SUPERINTENDENT INTERPRETATION
 
Interpretation's Date: November 20, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: II. Curriculum
 
Interpretation

November 20, 2001

Charles W. Zinn, Superintendent
Preston County Schools
300 Preston Drive
Kingwood, West Virginia 26537

Dear Mr. Zinn:

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated October 2, 2001 relative to the award of credits for less than 8100 minutes of class time scheduled. In particular, you asked:

Can a student receive two credits: One Geometry and the other Algebra II Honors in the same 8100 minute class?
Your reference to 8100 minutes is derived from West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) Policy 2444.01 which defines unit of credit as ?that which is awarded for the attainment of learning objectives from a required or elective area of study for which a minimum of 8100 minutes of instructional time has been allotted.? Additionally, WVBE Policy 2510 states:

5.18. Course - An area of study defined by approved instructional goals and objectives. The time required for mastery may vary. . . [emphasis added]
5.28. Instructional Day - Time allocated within the school day for the teaching and mastery of instructional goals and objectives.

5.4.8. Unit of Credit - Recognition given to a student for the successful demonstration of mastery of the instructional objectives at a level established for an approved required or elective high school level course. The level of mastery shall be determined by the county board of education. Individual students who demonstrate mastery of instructional objectives

November 20, 2001
Charles W. Zinn, Superintendent
Preston County Schools
Page 2

of a particular course must be provided opportunities to progress to the next level of objectives. Credit shall also be granted for documented mastery of high school course requirements by a student prior to grade nine or for successful completion of college credit. [emphasis added]
8.2.3. Students shall receive credit for courses based on tested mastery or demonstrated mastery of the instructional goals and objectives associated with successful completion of a course for which at least 8100 minutes of instructional time per unit of credit (or at least 4050 minutes per ? unit) have been scheduled. . . [emphasis added]

8.2.4. Students who demonstrate mastery of instructional goals must be provided opportunities to progress to the next level of instruction. (Effective Fall 1998) [emphasis added]
Chart IV . . . Credit for each course is to be awarded based upon either demonstrated mastery of the instructional objectives by successful completion of the course or tested mastery of approved instructional goals and objectives. . . Students demonstrating mastery of instructional grade level objectives in the subjects are to be provided the opportunity to advance to the next grade level objectives. [emphasis added]

As can be seen, the paramount concerns are the student?s mastery of the instructional goals and objectives and, when mastered, the opportunity to progress to the next level of instructional goals and objectives. The 8100 minutes is simply an amount of instructional time which must be made available or offered for every student to master the instructional goals and objectives. A student need not attend the full 8100 minutes of instructional time in order to obtain course credit. Once the student masters the instructional goals and objectives of a course, the policy clearly indicates that the student should proceed to the next level or course.

Preston County Schools should, therefore, be commended for appropriately tailoring the course offerings in mathematics so that students may work at an accelerated pace to achieve mastery of multiple courses in shorter periods of time. As a result, if the student in question reached mastery of the instructional goals and objectives for both Geometry
November 20, 2001
Charles W. Zinn, Superintendent
Preston County Schools
Page 3

and Algebra II Honors, then credit should be awarded for both.

Hoping that I have been of service,

Sincerely,

/s/

David Stewart
State Superintendent of Schools

DS/rt