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    #245605 - 05/29/19 02:35 PM Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend...
    Pemberley Offline

    Registered: 08/07/11
    Posts: 734
    Asking for a friend:

    A RL friend and I met when our kids were babies. By first grade it was apparent that both our kids were 2E but in very different ways. Over the years we have shared resources and have piggybacked on each other's research and success within our school district. It has been amazing how often we have been told that no other child like ours exists or have been given totally opposite information from the district. We have been fortunate to have each other and the information the other receives often fills holes, lets us know to ask questions or seek information and prevents us from falling down a rabbit hole.

    Last year at our IEP meeting I asked about having some of my DD's high school courses count for credit so that she would be able to take a lower courseload moving through high school. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was impossible for her to be given high school credit until she was a 9th grader. She would have to be grade accelerated in order to start collecting credits early. They actually used my friend's son as an example without giving his name or any specifics. (Apparently they have never figured out that we know each other...) "We have a middle school student who has taken courses at the high school for years but he does not receive high school credit for it. The AP math courses are just his seventh grade math."

    Fast forward to this year and my daughter has completed her grade acceleration in order to collect high school credits. My friend's son spent the year taking math courses at the local university because by the end of seventh grade he had gone through all of the math courses available to him at the district's high school. Remember I was told last year at my IEP meeting that there is no mechanism for him to receive high school credit for any of his courses at the high school, AP courses or courses taken at the local university. They were just considered his 5th, 6th and 7th grade math classes. He might receive college credit for some of the courses but he could not receive HS credit for them.

    This morning my friend met with the guidance counselor at the high school because her son is going to be part of an inaugural group in a new dual enrollment program with the local community college. Freshman and sophomore years at the high school, junior and senior years classes will be at the community college. When awarded his high school diploma he will also receive an associates degree. Sounds great – and right up his alley.

    HOWEVER the guidance counselor also told my friend that since her son has an IEP he CAN receive high school credit for the math classes he's already taken if the IEP team believes it is appropriate. In other words the EXACT opposite of what I was told and what my daughter has had to do.

    So my friend was looking through a "devils advocate" perspective trying to find a loophole. We came up with a questIon and are wondering if anyone here with a young kid who has taken early college classes may be able to help. If she pushes for the HS credits to be applied does she lose any further college level math classes at the school district's expense? If she doesn't pursue the HS credits is the school district obligated to provide 3 more years of math at the college level to meet his 3 year math requirement? If he pursues the credits can he take math at the university as electives or is there a loophole that would allow them to say only courses offered in district are available? (He has already gone beyond what the community college offers so continuing in math means courses at the university...) This dual enrollment program sounds pretty intense so I don't see him carrying a full coarse load at high school and still taking math classes at the university. This kid is all about math - I can't seem him keeping his sanity if he gets no math for the next 4 years...

    I have suggested that she consider early graduation so he can start at the university early but this dual enrollment program makes that less appealing. Along with being PG in math he is on the spectrum (high functioning) and has ADHD. His social skills are a weakness so my friend has pushed to keep him mainstreamed in order to keep him with NT peers.

    Have any of you faced a similar situation? I realize it's possible that this guidance counselor got it wrong and my DD's team was correct and the credits can't actually be awarded. My friend has her triennial next week and is looking for all possible perspectives to know how to address this so she doesn't inadvertently face an unintended consequence.


    #245606 - 05/29/19 03:49 PM Re: Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend... [Re: Pemberley]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3664
    I believe this (below) is the relevant section of the statute. The key is that the student must be enrolled in grade 8, but after that, as long as the credits are recognized by the high school, anything goes. You may also wish to look up credit by examination, using the highest stakes examinations used by your state. It does not appear that the statute allows for converting high school level coursework taken prior to grade 8 to high school credit otherwise. The IEP does allow for alternate graduation and credit acquisition pathways, but the regulations on this appear to refer consistently to students who complete courses without meeting end-of-course examination requirements.

    Your friend might want to inquire as to how they plan to count the DE credits. Typically, a semester credit of college translates to a whole-year unit of high school credit, so a full-on DE program such as the one proposed by her school would result in students accumulating many excess HS credits beyond those necessary for graduation. As it happens, my place of employment is also piloting a DE cohort-based program with a local CC that results in AA degrees along with HS diplomas. It's still a bit raw, but definitely has potential. She may wish to ask how much flexibility there is for him to take courses that differ from the cohort. In our building, faculty from the CC come to our campus to teach face-to-face classes, which is fine for most of the cohort, but limits the offerings for outliers like your friend's child.

