Academic Transcripts

I will write for you an academic transcript as a part of what Huskie’s Heroes offers. I will include any previous work you’ve done, either in school or as a homeschooler, as well as standardized test scores. The more interesting portion of the academic transcript will be narrative, which will cover your accomplishments while part of this program. There are no grades except for the grades already given in school, or on standardized tests (Huskie’s Heroes believes that learning can be observed, but never quantified). These transcripts may be used if you choose to apply to college.

On a more personal note, I’m in my mid thirties, and in this time I’ve accumulated several sets of transcripts. I have no emotional connection to any of them. I barely remember the classes listed, or why I received the grades I did. I’m totally indifferent to my transcripts, which record (in total) about 14 years of middle school, High School, and college. An annotated diary of a decade and a half of my life, and I don’t care one stitch about it. I think this experience is unfortunately common.

Our learning is linked to our emotion. Simply put, if we don’t care, we don’t learn. Ten or twenty years from now, I don’t expect you to remember every detail of every experience listed on the transcript I write for you, but it is my hope that when you dust off an old copy, you look back with fondness at all of the things you did, people you met, and service you gave, and there is never a doubt in your mind that this was time well spent.

New York has a pretty specific idea of what it means to be “educated”, so we’ll have to use their regulations to guide our graduation requirements. This is what will appear on the transcript that I write for you – everything is prorated, depending on when you begin and how much school you’ve already had:

Graduation from Huskie’s Heroes

  • Volunteer hours
    • Certain internships could count towards volunteer hours
    • These experiences could count towards “units” of study.
    • Our program requires a minimum of 500 hours of community service (in total, across multiple trimesters) prior to graduation (as noted above, this may be prorated).
  • Projects
    • Our program requires a minimum of one major project per trimester prior to graduation.
    • There is no minimum/maximum to minor projects.
    • Projects could count towards “units” of study.
  • Rhetoric
    • Each trimester, students are to choose the most significant project they worked on and write a 650 to 2,000 word reflection.
    • Each trimester, students must also write a 650 to 2,000 word essay detailing some aspect of their volunteer work, and how they have grown from the experience as a person.
    • The culminating experience of each trimester will include either a recorded interview, and/or a presentation to a panel of experts, based on one of those essays.
  • Documenting Units for the Transcript:
    • for every “unit[1]” of study a student completes, either through their community work or projects, students must notify the director in writing of a) how many units were completed and in which discipline, and b) justify in however many words it takes why the experience or the work justifies the granting of a unit. Note that in order to graduate, NY State requires a minimum[2] of:
      • English, 4 units
      • Social Studies, including 1 unit of American History, 4 units
      • Math, 2 units
      • Science, 2 units
      • Health, ½ a unit
      • Physical education
      • Art or music, 1 unit
    • Students must write a 1500-2000 word “exit” essay as a graduation requirement, arguing why they have earned the equivalent of a High School diploma, what their strengths are, how they are ready despite not having the typical High School experience, and what their next steps will be.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required for graduation; only 1 may be from an immediate relative.

[1] According to part 100, “Students receive at least 180 minutes of instruction per week throughout the school year (i.e., 108 hours of instruction for a full year course), or the equivalent” in order to earn one unit. I would argue that doing an authentic self-selected activity is far more effective than “receiving instruction” on something the student didn’t ask for, and so fewer hours would be required to meet the equivalent instruction standard.

[2] There is no “maximum.” Units that may have been earned in previous public/private schools will count and be included on the transcript.

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