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John Hopkins

Private School Records Vanishing

» Written by // February 11, 2013 //


There is little oversight of the private school industry in Florida. Once they are opened and operating, they are effectively an island unto themselves.

They do not have to be subjected to testing or evaluation. Private schools are not licensed, approved or regulated by the Florida Department of Education.

When a private school closes, what happens to their records, particularly graduation records? Sometimes no one ever knows and they simply vanish. This can be a real problem for job seekers needing to prove their high school diploma and transcripts.

As reported in the Palm Beach Post, Jeffrey Noble, has found out the hard way that the lack of regulation can have very personal repercussions.

Mr. Noble graduated from The Edison Russell School, a private school in Palm Beach Gardens. The school went out of business in 2005. What happened to all the records of all those graduating from The Edison Russell School? Good question. The records have apparently disappeared into thin air.

What happens to those young people who graduate from an unregulated private school that closes without providing its records voluntarily to the state? They will likely have to apply for and obtain their General Education Development Diploma (GED).

Parents of children attending private schools: keep diplomas and obtain a transcript of your child from the school. Young adults attending and graduating from private schools – same advice.

Imagine 12 years after graduation, your employer tells you they can find no evidence of you graduation because you attended a private school that went out of business.


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