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NARS FAQs

1. What does NARS do?
2. Is NARS a real school?
3. Where is NARS?
4. Is this a real diploma?
5. What if I live out of state?
6. Will colleges accept a NARS diploma?
7. How do I get credit for homeschool work?
8. What curriculum does NARS require?
9. Can I get credit for previous high school work?
10. Can I take courses from the Internet, video, CD-ROM, etc.?
11. Who gives my student the grades?
12. When does a student graduate?
13. What is the age limit?
14. How long does this take?
15. What if I'm a struggling student?
16. I'm a grandparent -- can I still get a diploma?
17. Is a diploma really necessary?
18. How is this better than a G.E.D.?
19. What if I have a Learning Disabled (LD) child?
20. What if I need extra help?
21. What about testing?
22. How much work equals one (1) high school credit?
23. What courses are required for a diploma?
24. Is this a correspondence school?
25. Do NARHS credits transfer?
26. What about a transcript?
27. Where will my permanent school records be?
28. How long has NARS been doing this?
29. What if I already have high school credits?
30. What about work-study programs?
31. How much does this cost?
32. What is my tuition buying?
33. How do I register with NARS?
34. Can I start with NARS in the middle of the year?



1) What does NARS do?

NARS is an actual school. We award high school credit to students
whether they do the work on site or off campus. We extend this to
include homeschoolers -- offering credentials to homeschoolers for their
high school work.

We are a state-recognized private school 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 a satellite school.
We are NOT an umbrella school.
We are NOT a correspondence school.

NARS is an actual school that allows students to transfer their work
into our school. And, when a student has accumulated all of the required
17-1/2 credits, he or she is eligible to receive a high school diploma.

For homeschooled students, the parents maintain control -- the parent is
in charge of the content of each course. We allow the parent to actually
homeschool -- we do NOT dictate the coursework to be done. All
coursework is PARENT-SELECTED and PARENT-DIRECTED.

For adults, we capture past high school credits, add them to work
experience, fill in coursework where needed, and then award the high
school diploma when all requirements are met.



2) Is NARS a real school ?

We are a real school.

We are not a virtual school or a “school in a mailbox” -- we are a real
high school issuing a real high school diploma. We have the usual large
building, parking lots, heating bills, leaky roof, etc. (We even have
the occasional graffiti written on our walls outside!)

Our school, North Atlantic Regional High School, is a state-recognized
private school, and we have students working on their diplomas in 50
states and several foreign countries. Please see a copy of our letter
from Maine’s Department of Education, School Approval Office, located at
the beginning of the handbook.



NARS 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
NARS as “a private school authorized by the department as providing
equivalent instruction.” (20-A MRSA §5001-A, sub-§1 (b).

NARS is fully accredited by the National Association of Private Schools
Accreditation Alliance.

Graduates from our school are afforded the same privileges as any other
graduate from any other Maine high school.
All NARS 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, Purdue, local colleges,
technical colleges, the Air Force Academy, Cornell, virtually
everywhere. (One of our 2000 graduates went to Julliard! One of our 2001
graduates went to West Point.) See more on page 14.

Further, our specific credentials indicate:
• Our IRS Federal ID number is
01-0534550
• Our Maine Bureau of Taxation number is
1052642
• Our College Board School Code Number is
200037
• Our US Dept. of Transportation DOT number for our
school vehicles is USDOT 750404
• Our US Dept of Education ID number is
23 8 0011 8 21 2 16388
• Our US Dept of Commerce Bureau of the Census ID
number is 23 8 0011 8 21 2 11614
• Our US Dept. of Labor ID and Maine Dept of Labor
number is 064000043-6 0196823000-00000 8211 6
• Our US Dept. of Labor designation is 8211-- their
designation as “ Elementary and Secondary school
below university grades (ordinary grades 1 through 12). "
• NARS is an NCAA Clearinghouse participant. NARS
graduates may qualify as NCAA athletes for college
sports eligibility and scholarships.

3) Where is NARS ?

