Letter of Equivalency (LOE)
What is a LOE?
“A superintendent’s letter of substantial equivalency is not a certificate of graduation or a diploma. It attests to the instruction that a student received and not to any level of achievement or mastery of standards or content. The letter merely identifies that the student has met the compulsory education requirement for the state. It is a letter that, at the very least, is a statement that the requirements outlined in Part 100.10 related to the Individual Home Instruction Plan were adhered to. A letter of substantial equivalency written by a District Superintendent for ending the compulsory education requirement for a home school student does not meet the requirement for a high school diploma or recognized equivalent of a graduation certificate.” (NYSED Policy 41-1115)
How do I get a LOE?
It is a good idea to update your child’s transcript annually to ensure that your child is on track for satisfying all high school home instruction requirements, especially if you will be requesting a Letter of Equivalency upon your child’s completion of your home instruction program. Families are welcome to submit a partial transcript for review during the 10th or 11th grade year.
Please plan to complete a full review of your child’s transcript during the final year of home instruction. The transcript should reflect the content of your IHIPs and Quarterly Reports for grades 9-12. The completed transcript review form should be submitted to the Home Instruction office as soon as possible. Once the form is received, an audit of your child’s file will be conducted and you will be notified if any additional documentation is needed. After all documentation has been accounted for, including the final fourth quarter report and annual assessment, a letter recommending issuance of a Letter of Equivalency will be sent to the superintendent of your child’s district of residency. This process can take some time so please plan accordingly.
Recommendations for Parents
- Keep copies of all IHIPs, Quarterly Reports and Year-End Assessments.
- Continue reporting. You are required to submit home instruction reports through the date your child reaches maximum compulsory school attendance age (June 30th following your child’s 16th birthday). Discontinuation after your child reaches maximum compulsory school attendance age may prevent you from obtaining a Letter of Equivalency later on because you will not have meet annual reporting requirements.
- Public school students earning their high school diploma in New York State are required to complete 3 units of Math, 3 Units of Science, 1 unit of Foreign Language, and 3 ½ units of electives to graduate. These requirements do not apply to home schooled students but if your child is planning on post-secondary education, it is highly recommended that your child complete these additional units.
Warning regarding On-line High School Programs
Residents of New York State may not use a high school program of correspondence to meet requirements for secondary education (NYSED policy 41-1115). While some online schools claim national accreditation, a national high school jurisdiction or multi-state/national accreditation does not currently exist for high school. The Board of Regents does not approve correspondence study, including on-line, as equivalent to a high school diploma for New York State Residents. An on-line diploma is not valid for an individual who was a New York State resident at the time they receive(d) it. Please refer to the US Department of Education: Diploma Mills and Accreditation.
Home schooled youth become eligible to sit for the TASC™ exam after June 30th following their 16th birthday if their home school program was in compliance with regulatory requirements. Students who have passed certain NYS Regents exams may use them in place of corresponding TASC™ subtests. Please review the NYS TASC™ Testing Rules and visit tasctest.com for additional information. Upcoming testing dates at TST BOCES can be found on the TST BOCES High School Equivalency page.
24-Credit Hour Program & CollegeNow
In addition to offering supplemental college-credit courses, Tompkins Cortland Community College also offers the 24-Credit Hour Program. Students are able to earn a high school equivalency diploma based on the completion of a core set of college courses. For additional information, please visit the TC3 Homeschooled Student Information page.