course description must be written that tells the focus of the course and skills that will be learned in the course.
2. Hours must be logged of the time invested by the student in the study and development of skills.
3. A grade must be determined for the course.
The hours logged for self-designed courses determine the amount of credit earned:
20 or more hours = .25 credit
40 or more hours = .50 credit
60 or more hours = .75 credits
80 or more hours = 1.0 credit
Yes. Students earn high school credits, regardless of age, in the same manner outlined in question 22 above, with the following proviso:
No self-designed course studies can earn high school credit below the age of 14 unless the student has already completed 3 credits in the core subjects.
- 4 English
- 2 Math
- 2 Science, one lab
- 1 Social Studies, in addition to US History
- 1 US History
- 1 Phys. Ed.
- 1 Fine Arts
- 1/2 Computer Skills
- 1/2 Health
- 4 1/2 Electives, your choice
For more detail about the required courses, see the Handbook.
Many, even most students do not want to graduate with the minimum credits required. Some want their transcripts fuller and richer with courses they love, or courses related to their chosen fields. In such cases, students may greatly increase the value of their transcript, thus increasing the possibilities for scholarships, grants, and acceptance at more select colleges.
Therefore, when you have reached what’s required, you can still add what’s desired. That’s your call, your decision.
No, NARHS is not a correspondence school. Correspondence schools assign daily work, limit textbooks to the ones THEY prescribe, and require you to mail the work back to the school for corrections...then you wait to hear from your assigned case worker, etc. We don’t do that.
We do, however, work with homeschoolers -- parents who decide and direct the education of their children. We are happy to help parents choose curriculum, consult with them to design a program, and the like -- but it will be custom-fit to the student.
While correspondence schools may have their place for some students, we do not advise them for homeschoolers. The stresses associated with the timetables, assignments, and limitations of a correspondence school are not much different from the stressors of public school. We offer a real, customized alternative, allowing you to really homeschool.
Your family, your style. Your materials, your way.
Once a student is registered in our high school program, we begin compiling a transcript. Any credits earned from other sources, such as previous schools, are transferred into our school and become part of the student’s transcript at NARHS.
Two important safeguards are in place to maintain the integrity of the transcript:
1. OFFICIAL transcripts are usually mailed or faxed directly FROM one institution TO the other institution. They are rarely handed to a student to be delivered; they must arrive by the postal service or common courier. The exception is when an official is given to the student in a sealed envelope and the still-sealed envelope is delivered to the second institution. Still, it is best to have one institution send the official transcript to the other.
2. OFFICIAL transcripts are almost always signed by a school official and bear the embossed, raised three-dimensional corporate seal of the institution somewhere on the page. Recently, faxing or emailing transcripts has become more common, but those transcripts still must be signed and sent directly from the issuing school. Often, there will be a stamp used instead of the embossed seal.
NARHS serves its students well, providing official and unofficial transcripts as appropriate. When a student graduates, NARHS will send the first six official transcript for free. After that, there is a $10 charge.
Once you are actually enrolled in NARHS, and once your records have been transferred from your previous schools, then NARHS will become the permanent repository for your school records.
From these records, we will serve you in the years to come as you direct us to send them to employers, colleges, the military, etc.
NARHS was founded and incorporated in 1989, establishing the school under Maine’s Department of Education Guidelines and has been serving independent study students ever since.
- FROM PREVIOUS HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE If you have existing credits from previous schools, we suggest the following next step: If you have a copy of your latest transcript, FAX that to NARHS at 1-509-965-3909 attention: Becky Meinzinger, or scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include contact information so we can call or email you with the results following an evaluation of your current credits. If you do not have a copy of your high school transcript, call the high school and ask them for a copy to be sent to you and/or NARHS at TRANSCRIPT EVALUATION 14 S. 6th Ave. Yakima, WA 98902
Yes, there can be a work-study program designed just for you. If you are an adult, and have a work history, we may be able to reach into your work experience and reconstruct high school credits.
If you are a high school-age student who has a passion for, say, horses, we can design a work-study unit that allows you to work (or volunteer) for a horse stable or ranch. And every hour you are there will count towards a high school credit.
What you do with the horses will determine what you earn credits for. If you are responsible for direct care of the horses, that could be "equine care management". If you are in direct contact with customers, that could be a social studies or business credit. If you are using your time to groom, learn dressage, and show horses, that might become a fine arts credit. Other kinds of horse training might be used for PE credit. There are numerous possibilities.
This can be applied to almost any job -- counter clerk at McDonald’s to auto mechanic, newspaper route to lawn and garden care. Apprenticeships, job shadowing, community and church responsibilities or volunteer opportunities can also be included. Here’s the important part -- the transcript can reflect your specific interests, passions and work/study history.
The tuition pays for the following:
NARHS uses its authority as a school
1. to put our approval on your work.
2. The staff assimilates and evaluates the work and previous records,
3. then validates high school credits awarded for each subject earned,
4. transfers all previously earned credits from whatever source,
5. consolidates all credits into one, concise transcript,
6. awards the high school diploma from our state-recognized private school,
7. creates your permanent academic record: a substantial, legal file,
8. sustains and archives your academic record for future access,
9. provides copies of your official transcript to whomever you direct, for whatever reason -- college admissions, scholarships, military enlistment, loans, employment background, security checks, good student insurance discounts, SSI, etc.
10. provides one-on-one counseling for the student and parent every step of the way.
As of September, 2014, tuition is $545, including the non-refundable registration fee of $100.
If you choose to make monthly payments, a $5 service fee will be added, bringing the total to $550.
REVIEW and RECOVERY FEE
*When we are required to evaluate past homeschool work and convert it to high school credits, for homeschooled students who were NOT previously registered under our credential management program, there is a fee of $545.00 /year for this service.
NOTE: There is no fee for including high school credits earned in other institutions prior to registration in the 10th, 11th or 12th grades, only for credits earned during previous homeschooling. For previously enrolled NARHS students who take a year of credits in another institution such as a private school, public school or college, there is a charge of $250 to include those credits onto the NARHS transcript, prior to the senior year. For those entering NARHS with credits enough to graduate, there is a $545 charge.
Yes. You can start with NARHS at any time during the academic year that stretches from September 1 until August 31. If the student has been involved in study from another program, those studies SOMETIMES can be continued depending on whether the resources can be accessed. If not, the NARHS advisor appointed to the student may be able to help determine a text that can best continue the studies with as few gaps in learning as possible. Other times, the credit earned up until the transfer into NARHS will be all that can be achieved for those particular studies.
If you have additional questions, you are invited to call 800-882-2828.