Locally Defined Diploma Seal
Guidelines for Schools and Districts
Under Ohio’s long-term graduation requirements, students must demonstrate readiness as a part of their pathway to earning a high school diploma. To demonstrate readiness, students must earn at least two seals, one of which must be a state-defined seal.
Locally Defined Diploma Seals
Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.6114(C)(8)-(10), ORC 3313.6114(D)
Districts and schools are required to adopt guidelines for at least one locally defined diploma seal. Districts and schools have discretion over the guidelines students must meet to earn the locally defined seals. This document outlines considerations and existing resources districts may use to inform the development of the locally defined diploma seals. The general requirements for the three locally defined diploma seals include:
Community Service Seal:
Students will meet the requirement of the Community Service Seal by completing a community service project that meets the guidelines set by the school district board of education or school governing authority.
Student Engagement Seal:
Students will meet the requirement of the Student Engagement Seal by participating in extracurricular activities such as (but not limited to) athletics, clubs or student government, to a meaningful extent, as determined by the guidelines set by the school district board of education or school governing authority.
Fine and Performing Arts Seal:
Students will meet the requirement of the Fine and Performing Arts Seal by demonstrating skill in the fine or performing arts according to an evaluation that is aligned with guidelines set by the school district board of education or school governing authority.
Districts and schools are encouraged to design diploma seals that foster and promote the vital professional, leadership, reasoning, and social and emotional skills that are necessary for success after high school.
High-quality locally defined diploma seals should:
- Empower students to make connections between learning and doing and apply academic and technical knowledge and skills to real-world experiences;
- Lead students to reflect on and address the needs of the communities, schools and organizations in which they live and work;
- Promote meaningful community connections and a clearer understanding of the organizations that support student and community needs;
- Accelerate the development of professional skills in students, such as teamwork, collaboration and discipline;
- Allow students to apply knowledge and skills in practical settings;
- Give students opportunities to gain new knowledge, skills and understanding that can support their future pursuits and successes;
- Connect students to the careers and professions that are aligned to their interests and post-high school goals and available in the public, nonprofit, arts and philanthropic sectors;
- Offer opportunities for students to show attributes such as foundational knowledge, social and emotional skills, and leadership and reasoning abilities that demonstrate their readiness to transition to an identified next step after high school; and
- Promote a better understanding of the importance and value of civic and social engagement, the fine and performing arts, individual or group contributions and volunteerism in a local community.
Ohio law does not establish minimum guidelines (for example, number of hours, semester hours or other criteria) for the locally defined diploma seals. Districts are encouraged to be thoughtful regarding the intent of the locally defined seals and build criteria that promotes connections to their schools, the broader community and the arts when developing the requirements for each seal.
Existing Resources for Implomentation
The following resources may be used to inform the development of the guidelines for the locally defined diploma seals.
In May 2019, the Department released guidance for districts and schools outlining the capstone guidelines required for students in the class of 2020 using additional graduation options. This type of capstone project could be an excellent option schools could consider as a required component necessary to earn each of the locally defined diploma seals. The area of focus for each capstone project could be on community service, student engagement and/or the fine and performing arts.
Work or Community Service Experiences:
In May 2019, the Department released guidance for districts and schools outlining the work or community service guidelines required for students in the class of 2020 who used the additional graduation options. The tools and resources developed and implemented for the class of 2020 may be helpful in the development of local guidelines for the Community Service Seal.
Arts Honors Diploma Guidelines:
High school students can gain state recognition for exceeding Ohio’s graduation requirements through an Arts Honors Diploma. Dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art are areas of study in which students can earn Arts Honors Diplomas. Districts and schools may wish to consider the criteria and resources available for the Arts Honors Diploma in the development of the criteria for the Fine and Performing Arts Seal.
Districts are required to create guidelines to give students transferring into their districts a proportional amount of credit for any progress made toward completing locally defined seals at the district or school from which the student transfers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there minimum state-defined criteria for the local diploma seals?
No. Districts have discretion in establishing the guidelines and criteria students must meet to earn local diploma seals to align to Ohio law.
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Are local school boards or school governing authorities required to adopt the criteria for the locally defined diploma seals?
Yes. Each district or school must develop guidelines for at least one of the local diploma seals. Ohio law requires the guidelines for each locally defined seal to be adopted by the district board of education or school governing authority.
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Are districts and schools required to submit their local guidelines to the Department for approval?
No. However, to help other districts and schools with the development of their guidelines, the Department is interested in highlighting and sharing innovative practices and local seal guidelines that promote and align to the characteristics of high-quality seals (listed above) and the key strategies and priorities in Each Child, Our Future. If you are interested in sharing your local seal guidelines, please forward the criteria to email@example.com.
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Last Modified: 9/9/2022 3:44:46 PM