Durham charter school Kestrel Heights reported that 160 of 399 students who received diplomas in the past eight years did not meet state graduation requirements.
The report, based on the school’s internal investigation, was sent to the state charter school office last week. An earlier school review over a shorter time frame found 53 graduates lacking proper credits. The new report came at the state’s request.
The Charter School Advisory Committee is scheduled to consider the report at a meeting this week. The State Board of Education has already forwarded the case to the local prosecutor for a possible criminal investigation.
The missing courses ranged from English and math to history and physical education.
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The problems occurred during the tenures of two principals and a guidance counselor, the school said in a news release. None are still employed at the school.
The lack of proper credits resulted from mistakes, not malice, willfulness or intent, the statement said. The school said it has implemented a stronger verification process so students don’t graduate without taking required courses.
Kestrel Heights first reported the diploma problems as the state considered a 10-year renewal of its charter. That decision is on hold. The school’s statement said the school deserved the renewal because of its students academic achievements and standardized test scores.