June 6, 2007
Dear County and District Superintendents:
The purpose of this letter is to encourage all districts, schools and county offices of education to consistently grant and accept partial course credits in order to promote successful course completion for all students.
California Education Code Section 48645 requires each public school district and county office of education to accept for credit, full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed by a pupil while attending another public school, or non public, non-sectarian school or agency.
There are many reasons why students may have to transfer schools during the middle of a school term, including, but not limited to, general relocation, military dependents relocating with their families during reassignment, foster youth transferring due to a change in foster care placement, and moving with family for migratory work. In most cases, both the granting and accepting of credit appears to function as intended, resulting in efficient student progress and course completion when a student transfers between schools and districts.
At a recent Foster Youth Education Summit held in Sacramento and sponsored by Casey Family Programs, Child and Family Policy Institute of California and the California Foster Youth Education Task Force, there were anecdotal reports of inconsistent application of granting and accepting of partial course credits, especially for foster youth. This finding was subsequently shared with the Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care and members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care.
It is my sincere belief that these incidences of inconsistent granting and accepting of course credit are infrequent and unintended. It is in the best interest of school districts and the State of California for all students, including students in foster care, to receive consistent and equitable granting of partial course credit. Efficient course completion will result is greater success for our students and help to lower drop out rates, increase academic achievement, and better prepare our students for college and the workforce. Schools, districts, and county offices of education are encouraged to review current practices to ensure consistent implementation of local policies.
If you have any questions regarding partial credit for foster youth, please contact Lisa Guillen, Education Programs Consultant, Coordinated School Health and Safety Office, at 916-327-5930.
If you have any questions regarding partial credit for migrant students, please contact the Migrant Education Office at 916-319-0851.
[Original signed by]