Beach High School’s pamphlet (or Web site) provides some general information about Beach High School and describes in detail how to earn a diploma. However, it is aimed at the majority of BHS students who are under 18. The opportunities a diploma opens up to “minors” are freedom from compulsory education, independent access to community colleges, and the right to work full time without restriction.
Since you’re beyond age 17, you have all these rights and freedoms simply by virtue of your age; you do not need a diploma to gain them. You may, however, want a diploma for your own personal reasons, or so that certain closed doors will open for you, or because it would allow you to write that you’re a high school graduate on your résumé and on application forms.
A diploma from Beach High School represents something completely different from a traditional diploma. For those under 18, it is essentially a statement that I believe in people who say that they are able to set goals and accomplish them, and that they can best reach these goals outside of high school. Young people who enroll at BHS typically skip two or more years of high school and go on to succeed in whatever endeavors they have chosen for themselves.
Since you’re older, you are already legally an adult, and your diploma will signify not that you are able to succeed in adult endeavors, but that you already have.
High school supposedly exists to prepare people for life beyond it. (I believe it actually serves other purposes, with negative consequences, but let’s stick with the ostensible purpose of high school.) Since you are functioning successfully as an adult, it would seem that, without worrying about identifying exactly what preparation you have had for adult life, it was what you needed; therefore you’ve had good preparation, thus you deserve a high school diploma.
Please read my pamphlet (or Web site) but allow for the fact that its primary audience is people under 18. I would like you to prepare a portfolio as described, but with more of an emphasis on experiences, acquired strengths and skills, and accomplishments. Education and training you’ve gotten, jobs you’ve held, travel, difficult or challenging experiences that have pushed you to grow, anything at all that has made you a stronger, wiser, more knowledgeable, and more accomplished member of our society can be included. Raising a child, working as a volunteer with AIDS patients, taking a trip to Argentina, acquiring skills as a maker of quilts, or spending a month in a monastery, to mention just a few examples, can be at least as important as academic accomplishments or work experience.
If you need a transcript showing grades, credits, and a grade point average, I’ll need to get from you, in addition to my basic requirements, a list of your accomplishments in the format described on the sheet titled “Information for Your Transcript from Beach High School,” which I’ll send to you upon request.