Earning Credit

How Credits and Grades Are Earned

Self-paced instruction

MHS encourages you to work at your own pace to reach your full potential. You can work as fast as you want, but you may not be able to work as slow as you want. At MHS, you earn course credits through a combination of productive hours in class (participation) and completion of course assignments and projects. You can earn more credit and earn it faster with our system, provided you maintain good attendance. This differs from traditional high schools, where all students who pass a course receive equal credit.

Credit and point system

Each MHS teacher has her or his own system for awarding course credits. Credits indicate the quantity of work completed. Points are given when an assignment or project is completed satisfactorily. Unexcused absences have a negative impact on a student’s ability to earn credit. Class participation and attendance are reflected in the total credits a student can earn each marking period.

No failing grades

Grades indicate the quality of work completed. Grades are based on mastery of the curriculum, not on competition among students. Any assignment that does not meet satisfactory standards (a minimum grade of “C”) is returned for revision.

Credits for community-based activities

You can earn course credits for activities outside of MHS that relate to the school curriculum, including community service, internships, work experience, classes, recreation and arts programs attended elsewhere. Generally, you receive one course credit for every 12 hours of verified community based work. With the exception of formal classes taken at other schools, these are usually elective credits and are given pass/fail grades. Credit can be earned for summer activities in a similar manner.

Work experience credits are limited to a maximum of 10 per semester and a total of 40 during high school. Community service and internship credits are limited to 10 per semester. Community college courses earn 3.3 high school credits per semester unit, or 2.5 high school credits per college quarter unit, with the grade assigned by the college. MHS does not award “weighted” grades for community college courses. Students self-report their grades to colleges when they apply, and “weighted” credit is calculated as part of the application process.

Grade Levels

Because you work at your own pace, most classes are not separated by grade level. Furthermore, your grade level may change at any time during the year. Grade levels are determined as follows:

Grade Credits
Freshman Grade 9 0-54
Sophomore Grade 10 55-109
Junior Grade 11 110-164
Senior Grade 12 165-225

You need to check both your total credits and the number of credits you have earned in each subject area to find out whether you are on track for graduation.

If you are earning a disproportionate number of elective credits compared to core subject credits, for example, you might actually be behind your grade level classification in terms of meeting graduation requirements. Please refer to your report card to compare graduation requirements and actual credits earned in each subject area. A report of your requirements for graduation is included with your report card each marking period.

How Much Credit Should Be Earned Each Marking Period?

Credits for individual courses

It is difficult to specify the exact number of credits you should earn in a course each marking period. You would need to average 1.5 to 2 credits per course in every six-week marking period to earn the traditional 10 credits per course in a year. However, there is a lot of variability in how quickly students learn and work. Moreover, you might earn credits in lump amounts at the end of larger projects, or submit work at the end of a marking period that is not recorded until the following period. Also, some courses are interdisciplinary, so these course credits are awarded in multiple subject areas.

Total credits per marking period

Total credits per marking period will vary for the reasons outlined above. Students typically range between 6-15 credits each marking period, with an average of 9-10 credits.

Outstanding Students

You are considered a MHS Outstanding Student if you earn 15 or more total credits in a marking period and at least seven credits are for courses taken at MHS, PHS, or community college. The school recognizes outstanding students each marking period.

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