Prior to the start of each semester the ES or teacher of record is required to develop course descriptions for all high school courses. Each course description must include the following information
The Course Description
The Content Guide
The Projects and Activities Guide
If the course is in the nature of an activity such as physical education, art, or music, units would be assigned based on hours of participation, 12-15 hours equaling 1 unit, but would not exceed 5 units per semester.
Units earned for A-G courses would be based on the student’s progress through the curriculum. See also the High School Units and Community College section of the ES/Teacher Handbook.
If it is a parent designed course, and does not follow the state standards, then the course description needs to be written as such. It is the ES/Teacher’s responsibility to be certain that the coursework is rigorous enough to award the units needed. If the course description is well written and followed successfully, then the units established at the outset should be awarded. If the ES/Teacher has any questions regarding the rigor of coursework, they need to speak to their advisor or the high school guidance counselor prior to the start of the course.
For example, if the course is English, the grading scale might be:
If the course is activity-based, the grading scale might be based on participation or goal-based achievements. For example:
Activity Based Courses - High School
When calculating high school units earned through activity based courses, there are two key factors that must be documented for the course to be considered instructional. First, the amount of participation in each activity and, second what were the learning gains? Students will need to keep a log, journal or activity sheet and will need to demonstrate what new learning occurred.
Example 1: In the first two weeks of PE the student walked a two mile distance in 35 minutes. The student keeps a log of the date and activity, including distance and time for each day of participation. In week three the student decides to either increase the distance or decrease the time by walking more quickly. Other examples of learning gains may include academic knowledge about walking. Topics may include the importance of proper attire, walking as a cardiovascular activity and why that is important, walking techniques, etc.
The parent, ES/Teacher and student will determine the grading scale. Activity units typically are based on 15 hours of activity with demonstrated learning gains or new learning to equal one unit. It is suggested that the student complete a reflective essay or some other project at the completion of each 15 hour time frame about what they learned during the activity. This project will be reviewed as part of the student work for the academic review (learning record) meeting.
For more about Course Descriptions and to see examples of English, Math and other core class descriptions click here