School Board Policy 620 -
Credit for Learning

 

Adopted: may 26, 1998  REVISED: august 27, 2001 revised: january 10, 2011 
revised: june 10, 2017 
revised: december 14, 2020

I. Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to recognize student achievement that meets White Bear Lake Area School District required curriculum, standards, and graduation requirements. The experiences include, but are not limited to, student achievement in other schools, alternative learning sites, Postsecondary Enrollment Options, concurrent enrollment programs and 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 school district will develop and provide processes and procedures by which students may meet a curriculum credit requirement, whether the district offers the credit within its curriculum, or the student accomplishes the work in another learning environment. The school district will provide a process for approving the transfer of credits or curriculum standards completed in another Minnesota school district, for recognition of work completed in other schools and postsecondary institutions, and for recognition of previous learning, community and work experiences as demonstrated by the student through assessment. This is a process to allow students who, through other means, have mastered content and can move on to other areas of study.

III. Transfer of Content Standards 

A. The school district will transfer high school credits achieved in earlier grades or in other schools, in credit-based programs that meet district curriculum and graduation requirements, to the student’s record upon admission or completion of the experience.

B. When a student transfers into the school district from another Minnesota public school district, any credits completed in the sending school district, along with scores recorded by the sending district, shall be recorded as completed with a notation indicating the identity of the school district from which the records are transferred.

C. Students shall be advised of opportunities available to complete further requirements and electives.

D. The school district will determine a transferring student’s grade level placement, as well as the letter grade assigned for completed courses, and credits granted toward diploma requirements in accordance with district procedures.

IV. Recognition of Completed Work 

A. The school district will equate high school or postsecondary level credits completed by students in other schools into equivalent course credits.

B. The district may formally evaluate other learning experiences to declare that a transfer student meets or exceeds a specific academic standard requirement or course credit.

C. Students must receive prior approval from the district for any courses to be completed outside the district for credits towards graduation.

The district will determine the awarding of the course credit and the letter grade assigned to that credit. The district does not cover expenses of related courses identified in this section.

V. Credit by Assessment 

A. The school district will provide students in grades 9-12 with the opportunity to receive course credit by assessment provided such experiences meet current Minnesota academic standards.

B. The superintendent or designee shall establish a procedure by which student achievement and competence in content standards will be assessed.

VI. Postsecondary and Concurrent Enrollment Credit 

A.  A student who satisfactorily completes a postsecondary 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. 

B.  Secondary credits granted to a student through a postsecondary 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 postsecondary credits shall equal at least one full year of high school credit. Fewer postsecondary credits may be prorated. 

3.  When a determination is made that the content of the postsecondary 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 postsecondary 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 postsecondary credits taken by a student, the school district will record those credits on the student's transcript as credits earned at a postsecondary institution. 

VII.  CREDIT FROM ONLINE LEARNING COURSES

A.  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.

B.  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. 

C.  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. 

VIII.  ADVANCED ACADEMIC CREDIT

A.  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.  

B.  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. 

C.  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.

D.  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. 

E.  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.  

IX.  WEIGHTED GRADES

A.  The school district offers weighted grades for courses that are identified as more rigorous or academically challenging as follows:

1.  A grade awarded in an Advanced Place course will be multiplied by a factor of 1.25.

2.  A grade awarded in a College In the Schools course will be multiplied by a factor of 1.25.

3.  A grade awarded in a Project Lead the Way course will be multiplied by a factor of 1.25.

B.  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. 

X.  PROCESS FOR AWARDING CREDIT

A.  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. 

B.  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.  

C.  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 X.D. below.

D. If a student disputes the number of credits graded 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. 

E.  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 3501.0010-3501.0180 (Graduation Standards – Mathematics and Reading)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0200-3501.0290 (Graduation Standards – Written Composition)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0505-3501.0550 (Graduation Standards – Language Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Graduation Standards – Mathematics)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Graduation Standards – Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1000-3501.1190 (Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma)

Cross References: 
WBLASB Policy 601 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)
WBLASB Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)
WBLASB Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)
WBLASB Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plan, and LEP Students) WBLASB Policy 616 (School District System Accountability)
WBLASB Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)
WBLASB Policy 624 (Online Learning Options)