Policy 620 - Credit for Learning

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to recognize student achievement which occurs in Post- Secondary Enrollment Options and other advanced enrichment programs. The purpose of this policy also is to recognize student achievement which occurs in other schools, in alternative learning sites, and in out-of-school experiences such as community organizations, work-based learning, and other educational activities and opportunities.

The purpose of this policy also is to address the transfer of student credit from out-of- state, private, or home schools and online learning programs and to address how the school district will recognize student achievement obtained outside of the school district.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The policy of the school district is to provide a process for awarding students credit toward graduation requirements for credits and grades students complete in other schools, post-secondary or higher education institutions, other learning environments, and online courses and programs.

III. DEFINITIONS

  1. “Accredited school” means a school that is accredited by an accrediting agency, recognized according to Minn. Stat. § 123B.445 or recognized by the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
  2. “Blended learning” is a form of digital learning that occurs when a student learns part time in a supervised physical setting and part time through digital delivery of instruction, or a student learns in a supervised physical setting where technology is used as a primary method to deliver instruction.
  3. “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of MDE.
  4. “Digital learning” is learning facilitated by technology that offers students an element of control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning and includes blended and online learning.
  5. “Eligible institution” means a Minnesota public post-secondary institution, a private, nonprofit two-year trade and technical school granting associate degrees, an opportunities industrialization center accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, or a private, residential, two-year or four- year, liberal arts, degree-granting college or university located in Minnesota.
  6. “Nonpublic school” is a private school or home school in which a child is provided instruction in compliance with the Minnesota compulsory attendance laws.
  7. “Online learning” is a form of digital learning delivered by an approved online learning provider.
  8. “Online learning provider” is a school district, an intermediate school district, an organization of two or more school districts operating under a joint powers agreement, or a charter school located in Minnesota that provides online learning to students and is approved by MDE to provide online learning courses.
  9. “Princeton Online Academy” or “POA” is the name of the online program provided through ISD477.
  10. “Weighted grade” is a letter or numerical grade that is assigned a numerical advantage when calculating the grade point average.
  11. “College in the Schools” or “CIS” is a course for high school students, taken at the high school but run by the providing post-secondary institution that allows students to earn college credit while at the high school. These courses are considered “Concurrent Enrollment” courses.
  12. “Advanced Placement” or “AP” is a course created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students.
IV. TRANSFER OF CREDIT FROM OTHER SCHOOLS
  1. Transfer of Academic Requirements from Other Minnesota Public Secondary Schools
    1. The school district will accept and transfer secondary credits and grades awarded to a student from another Minnesota public secondary school upon presentation of a certified transcript from the transferring public secondary school evidencing the course taken and the grade and credit awarded.
  2. Transfer of Academic Requirements from Other Schools
    1. The school district will accept secondary credits and grades awarded to a student for courses successfully completed at a public school outside of Minnesota or an accredited nonpublic school upon presentation of a certified transcript from the transferring public school in another state or nonpublic school evidencing the course taken and the grade and credit awarded.
      1. When a determination is made that the content of the course aligns directly with school district graduation requirements, the student will be awarded commensurate credits and grades.
      2. In the event the content of a course taken at an accredited nonpublic school or public school in another state does not fully align with the content of the school district’s high school graduation requirements but is comparable to elective credits offered by the school district for graduation, the student may be provided elective credit applied toward graduation requirements.
      3. If no comparable course is offered by the school district for which high school graduation credit would be provided, elective credit will be provided to the student..
    2. Students transferring from a non-accredited, nonpublic school shall receive credit from the school district upon presentation of a transcript or other documentation evidencing the course taken and grade and credit awarded.
      1. Students will be required to provide copies of course descriptions, syllabi, or work samples for determination of appropriate credit. In addition, students also may be asked to provide interviews/conferences with the student and/or student’s parent and/or former administrator or teacher; review of a record of the student’s entire curriculum at the nonpublic school; and review of the student’s complete record of academic achievement.
      2. Where the school district determines that a course completed by a student at a non-accredited, nonpublic school is commensurate with school district graduation requirements, credit shall be awarded, but the grade shall be “P” (pass).
      3. In the event the content of a course taken at an non-accredited, nonpublic school does not fully align with the content of the school district’s high school graduation requirements but is comparable to elective credits offered by the school district for graduation, the student may be provided elective credit applied toward graduation requirements.
      4. If no comparable course is offered by the school district for which local high school graduation credit would be provided, no credit will be provided to the student.
      5. Credit and grades earned from a non-accredited nonpublic school shall not be used to compute honor roll and/or class rank.
V. POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT CREDIT
  1. A student who satisfactorily completes a post-secondary enrollment options course or program under Minn. Stat. § 124D.09 that has been approved as meeting the necessary requirements is not required to complete other requirements of the Minnesota Academic Standards content standards corresponding to that specific rigorous course of study.
  2. Secondary credits granted to a student through a post-secondary enrollment options course or program that meets or exceeds a graduation standard or requirement shall be counted toward the graduation and credit requirements of a student completing the Minnesota Academic Standards.
    1. Course credit will be considered by the school district only upon presentation of a certified transcript from an eligible institution evidencing the course taken and the grade and credit awarded.
    2. Seven quarter or four semester post-secondary credits shall equal at least one full year of high school credit. Fewer post-secondary credits may be prorated.
    3. When a determination is made that the content of the post-secondary course aligns directly with a required course for high school graduation, the commensurate credit and grade will be recorded on the student’s transcript as a course credit applied toward graduation requirements.
    4. In the event the content of the post-secondary course does not fully align with the content of a high school course required for graduation but is comparable to elective credits offered by the school district for graduation, the school district may provide elective credit and the grade will be recorded on the student’s transcript as an elective course credit applied toward graduation requirements.
    5. If no comparable course is offered by the school district for which high school graduation credit would be provided, the school district will notify the Commissioner, who shall determine the number of credits that shall be granted to a student.
    6. When secondary credit is granted for post-secondary credits taken by a student, the school district will record those credits on the student’s transcript as credits earned at a post-secondary institution.
  3. A list of the courses or programs meeting the necessary requirements may be obtained from the school district.