    Our state just generally allows DE credit in HS with permission of the HS administrators, although it conventionally (outside of cohorts like the one we've started) applies only to 11/12 graders.

    "Grade 8 acceleration for diploma credit.
    Public school students in grade 8 shall have the opportunity to take high school courses in mathematics and in at least one of the following areas...
    Credit may be awarded for an accelerated course only when at least one of the following conditions has been met:
    accelerated students attend classes in a high school with high school students and pass the course on the same basis as the high school students. Credit is awarded by the high school; or
    the student passes the course and the associated State proficiency examination or -- examination, when available. The credit must be accepted as a transfer credit by all registered -- high schools; or
    in cases where no appropriate State assessment is available, the student passes a course in the middle, junior high or intermediate school that has been approved for high school credit by the public school district superintendent(s), or his or her designee(s), or the district(s) where the middle, junior high or intermediate school and the high school are located.
    Such opportunity shall be provided subject to the following conditions:
    The superintendent, or his or her designee, shall determine whether a student has demonstrated readiness in each subject in which he or she asks to begin high school courses in the eighth grade leading to a diploma.
    A student shall be awarded high school credit for such courses only if such student passes a -- examination, a second language proficiency examination when available, or a career and technical education proficiency examination, or, if no such examinations are available, a locally developed examination that establishes student performance at a high school level as determined by the principal.
    Courses taken pursuant to this subdivision may be substituted for the appropriate requirements set forth in subdivision (c) of this section."

    EDIT: it occurs to me that one loophole would be to grade-advance a student to eighth grade, and then retain them in that grade until they were felt to be holistically ready to move into a nominal high school placement. Retention is usually a building-based decision made collaboratively with the parent, with few hard-and-fast rules, but many (sub)urban legends (although Light's Retention Scale has been around for generations as a "discussion tool", and likely inspired the IAS, for the other direction). My mother actually did something similar with one of my siblings, in a lower grade, mainly because she found a sympathetic teacher, who was willing to fully individualize, while enabling social participation in the classroom environment.

    Edited by aeh (05/29/19 06:22 PM)
    Edit Reason: typos & an additional thought
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #245607 - 05/30/19 01:20 PM Re: Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend... [Re: Pemberley]
    ChrystieATL Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/27/18
    Posts: 18
    You may want to reach out to the district level administration and your principal. Counselors in the schools have limited power to move outside the box and are often wrong. I personally have gotten approval from the gifted coordinator in our county for public school related course acceleration and gone through principals. It was not without a fight most of the time but I didn't stop until I got a yes and sometimes that meant going direct to the district heads or state level. I have been willing and have walked from schools to get what I need for my kids. I even pulled one out as a Homeschool student for one year to get what I needed done. I have been successful getting this done at a private school here in Georgia as well. Most people are surprised at the inroads I have gotten because you will be told 10 different reasons it can't be done before you will get to yes. Someone exists in the system to help you and if not find a different school. If you believe it and want it for your kids you need to pursue your plan at all costs.

    My youngest (rising 3rd grader) is taking a 4th grade math for credit through an online accredited school (Laurel Springs Academy) and his private school will allow him to enter for 5th grade math next year. His test scores supported this and we/he was willing to do summer school for the acceleration. This is his first year of online summer school. However, his private school starts 18 month math in 1st grade so the kids are already accelerating quite rapidly allowing them to be at PreCalc or Calc as a freshman in HS.

    My daughter through her public gifted charter school was granted by her principal and the gifted coordinator at the district to take 5th science this summer and enter next year in 6th science as a rising 5th grader. She is already a year ahead in math so will split the day between 5th and 6th grade. We are responsible for transportation the following year when she is splitting 6th grade and 7th grade classes between 2 campuses. Logistics are tough so you have to be willing to manage that.

