Welcome to the PHEA Website
Greetings! PHEA is a Third Option home school accountability group. Our mission is to help you to be in compliance with the State of South Carolina’s “Code of Law 59-65-47”
We are here to assist you in navigating the oft times harrowing experience of educating your children at home!
Please take some time to look over our site. On our Forms page you can find all the forms you need to register, re-register, and apply for a transcript or diploma.
We've expanded the Getting Started section to include more information to help you get started homeschooling quickly. We've reworked the High School section to provide more information on what courses your student needs to take and all the things your student will need to graduate. We've also included a handy option for you to submit your high schooler's grades by email.
In addition, we now email some of the opportunities in order to get the information to you in a timely fashion. We enter all the emails into this service (which we manage). If you find you do not want this email, simply use the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email.
The PHEA staff has been working hard to make our services as helpful to you as possible. If there is something you would like to see on the website please let us know.
Changes Affecting Home Schoolers
Recently, there were two major changes in areas that affect homeschoolers.
1. Grading Scale
The South Carolina State Department of Education (SC DOE) decided that the SC Uniform Grading Scale would change to a ten point scale beginning in the fall of 2016. This changed the grade range to: A=90–100, B=80–89, C=70–79 and so on. This has affected the GPAs of all high schoolers. The former GPA did not change but the new grades being added in will be weighted differently. Read more about this change in the SC DOE memo.
2. SAT Test
The College Board updated the SAT test. Because the change in the test was significant, the College Board recommended that each organization that sets policy should issue a statement about how they will allow test scores to be combined. The SC DOE issued a statement covering combining scores for the state scholarships. Essentially, students in the graduating class of 2017 may combine a score from the older test with a score from the newer test in order to achieve the test score requirement for the scholarships. Students in all other classes are required to use scores from the new test. This means if you have a student who will graduate in 2018 or later and they already have qualifying scores, these scores will not be admissible for the scholarship submission. The student must retake the test. Read more about this in the notification from the SC Commission on Higher Education.
3. Revised Documents
During this year, the SC DOE revised the document that goes with the Uniform Grading Scale. It includes the main document as well as a 40 page document on honors level classes. Both of these documents along with PHEA's recommendations are posted in the high school section on determining course levels. If you have a high schooler, please read the following documents:
4. State Scholarship Qualifications
Due to these changes, the Commission on Higher Education is reviewing the qualifications for the state scholarships. There is currently a bill in the education sub-committee which would change eligibility requirements. Here is a link to the bill. We will post updates when available.
PHEA requires standardized testing for students in high school. (We do not require testing for special needs students.) This applies to students in 9th –11th grade. Twelfth graders only need to take the testing if we have no previous test scores or you want your student to try to improve their scores. The parents may choose any of the national tests (eg: Stanford, Iowa, SAT, ACT) to meet this requirement. We no longer offer testing as BJU Press has opened a test center that provides more services at a lower cost than we are able to. We strongly recommend that your student take the PSAT in 9th or 10th grade. The 11th grade PSAT is the qualifier test for the National Merit Scholarship. We encourage you to have your student take the SAT or ACT in their junior and senior year. If the parent feels that the junior year SAT or ACT scores are adequate, they may waive testing during the senior year. We must have an SAT or ACT score from previous years in order to waive the senior year testing.
Please use PHEA's code (410293) when registering for the PSAT, SAT, ACT or for AP exams. This is the high school code—do not use the generic home school code they may give you. If your student qualifies for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the Commission on Higher Education requires us to send an official high school score report—not the student report the family receives. If you use our code, we automatically receive this score report. If you do not use the code and have to request a copy be sent to us, they will charge you a fee to do so.
Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Nominees
Twice during the year we have the privilege of nominating seniors who are at the top of their class for the state's Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. The December nomination is for any senior who meets the PFS requirements during their sophomore or junior year. They must be in the top 6% of their class and earn either an SAT score of 1200 or above (combined math and critical reading scores) or an ACT of 27. Alternately, if they earn a 1400 or above on the SAT or a 32 or above on the ACT they qualify regardless of their position in the class rank.
We had 12 students who qualified for the Palmetto Fellows this fall and four more have raised their test scores high enough to qualify in the spring. That is 15% of the senior class who have qualified—most of them (12 out of 16) by the higher score requirement!
If you have a senior who qualifies for the PFS, please contact us so we can arrange to get the application process going. We will need an official copy of the test scores (not the student report). If you did not use the PHEA code when your student signed up to take the test, make sure you contact the test provider (College Board or ACT) and ask them to send us an official score report. They will ask you for our CEEB code which is 410293.
Why It Matters
Every year we help current students with their transcripts. We also receive numerous requests through the year for copies of transcripts from students who graduated in years past—sometime ten years past! When we receive one of those requests, we hold our breath as we look in the files to see if the parents turned in final grades or a transcript for their student. Sometime they did, sometimes they didn't. We always breathe a sigh of relief when there is a transcript there that we can copy and send out to the student. For quite a few families, the parents do not see the need to turn in final grades or have a transcript as their student has no intention of going to college. While we understand that not every student will go on to college, we also know that for a number of those students, a few years in the working world gives them a desire to go to college and get a degree. When they come back to us to get a copy of the transcript, it is heartbreaking to have to tell them that we do not have what they need. Often the parents have not kept the records and there is no way to recreate what the student did for high school. We know filling out the Class Ranking Form is time consuming and may not seem to have any value. Please do it anyway—you spent so much time on their education; don't skip the last step. You will be helping them be prepared for any unexpected avenue in their life.
Use the form below to contact us. To send class ranking forms and transcript questions ONLY, please use this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org