The North Atlantic Regional Schools are located in Maine.
Our current building is located in the renovated mill section of
Lewiston, Maine’s second largest city.

Portland, Maine, has the closest airport, just 35 miles away.
Manchester, NH, is a 2-1/2-hour drive away.
Boston is a 2-hour drive away.
New York City is only a 6-hour drive away.

4) Is This a REAL diploma ?

We have the authority and privilege to grant high school diplomas in the
State of Maine. And with that authority comes the responsibility for
granting high school credits.

Before NARS awards credits, every credit for every course for every year
must be justifiable. That justification must become 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 granted by the records in the student file.

And of course, every file is confidential, according to the 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 granted. Once the credits
are granted, the diploma is awarded. Yes, this is a real high school
diploma -- NOT a GED, NOT a certificate of completion.


5) What if I live out of state ?

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 NARS graduates, regardless of
their places of residence, are awarded a diploma from the state of Maine.

6) Will colleges accept a NARS diploma?

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: Harvard, Penn State, Purdue, local colleges,
technical colleges, the Air Force Academy, Cornell, virtually
everywhere. (One of our 2000 graduates went to Julliard! One of our 2001
graduates went to West Point.) See more on page 14.

CONSIDER:
It is not the NARS 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 military, the job
market, an apprenticeship, or a trade occupation. Whatever it is, we
will help the student’s specialty stand out in the “package.”

NOTE: There are three different considerations for college admissions:
(1) NARS graduation requirements, (2) the college’s admissions
requirements, and (3) requirements for your major at the college.

It is the student’s responsibility to know what ALL of these are for
their chosen school. When the student tells us what the college’s
requirements are, we will work with the student to make that happen. For
example if a student is seeking admission to a university for an
engineering degree, he or she may need to have four math credits. NARS
requires only two math credits, but the university wants the students to
have at least four. So, we repeat -- it is the student’s responsibility
to know what BOTH institutions require. We will help any way we can.

7) How do I get credit for homeschool work?

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. (See
sample on pages 60, 61.)

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. (More on pages 60 - 69.)

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. This portfolio review will include FIVE
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

All of this is detailed on pages 56-69.


8) What curriculum does NARS require?

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).

Yes, if needed, we can help here, 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.

9) Can I get credit for previous high school work?

Yes. Here’s what we need.

A.
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.

B.
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 number 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 before you give up.


10) Can courses be done on the Internet, on video, on CD-ROM, etc.?

Yes. All of the above. 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.

11) Who grades my child’s work?

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. NARS has published another book, High School
Resource Advisor. It details practical ways to grade work, from science
labs to essays. This 160-page book is FREE to all students registered
with NARS.


12) When is graduation?

Whenever the required 17-1/2 credits are completed, and all the
paperwork is in order, the student may graduate. (It is NOT necessary to
wait for a graduation ceremony.) 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!)

And when are the graduation ceremonies? There are three answers to this
question.

In May, there is a graduation ceremony in Orlando, FL (Memorial Day
weekend) with about 3,000 in the audience.

In June, we have a graduation ceremony in Maine with about 500 people in
the audience.

In June, 2006, we are planning to have a cooperative ceremony in
Seattle, Washington. Call us for details as they are finalized.

Students usually graduate when they are done -- they don’t have to wait
for the graduation ceremony.

If you are finished by July 16, and you want that date to appear on your
diploma, then THAT’s the date that will appear on your diploma. It can
be mailed to you and your family can plan a celebration. (Some families
have planned graduation ceremonies around family reunions, since the
extended family will be assembled anyway...)

In the same manner, if you are done on July 16, you can have that date
appear on your diploma and you can STILL graduate in the graduation
ceremony, even if the ceremony is the following year! You have several
choices here.


13) What is the age limit?

There is NO age limit. Students have graduated at the age of 15, and we
have one student who is on track to be done by the age of 14.*

We also have students in their 60s -- they never finished their high
school program, and now they want to earn their diploma. We have
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.

