Golden Valley Charter School

Understanding Credits/Assigning Credits

Understanding Credits/Assigning Credits

In general, students are awarded 5 credits per semester for a high school level course. For example, if a student uses an Algebra 1 textbook, upon completion of the text and demonstrated mastery of the Common Core State Standards for Algebra 1, the student will earn 10 credits of Algebra 1 (5 credits for Algebra 1A and 5 credits for Algebra 1B).  Since GVCS is performance-based, the time required to complete this text is not taken into consideration. If the text is completed in one semester, the student earns the full 10 credits. On the other hand, if the student works an entire year and completes half of the book, the student will earn 5 credits total for the year.


Credits for high school course work may be derived from one of five sources:

  1. Courses chosen out of the GVCS High School Course Catalog

These courses are “pre-approved” and include specified text options and assignments.

  1. Online courses approved by the UC system to meet a-g requirements. Some are included in the GVCS course catalog, but there are many others that are available to our students that are not included in the catalog. Parents, students, and EFs can check UC’s Course List Search website for approved online courses from approved online publishers.
  2. A student-, parent- and EF-developed elective course (a created course)

Created courses are acceptable for elective course titles. The expectations for any course are always laid out at the beginning of the course, as explained in the High School Course Selection and Approval Policy.   

  1. Regional Occupational Program (ROP) courses – These are the option for Career Technical Education (CTE) courses.
  2. Community College courses – College courses are completed independent of the high school program, above and beyond the 25-credit minimum. At the conclusion of the college course, the student may submit a transcript to the GVCS office and the college units will be converted to high school credits and recorded on the GVCS transcript. In this way, a college course may be used to fulfill a graduation and/or course enrollment requirement. Please refer to GVCS’s Community College Concurrent Enrollment Policy for more details.


The Class Completion Check-Off Sheet is available for your use if the student wishes to earn credits based on completion of hours. This is most commonly used for PE or other courses where there are not specific content standards required for mastery. GVCS typically assigns 5 credits per semester of work and 10 credits for a full year’s work; approximately 15 hours of work equals one credit. The sheet has 150 spaces representing a full year’s work, 150 hours or 10 credits. GVCS does not require that 150 hours must be completed in order for a student to earn 10 credits. However, a range of 120 to 150 hours for 10 credits should be a guide, when the body of work is difficult to measure. The check-off sheet is kept with the student or parent. Each block represents one clock hour of work. As the student completes an hour of work, a block is checked off. For accuracy, the date of the work is included in the block. Comments from the student or parent and a short description of the work is included, as well as a parent signature.


It is important the EF keep complete documentation for high school students earning credits. Complete learning plans and follow-up notes provide documentation and verification of awarded credits. Include on every learning plan enough information to ensure the student will complete all key assignments on schedule. All required assignments and activities to be completed by the student must be included in a high school learning plan, including but not limited to, graded chapter reviews and tests, research papers, and projects. In addition, the EF must collect graded samples of coursework at each learning plan meeting, including graded assessments, papers/essays/reports, and/or corrected exercises.