Diploma vs Certificate

Diploma: 
Students who receive special education services may graduate with a high school diploma if all of the course requirements for graduation are met.  Your child's resource teacher can advise you of your child's graduation status if you are unsure.  Many students who are receiving services in high school do transition to two and four-year institutions following graduation and some also continue to receive accommodations in their post-secondary placements.  Colleges will not modify coursework or graduation requirements, and post-secondary institutions are not required to follow IEPs.  Accommodations offered to students who demonstrate a need (such as assistance with note-taking or extended time on exams) are done so at the discretion of each institution.  No college or post-secondary program will be aware of your child's disability unless he or she discloses that information.

Certificate: 
Students who complete all of the requirements of their IEPs, but do not finish all of the coursework required for a diploma, may participate in all Bennington graduation activities, including commencement ceremonies.  After their graduation, they may also continue to receive services through the school district through the school year in which they turn 21 years of age.  Often, these students are connected to outside agencies that will provide training in job skills and living as independently as possible.  As a student approaches 16 years of age, your child's IEP teams will begin to include individuals from these agencies to provide guidance in making the transition from high school to adulthood.  The information below may also be useful to parents of children who are approaching this transition.
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