NOTE THIS SPECIAL POINT:
* We have one student in an “extreme” position -- he is taking ALL his
academic courses from high school textbooks -- and he is 10 years old.
While this is unusual for us, too, imagine what a problem this is for
the traditional classroom setting! At least in our program, the student
can move at his own pace and has the opportunity to mature physically,
mentally, and emotionally to catch up to his academic level -- and he
can do it in a safe place...at home.


14) How long does this take?

There is NO speed limit here. One student began taking high school
courses entering the 9th grade...he was motivated and eager, and he
completed all 17-1/2 required credits by the time he was 15.

There is NO speed limit -- you can move as fast as you like, or as slow
as you need. Not only can you go fast, you can go slow. For example,
there are some students who cannot finish an entire math course in one
school year. But if they finished 1/2 of it, we will grant a 1/2
credit...they can finish the next half later.

15) What if I’m a struggling student?

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.

EXAMPLE:
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.

CONDITIONS:
1. IF the student has been identified as being in the 9th
grade or above, and
2. IF the student has been diagnosed as having a learning
difficulty which has a documented history, and
3. IF the student is performing at or near HIS OR HER
capacity for learning in that subject, and
4. IF the student is showing that this year’s work is a
progression from last year’s work, and
5. IF the student has completed all of the requirements of
the course to the satisfaction of the parent, and
6. IF the work and number of hours have been documented
to the satisfaction of our school, and
7. IF the student is one of our registered students, THEN
that student can be granted a high school credit for
the less-than-high-school-level course.

SUMMARY:
We are not attempting to lower our high school standards. We are simply
trying to make appropriate accommodations for students with learning
difficulties.

16) I’m an adult -- can I still get MY high school diploma?

YES, we have 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 NARS, 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:
does it make sense to convert a woman’s childbirth experience of
pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care into half of a health credit ?
We think so. It also makes sense to convert a retired soccer coach’s 12
years of coaching into one Phys Ed credit. And so on.

NARS is honored to assist veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam whose
high school years may have slipped past them. NARS 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.


17) Is a high school diploma really necessary?

No. Maybe. Yes. Consider the following four things.

1. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
Colleges accept homeschoolers with good SAT scores and good records
verifying their work. BUT, homeschoolers have to jump through different
hoops, more hoops. Homeschool records are not standardized and pose
problems for admissions officers, requiring special attention, which
they can interpret as annoying -- it takes more time, they have to do
the conversions of credits, homeschoolers get defensive when their
records are challenged, etc., etc. Some admissions officers have had
unpleasant experiences with defensive parents when they asked questions
about the homeschool program. And some have heard the horror stories of
the lack of understandable recordkeeping which homeschoolers bring to a
college.

In contrast, however, if the homeschooler's records have been
standardized through NARS, they aren't even questioned. The NARS records
complete the student’s application. Period. To the admissions people, it
is another qualified applicant from another recognized school.

2. SCHOLARSHIPS
In a recent article in the FPEA (Florida Parent Educators Association)
newsletter, there was a great article entitled, "They Want to Give Us
Money, but We Won't Let Them” (see page 90). This was written by a
college professor to explain that homeschoolers do NOT qualify for most
scholarships because they don't meet the minimum standard of having
earned a high school diploma. Most PRIVATE scholarships, trusts,
organizations, and scholarship committees automatically make graduation
from a recognized secondary institution a prerequisite for granting
their scholarship money. Homeschoolers do NOT qualify if all they have
is a computer-generated diploma from their parents. In the halls of
admissions offices, this is the so-called "Mommy Diploma." It just
doesn't qualify.

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 web site and verify that we are a real school. That ends that.
Now you are a graduate from an established high school.

3. THE LAST CREDENTIAL
You may not want to think about this, but a high school diploma might be
the LAST and HIGHEST credential your homeschooler ever achieves. Going
to college is one thing; graduating is another. Over 33% of all college
freshman never graduate. They get married, they have babies, they get a
terrific job offer, they get tired of school, they flunk out, etc., etc.
Not pleasant to think of, but the statistics are not great.

