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NARS North Atlantic Regional Schools High School Handbook Review by Tina Rice

25 Adams Avenue
Lewiston, Maine 04240

NARS High School Handbook is a high school diploma program. NARS is not a satellite, umbrella, or correspondence school. NARS is a credentializing school that awards accredited high school credits and diplomas.

The High School Handbook (HSH) is an instruction manual for submitting work for accreditation to NARS. According to the handbook, a student who gets a NARS diploma has a fully accredited diploma from the National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance and The State of Maine Department of Education.

HSH is used by parents to document their children's high school work so that they can pay North Atlantic Regional Schools to accredit their students high school work and be awarded a high school diploma from an accredited school.

Some of the benefits of an accredited school are a diploma from a state-authorized private school, a quicker way to earn high school credits based on knowledge, and easier entrance into many state colleges and universities. Two drawbacks are the cost (you pay for courses that you teach and you buy material for) and the paperwork.

You use the HSH as a guidebook to planning and working on a high school diploma with NARS. It is applicable for any student or adult who does not have a high school diploma and is working towards one. I would suggest its use from 7th grade and up. The NARS program will work with any type of homeschooling, you just need to be able to document your work. I think that an unschooler would have a difficult time using the NARS program.

I was concerned that a diploma from a Maine high school would forfeit my state residency for college in state tuition, but according to their handbook, it will not. A NARS student is a distance student who uses their own curriculum to earn high school credits. NARS requires 17 ½ credits for high school graduation. Maine does not require an exit exam for high school graduation.

When I contacted NARS for more information, their website stated that during the busy months of June, July, and August, it can take a while for a response from them. It has been 4 weeks and I have not heard back from their customer service department. I certainly hope that paying families get better customer service than having to wait 4 weeks.

I am very intrigued by the HSH and NARS. The handbook is a wealth of information on what constitutes a high school course, how to get credit for what you already know (testing), and many other subjects. I have to admit that I would not have picked this up at a homeshcool convention, but after reading it I will recommend it to friends who want accreditation for their homeschooled high school students. The information on documentation and portfolio reviews is as good as I have seen in other high school handbooks available at home schooling conventions. To find the entire handbook on the web in pdf form, go to

-- Product Review by: Tina Rice, Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, November, 2005


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