|A clarification of terms... so we're talking about the same things.|
|There are several different ways to incorporate other schools into your exempt school. So to make sure we're talking about the same thing, we thought it might be good to clarify the terms.|
All schools, whether public, private, denominational, or parochial must be accredited or approved by the state in order to operate in Nebraska. Currently, the only exception to this is the provision for exempt schools as defined in Section 79-1601 R.R.S. Exempt schools include any and all schools in Nebraska that elect not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements. The word "homeschool" does not appear in the statute; therefore, homeschools are seen as small private, denominational, or parochial schools that have elected exemption as allowed by law. Even though this distinction does exist, you will find most people in Nebraska use the terms exempt school and homeschool synonymously.
The term “dual (part-time) enrollment” mentioned in NDE Rule 13 is referring to part-time enrollment in a state accredited or approved school for K-12. Section 79-2, 136 R.R.S., is the statute that addresses part-time enrollment. Part-time enrollment could occur at a local (brick and mortar) school or in a distant education program. It could be for the purposes of regular classes, activities, or dual-enrollment (dual credit) courses.
Dual credit is when a single course provides both high school and college credit. [Credits for high school and college transcripts are calculated differently. HSLDA offers tips on how to calculate high school credits.]
Dual-Enrollment in Nebraska (for dual credit)
A “dual-enrollment course means a course taught to students for credit at both a high school and a postsecondary educational institution;" Section 79-1201.01 R.R.S. is the statute that addresses dual-enrollment. In Nebraska, dual-enrollment courses are offered in select locations and are governed by collaborative relationships between the postsecondary educational institution and the accredited or approved schools (or entities). To participate, exempt school students would need to enroll part-time in the accredited or approved school that offers the desired dual-enrollment course.
Concurrent Enrollment in Nebraska (can provide dual credit for exempt school students)
Concurrent enrollment is when a student is enrolled in high school and in college at the same time. Concurrent enrollment allows a student to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school. Unlike dual-enrollment, concurrent enrollment does not earn high school credit for students of accredited or approved schools. However, exempt school students can be given dual credit for concurrent enrollment courses if the parents choose to list the college courses on the exempt school high school transcript. [Credits for high school and college transcripts are calculated differently. HSLDA offers tips on how to calculate high school credits.]
The requirements for concurrent enrollment are defined by the postsecondary educational institution. Exempt school students can directly access concurrent enrollment programs without going through an accredited or approved school, but will need to meet the program’s requirements to enroll. If a concurrent enrollment program requires teacher or school counselor approval, then we recommend you obtain the “approval” from your Parent Representative. Additionally, if an institution does not have a concurrent enrollment program, parents are encouraged to check directly with the postsecondary educational institution of interest as some may be willing to permit enrollment of exempt school students even if they don’t have an established program for students of accredited or approved schools. Parents may also consider concurrent enrollment for their child with institutions outside of Nebraska through online programs.
Distant Education in Nebraska (eLearning)
“Distant education course means a course with at least one student in any of grades kindergarten through twelve who is in a different location than the teacher and taught by a teacher employed by an educational entity utilizing either two-way interactive video or the Internet without two-way interactive video. Distance education course includes a dual-enrollment course with at least one student who is in a different location than the teacher and taught by a teacher employed by an educational entity utilizing either two-way interactive video or the Internet without two-way interactive video;” Section 79-1201.01 R.R.S. is the statute that addresses distant education.
Distant education courses offered by Nebraska schools are subject to state accreditation or approval requirements and would require exempt school students to enroll in the program to use the services. Additional education/technology standards or district specific requirements may or may not be attached to use of such programs.