In contrast, if students have a good high school record and have earned
that valuable high school diploma, they at least have that academic
credential.

4. SECURITY CLEARANCE /
BACKGROUND CHECKS
You may someday apply to work for the government, or for a government
contractor, or for an employer who requires strict background checks.
Your application for employment may require security clearance. Your
high school records and graduation from NARS keeps the record straight
and avoids any large gaps which might otherwise appear in your school
records.

18) Is a NARS diploma better than a GED?

Here are a few things you should know about getting a GED.

A.
In most states, generally, you must be 18 to take the GED without
restrictions. Sometimes 17-year-olds are allowed after filing a special
form, and if they can show special need. Different states have different
rules.

B.
Assuming you are old enough, just call your local high school, find out
when they are giving the GED test, sign up for it, and go take it. Don't
bother to study for it, don't take courses or anything else. JUST TAKE IT.

Who knows, you might already know everything you need to pass all five
parts, or maybe you will pass one or two sections. If you pass one or
two sections, you never have to take those again. Once you know what you
failed, you can best use your time to study the areas you didn't pass.
Bottom line, just do it. ( By the way, if you pass one or two sections,
we will award you high school credits for passing those sections...more
below.)

C.
Here’s a very important question -- how will you USE your GED? For
example, if you are applying for military enlistment, the GED is almost
useless. And there are other problems associated with it, such as
scholarships and grants. Most PRIVATE scholarships, trusts,
organizations, and scholarship committees automatically make graduation
from a recognized secondary institution a prerequisite for granting
their scholarship money. This is a SCHOLARSHIP, and having a GED is not
enough.

consider this: NARS can use passing GED test results as high school
credits towards a real diploma. Yes, you can convert your GED into high
school credits and apply them to the requirements for your diploma.

19) What if I have a Learning Disabled
(LD) child?

(1) Having an LD child does not prevent you from homeschooling. (2) And,
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
real answer would require our knowing the real situation. 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 207-753-1522.



20) What if I need extra help ?

Our offices are staffed every weekday. You may call us with questions;
we are happy to help. If we are on the phone or with another family, we
will call you back. There are times when the issue requires more than a
quick phone call. In such cases, we make telephone appointments for a
half-hour consultation, or an hour consultation...whatever is appropriate.

When a student is registered in our school program, the new tuition is
$350 for the undergraduate years. That $350 also entitles the parent to
two hours of consultation; yes, that is included in the fee. Should the
parent want extra help beyond that, there is a fee of $40.00 per hour.
And sometimes spending that extra $40.00 can turn things around and make
your life so much easier. (Most experienced homeschoolers do not use any
additional appointments. Some beginners may use one or two the first year.)

21) What about testing?

1. HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMS
“Exit exams” are NOT required to earn a high school diploma from NARS.
Some states require students to pass a comprehensive battery of exams
covering all four years of high school. If the student fails any section
of those tests, he or she does NOT get a diploma. Our state is NOT LIKE
THAT, so we do not require passing exit exams.

2. ACHIEVEMENT TESTING
These are sometimes called Standardized Achievement Tests, SAT’s -- not
to be confused with the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (the College Boards).
But, since we mentioned it, neither test is required by our school.

Standardized Achievement Tests are sometimes useful if there is a
question about certain learning difficulties the student is
experiencing. Standardized Achievement Tests are sometimes good
diagnostic tools to find a problem.
The College Boards (SAT’s) may be necessary to complete a good
“admissions package” when applying to college. We can provide additional
information on both of these options. Call us for details.

3. SUBJECT TESTING
When you homeschool and are working towards high school credit, NARS
needs to assign an actual grade for the course -- we prefer number
grades, such as 92, 85, 71, etc. This may not be your favorite thing to
do, but it is REQUIRED. We cannot issue a credit or a transcript without
a grade. How you arrive at the grade is flexible. If you want to use
tests from the end of the chapters, or if you want to grade reports and
papers, that’s the parent’s option. Testing is NOT required, but a grade
is required.