VI. CREDIT FROM ONLINE LEARNING COURSES

  1. Secondary credits granted to a student through an online learning course or program that meets or exceeds a graduation standard or requirement shall be counted toward the graduation and credit requirements of a student completing the Minnesota Academic Standards.
  2. Course credit will be considered only upon official documentation from the online learning provider evidencing the course taken and the grade and credit awarded to the student.
  3. When a student provides documentation from an online learning provider, the course credit and course grade shall be recorded and counted toward graduation credit requirements for all courses or programs that meet or exceed the school district’s graduation requirements in the same manner as credits are awarded for students transferring from another Minnesota public school as set forth in Section IV.A. above.
VII. ADVANCED ACADEMIC CREDIT
  1. The school district will grant academic credit to a student attending an accelerated or advanced academic course offered by a higher education institution or a nonprofit public agency, other than the school district.
  2. Course credit will be considered only upon official documentation from the higher education institution or nonprofit public agency that the student successfully completed the course attended and passed an examination approved by the school district.
  3. When a determination is made that the content of the advanced academic course aligns directly with a required course for high school graduation, the commensurate credit and grade will be recorded on the student’s transcript as a course credit applied toward graduation requirements.
  4. In the event the content of the advanced academic course does not fully align with the content of a high school course required for graduation but is comparable to elective credits offered by the school district for graduation, the school district may provide elective credit and the grade will be recorded on the student’s transcript as an elective course credit applied toward graduation requirements.
  5. If no comparable course is offered by the school district for which high school graduation credit would be provided, the school district will notify the Commissioner and request a determination of the number of credits that shall be granted to a student.
VIII. WEIGHTED GRADES

Grade Point Average (GPA) is based on a 4.0 scale. Points awarded for regular courses are as follows: ‘A’ (4 points); ‘B’ (3 points); ‘C’ (2 points); ‘D’ (1 point); ‘F’ (0 points). Points awarded for weighted courses are as follows: ‘A’ (5 points); ‘B’ (4 points); ‘C’ (3 points); ‘D’ (1 point); ‘F’ (0 points).

  1. The school district offers weighted grades for courses provided that are identified as more rigorous or academically challenging and are limited to the following:
    1. All Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered by the school district.
    2. All College in the Schools (CIS) courses offered by the school district.
    3. The school district will update its website prior to the beginning of each school year with a listing of the courses for which a student may earn a weighted grade.
IX. PROCESS FOR AWARDING CREDIT
  1. The building principal will be responsible for carrying out the process to award credits and grades pursuant to this policy. The building principal will notify students in writing of the decision as to how credits and grades will be awarded.
  2. A student or the student’s parent or guardian may seek reconsideration of the decision by the building principal as to credits and/or grades awarded upon request of a student or the student’s parent or guardian if the request is made in writing to the superintendent within five school days of the date of the building principal’s decision. The request should set forth the credit and/or grade requested and the reason(s) why credit(s)/grade(s) should be provided as requested. Any pertinent documentation in support of the request should be submitted.
  3. The decision of the superintendent as to the award of credits or grades shall be a final decision by the school district and shall not be appealable by the student or student’s parent or guardian except as set forth in Section IX.D. below.
  4. If a student disputes the number of credits granted by the school district for a particular post-secondary enrollment course, online learning course, or advanced academic credit course, the student may appeal the school district’s decision to the Commissioner. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.
  5. At any time during the process, the building principal or superintendent may ask for course descriptions, syllabi, or work samples from a course where content of the course is in question for purposes of determining alignment with graduation requirements or the number of credits to be granted. Students will not be provided credit until requested documentation is available for review, if requested.

Legal References:
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota’s Students)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.021 (Required Academic Standards)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.14 (Advanced Academic Credit)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.02 (General Powers of Independent School Districts)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.445 (Nonpublic Education Council)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.03, Subd. 9 (Enrollment Options Program)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.09 (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.095 (Online Learning Option)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0640-3501.0655 (Academic Standards for Language Arts)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Academic Standards for Mathematics)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Academic Standards for the Arts)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0955 (Academic Standards in Science)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1000-3501.1190 (Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma) (repealed Minn. L. 2013, Ch. 116, Art. 2, § 22)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1200-3501.1210 (Academic Standards for English Language Development)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501.1345 (Academic Standards for Social Studies)

Cross References:

Adopted: April 16, 2019