Opinion: Credits may not transfer from other schools

By Leah Kuntz — One of the most important aspects of high school is the number of credits a student earns. Those credits, the classes taken, and the experiences gained all go toward the possibilities of a future. Some of those credits were earned in middle school, particularly for students who attended Glenwood and Oakwood. But for those who went to a different school, the circumstances are not the same.

I am one of the students who did not go to a Plain Local middle school, and I am behind in terms of credits I need to earn. Classes, like health, are the ones I am going to have to make up in an alternate form, which is a bit irking. Plenty of other students are in the same situation. Kids who went to private schools or have transferred into the school system often have to go through a strenuous process to get the credit for what they have already done. Many, like myself, find this process a bit ridiculous. But what else is there to do other than sit down, be quiet, and make up years’ worth of work?

There is not an easy answer. According to the guidance department, teachers who taught at the other middle schools, like mine, may not be certified to teach grades 9-12. Because the school is uncertain if the teacher was certified in 9-12 then any time spent learning from them is wasted. No credit will be given to prove they spent time and effort in the class. Plain Local middle school attendees may roll their eyes, but for others, this is a serious problem.

For example, St. Michael School students take Spanish from kindergarten through eighth grade. But, since the teacher was not certified for higher-grade levels, no high school credit will be given for the nine years of the class. See the problem? No? Those same students took a year of health in eighth grade, much like the Plain Local eighth graders. But, the difference is, the St. Michael students are going to have to take another health class, online. That seems a bit unfair. However, this is not the fault of the other schools, other teachers, or Plain Local. Their hands are tied in this situation. No amount of hounding counselors or curriculum directors is going to solve anything. This problem is the product of sketchy state of Ohio rules.

The state of Ohio should allow credits awarded from private institutes to be transferred to public schools. Instead of the ‘Oh, you went to another school? Have fun!’ response, maybe there should be some more understanding from both the student (and their parents) and the state.

I know I could be a bit more patient with the ever-busy counselors and administrators, and I feel they could be a bit more willing to hear what I have to say even though they know they cannot change it.

For now students in my predicament can earn credit for classes through hard work and stacks of forms, but something leads me to believe that not all of the students who already have credit have to work nearly as hard as I do. It almost seems like punishment for not going to a public school. Call me petty, but I feel a bit cheated.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]