If you need help trying to calculate a grade for any course, we have
published many way to get that done. There are pages and pages of
scoring worksheets, rubrics, and helps in the High School Resource
Advisor. If you would like a copy of the 160-page book, please go to our
online store at www.narhs.org/store. Or, call 207-753-1522.

22) How much work equals a credit?

There are two ways to determine a credit.

1. For textbook-driven subjects ( there are exceptions )
For subjects such as Math, History, English, Science, and the like:

a. If the publisher has identified this textbook or course as
a high school level course, and
b. if the student has completed the textbook, and
c. if the assigned work has been completed to the
satisfaction of the parent, and
d. if the coursework has been documented to the
satisfaction of our school,
THEN, he or she is granted a high school credit in
that subject REGARDLESS of age and
REGARDLESS of how quickly it was done.

Much more detail is provided on pages 30 and 52.

2. For self-designed subjects (there are exceptions)

For subjects such as music, art, drama, phys ed, computer literacy,
state studies, etc., where no textbook is used, the following FIVE
conditions apply.

(a) If the student has begun his or her high school career* (see the
fine print on page 31), or reached the age of 14,
and
(b) if the student completes 160 half-hour sessions (80 clock hours) in
one self-designed subject area,
and
(c) if the self-design has been organized into a “Course Description”
for the subject (see samples on pages 62 - 65), and
(d) if the student has completed the work to the satisfaction of the
parent,
and
(e) if the work has been documented to the satisfaction of the school,
then,
after all five conditions are met, a high school credit is awarded in
that subject -- but ONLY AFTER HE OR SHE HAS “begun the high school career!”

Much more detail is offered throughout this handbook.

23) What credits are required to earn a diploma?
4 English
2 Math
2 Science
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

This is the minimum. You can earn as many credits as you like.
For more detail about the required courses, see pages 30 - 43.
For a list of possible electives, see pages 43 and 46 - 47.

ALSO: Maine Law allows another way to earn a high school diploma [CH
127, SECTION 7:02, SUBSECTION C (1) ]:
“A secondary school student who has satisfactorily completed the
freshman year in an accredited degree-granting institution of higher
education may receive a diploma from the school...although the student
does not meet all diploma requirements in this rule. Such decisions
shall be at the discretion of the superintendent of the school unit, in
accordance with the policies of the school board.”

NARS has adopted this provision to the advantage of some of our upper
level and more capable students. Students who have earned the equivalent
of one full year of college credit can be awarded a NARS high school
diploma without fulfilling all of the other course requirements. They
simply complete the NARS Registration Form, pay the Graduation Year
tuition, and supply us with an official transcript from the colleges
verifying their credits. The number of credits needed may vary,
depending on the college program from which they are issued. NARS will
decide what is needed for the student to prove that he or she completed
the equivalent of their “Freshman Year of college.” Please call the
Maine office if you need more details on this provision.

24) Is this a correspondence school ?

No, NARS 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. Correspondence schools hear that
you have a 9th grader, they reach for a box on the shelf labeled 9th
grade, and that’s the curriculum you WILL use. For them, one size DOES
fit all. Not at NARS.

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.


25) Do NARHS credits transfer?

Will public schools accept NARS credits?

A. That is not up to NARS, it is up to the policies and
personality of the local school.

B. Historically, NARS credits have been transferred into
public schools without question.

C. There are five major factors that can make
transferring back into public school more difficult:

1. Some course titles such as Bible, Religion, Revelation, Theology, or
similar titles, have been problematic for the public schools, and these
credits do not usually transfer; they may not be allowed to count -- not
even as electives.

2. Poor grades -- some districts have grade-meeting policies; they
accept no grades below B, or no grades below C, or whatever their
official policy states -- those rules apply.

3. Great grades -- school officials sometimes resent students who
homeschool, get all A's and 100's “from mommy,” then want to transfer
those grades into the public school -- expecting to land a great class
standing, claiming a wonderful grade point average, and then qualifying
for all the scholarships! So, sometimes bringing grades that are
suspiciously high to the public school is not appreciated.