    My 7th grader was just grade skipped to 9th for next year. He has been taking summer school for acceleration and high school credit for the last couple of years. He also took 2 classes at the high school this year for HS credit as a 7th grader. It was approved by the principal of his middle school and the gifted coordinator at the district. Even with the grade skip he will enter HS next year with 4 HS classes completed. There were no limitations on subject level acceleration. His test scores and grades supported our requests for summer acceleration and once accelerated they don't limit them from the next sequential course (and credit) regardless of what grade they are in. Another words he has been getting HS credit for classes since the summer before 7th grade and nobody has raised any issues regarding that.

    My oldest son (14) only attended the HS for one year and did one year of full time dual enrollment at the college. He will enter next month at Georgia Tech as a Junior for BME major. Most college courses he has taken for HS credit and college credit were paid for by the state under the GA dual enrollment program. He started HS classes in 6th grade for credit.

    In GA they don't allow you to take AP courses for AP credit until 9th grade. We hand selected courses strategically so we could pull through the HS courses into middle school that were required but not AP. Freshman year then there are plenty of open spots for AP classes.

    I did pay for summer school classes for credit through a range of online for credit institutions - Laurel Springs Academy, Georgia Virtual School, etc. Johns Hopkins, Stanford Online, Davidson Online are other choices. Not one of the schools my kids attended were willing to pay for summer programs for credit because it was at our choice and not required. About $500-1000 per class but it was worth it so they had something small to do over the summer and allow them to get further ahead. Classes generally require 1-2 hours a day of online work and don't interfere with vacation, camps or whatever else is going on because they can be done from anywhere at any time of day.

    BTW: Getting to dual enrollment in HS provides a lot of benefits even if you decide to keep them in HS till they are 17. Potential to have 2 years of college done and paid for, opportunity to try many courses in HS that help your child decide their career path, an advantage in the college admissions process to show higher rigor and proof your child can perform already, etc.

    I don't fully understand your circumstances or that of your friend but believe me there is a way to make this work the way you want it to. But you may have to change schools, homeschool, transport to other campuses during the day, fight with every person in the district or state, strategically lay out the course schedule, etc. until you get what you want. Just don't take No for an answer.

    #245616 - 06/02/19 05:33 AM Re: Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend... [Re: Pemberley]
    Cookie Offline

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    It really is dependent on state. FL you can earn high school credits before 8th grade but AP just counts as honors until 9th grade although you can take the test and get college credit. Which is totally stupid in my opinion....get a 5 and only get honors credit because you are an 8th grader and the kid sitting next to you is a tenth grader and gets AP credit on transcript but gets a 2 and no college credit. From what I understand although I could be wrong, college board set this rule.

    #245921 - 08/19/19 11:04 AM Re: Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend... [Re: Pemberley]
    Old Dad Offline

    Registered: 07/30/12
    Posts: 423
    (Quote OP) "I was told in no uncertain terms that it was impossible for her to be given high school credit until she was a 9th grader. She would have to be grade accelerated in order to start collecting credits early. They actually used my friend's son as an example without giving his name or any specifics.
    (End quote)

    This of course begs a simple question, "Why?" What is the school or district afraid might happen? Why is the grade one is in the determining factor over achievement? Until these questions are answered, you may never actually be able to get to where you want to go with this issue.

    Edited by Old Dad (08/21/19 06:10 AM)

    #245938 - 08/26/19 05:51 PM Re: Pursue HS credit or not? Asking for a friend... [Re: Pemberley]
    syoblrig Offline

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 328
    This must be different by state. Two of my kids attended a 6-12 school and when they took HS classes in grades 6-8, the school policy was that if they received an A, it would count in their HS transcript. As a result both of my kids entered/will enter HS with a 4.0 GPA with several classes on their transcript.

    As for the college/dual enrollment question, I'm not sure I understand your question. In the inaugural dual enrollment program are they requiring him to take math classes he has already taken? I might be misunderstanding, but I don't think it matters what classes he took in MS if he is taking progressively more challenging math classes as part of the dual enrollment program. Does the dual enrollment class end by the time he's a junior? If so, he would still need to take the next level of math, and in our district, the school would pay for it. I can't imagine how your school district would not, but it's worth raising the question. My son took concurrent enrollment math classes and he did run out of classes at the community college. He could have moved to the campus of our state school, but he couldn't drive, so that wasn't an option. So instead, he self-studied with another friend and the help of the head of the math department.

    Another thing to keep in mind for a mathematically talented student is that community colleges generally don't have the very best math departments and he won't necessarily want to start where he left off at community college when he starts his college career.


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