4. Burned bridges -- some parents have a history of being problems in
the lives of school officials. These same parents sometimes come to NARS
as an intermission from the battle, then they try to re-enter that same
public school system. They are met with resistance, and then they want
to somehow blame NARS for their non-acceptance. In reality, we could
never have known of their tumultuous history with the officials there or
the “in-your-face” statements which were made at one time. Burning
bridges is NOT a good idea if you have a long view of the process.

5. Timing -- school officials resent the students who want to transfer
to their school just in time to march to “Pomp and Circumstance” up to
the platform in their graduation ceremony. Even though everything might
be in perfect order, they can offer much resistance and stall your
admission just because they are suspicious of your timing and your tactic.

SUMMARY: There are no guarantees.
Each school district has its own policy concerning accepting transfer
credits. Some take only a limited amount, some take certain courses,
some allow just courses for which the student earned an A or a B. There
are numerous restrictions that reflect local quirks
district-by-district. (For example, even in our own school district,
there is one high school that will accept all transfer credits EXCEPT
Physical Education!).

26) What about transcripts?

Once a student is registered in our high school program, we begin
compiling a transcript. Credits earned from other sources, such as
previous schools, are transferred into NARS and become part of the
student’s transcript here.

In the halls of academia, transcripts are somewhat sacred. When students
show up in the school office and ask for a copy of their transcripts,
they are sometimes denied a copy until their parent or legal guardian
fills out the appropriate release form. When students turn 18, then some
schools allow them to authorize a release of their transcripts.

Any copy of a transcript which does NOT bear the official,
three-dimensional, embossed raised seal of the school is always
considered to be UN-official. UN-official transcripts are always suspect
-- in the hands of any person, they are subject to alteration,
computer-generated tampering, etc.

Therefore, TWO important safeguards are in place to maintain the
integrity of the transcript:

1. OFFICIAL transcripts are mailed directly FROM one institution TO the
other institution. They are rarely handed to a student to be delivered;
they usually arrive by the postal service or common courier.

2. OFFICIAL transcripts are signed by a school official and bear the
embossed, raised three-dimensional corporate seal of the institution
somewhere on the page.

NARS serves its students well, providing official and UN-official
transcripts as appropriate. And so far, we offer this service at no cost
to the family.

27) Where will my permanent records be?

Once you are actually enrolled in NARS, and once your records have been
transferred from your previous schools, then NARS 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.
28) How long has NARS been doing this?

We have been working with homeschool families since 1984. We founded and
incorporated the school in 1989, establishing the school under Maine’s
Department of Education Guidelines.

29) What if I already have high school credits?

There are TWO answers to this question:

1. FROM PREVIOUS HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

If you have existing credits from previous schools, we suggest the
following next steps:

A. Get a copy of your high school transcript -- call the
high school or go there. They can release a so-called
UN-official copy to you.

B. Send a copy to: Transcript Evaluation
N.A.R.H.S.
25 Adams Ave.
Lewiston, ME 04240

C. Once received, it will be compared to our graduation
requirements; we will then contact you.

NOTE: In some cases, you may have actually completed all the work to
earn our high school diploma. Assuming you passed the courses and have
the 17-1/2 credits we require, you do NOT need to take any courses from
us. You may already be DONE! In such cases, you would register and pay
the fee; then we would transfer your records, finalize the transcript,
and issue the diploma.


2. FROM PREVIOUS HOMESCHOOL WORK

If you believe you have existing credits from previous homeschool work,
we suggest you call us. There are so many variables here that we cannot
address them all in this handbook. You are invited to call us at
207-753-1522.

30) What about work-study programs?

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. The time and talent you invest there will
count towards a high school credit.

What you do with the horses will determine what you earn credits for.
Direct care of the horses, could be a lab science. Working directly with
customers, could be a social studies credit. Grooming, learning
dressage, and showing horses, might become a fine arts credit. Other
kinds of horse training might be used for phys ed 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. Here’s the
important part -- if you want one, it can be designed. Just for you.





----------------------
HELP: If our staff is used to actually design the written work-study
program, there is an additional fee for the hours required. But in every
case, students have felt this was beneficial. ($40.00 per hour for this
service.)

31) How much does this cost?

CREDENTIAL MANAGEMENT
A. For the UNDERGRADUATE years: $350.00 per year.
B. For the GRADUATION year: $450.00

REVIEW and RECOVERY FEE
$350.00 for each previous homeschool year reviewed
and recovered (These fees do not apply to previous year’s
credits earned in other schools. There is no fee for simply
transferring credits already earned in another school.)

REVIEW and RECOVERY FEE explained
When we are required to evaluate past homeschool work and convert it to
high school credits, for homeschooled students who were NOT previously
registered in NARS high school program, we assess an additional fee of
$350.00/year for the Review and Recovery service.
Here is an example:
1. if a student first comes to us in his or her 11th grade year,
and
2. was homeschooled for the 9th and 10th grade years,
and
3. wants the 9th and10th grade homeschool years to count towards his or
her high school credits, THEN there is a $350.00 fee for each of those
past years, for a total of $700.00.

NOTE: There is no fee for including high school credits earned in other
institutions -- the Review and Recovery Fees apply to only credits
earned during previous homeschooling years.

GRANDFATHERING TUITION:
ONCE IN, YOUR RATE IS ASSURED

Tuition increases DO NOT APPLY to any student already in the program. If
the tuition schedule you choose is the one stated above, then the
student will REMAIN in that tuition schedule as long as his or her
registration is uninterrupted and does not lapse.

FULL ENROLLMENT

Full enrollment in the school is reserved for families who need or want
intensive consultations on a weekly or monthly basis. Most homeschoolers
do not choose this option because of the expense, but for some it is a
valuable way to begin -- the parent receives additional professional
support and the student’s progress is monitored more closely by our
school staff.

If you are in the midst of a divorce, have awkward custody issues, will
be traveling internationally, or moving through many legal jurisdictions
within the US, then full enrollment might be your best option.

For more information, call us at 207-753-1522.


32) What is my tuition buying?

The tuition pays for the following:
NARS uses its authority as a school to put our approval on your work.
NARS uses its staff to assimilate and evaluate the work and previous
records.
NARS then awards high school credits for each subject earned.
NARS transfers all previously earned credits from whatever source.
NARS consolidates all credits into one, concise transcript.
NARS awards the high school diploma from our state-recognized private
school.
NARS creates your permanent academic record: a substantial, legal file.
NARS sustains and archives your academic record for future access.
NARS 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.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: YOU are paying US so you can receive
the credentials from our school.

ALSO:
NARS does NOT require that you take any courses from us, as others do.
NARS does NOT require any on-campus time, as others might.
NARS does NOT limit the credits you receive to just textbook work.
NARS does NOT require you to take tests, mail work back and forth, etc.
NARS does NOT require that you pay monthly tuition, as most private
schools do.
NARS pretty much leaves you alone to get the job done.
NARS expects you to prove you did the work and earned your grade.
NARS expects you to document the progression of your work.

33) How do I register with NARS?

First, read EVERY question in this FAQ section, then study the NARS high
school handbook. Do your research.

Second, when you received this handbook, it contained a form. That
one-page form is what we need to get started.... Fill out the form as
completely as you can, keeping in mind it is also a release of records
form authorizing us to obtain your records from previous schools.
Additional forms may be printed from our Internet site:
http://www.narhs.org/filestore/view/1

Third, and this is important, too -- send along the SIGNED form and a
check for $350.00. Send the check WITH the completed Registration Form.
Then you have officially registered, and we can begin converting your
work into high school credits toward a diploma.

34) Can I start with NARS in the middle of the year ?

Yes. You can start any time.
You do NOT have to wait to finish this school year.
You do NOT have to wait until the beginning of the next school year.
You do NOT have to change any of the courses you’re doing now, or you
might want to change them all!

You may start with NARS anytime.


 

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Lutz, FL 33549
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