Spearfish School District 40-2
ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTION PROGRAMS (HOME SCHOOL/PRIVATE SCHOOL)
AND TRANSFER OF CREDITS FROM NON-ACCREDITED AND ALTERNATIVE
A. Excuse From School. State law requires that children of compulsory school age (at least six (6) years old by the first day of September and not yet sixteen (16) years old) (18 years old after July 1, 2009) must regularly attend some public or nonpublic school for the entire term during which the public school in the district where the parent or guardian resides or the school to which the child is assigned to attend, is in session unless excused from school attendance by the school board. A child will be excused from school attendance if the child is provided with alternative instruction, as in the
public schools, in the basic skills of language arts and mathematics.
Parents or guardians of a student of compulsory school age who wish their child to attend an alternative educational program must complete the SDCL 13-27-3 APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL EXCEPTION CERTIFICATE REQUEST and submit it to the Spearfish School District Board of Education. The parent or guardian must provide the school with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate within thirty (30) days of the initial excuse. The board shall approve the request for the reasons set forth in SDCL 13-27-2 and issue a certificate to the parents or guardian. Requests are to be made and new certificates issued on an annual basis. A permanent record of all certificates of excuse shall be kept in the office of the superintendent and copies forwarded to the office of the secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs at the time of issuance.
B. Academic Achievement Test. Students in grades two (2), four (4), eight (8), and eleven (11) enrolled in an alternative educational program will take a nationally standardized achievement test of the basic skills.
C. Enrollment in School from Non-Accredited or Alternative Instruction Programs
1. Elementary and Middle School Students. Students of compulsory school age who transfer into the Spearfish School District from an unaccredited school in another state or country or from an alternative instruction program under SDCL 13-27-3 will be tentatively placed at the child’s grade level program recommended by their transcript or report card. If no transcript or report card exists, the child will be placed at the grade level warranted by the child’s age; assuming entry into the first grade at age six (by the first day of September) and annual grade placement thereafter. If the parent or teacher feels the age-appropriate grade level placement is inappropriate, achievement testing to assist in evaluating grade placement may be requested. The child’s academic achievement, physical size, maturity and social development may all be considered in evaluating grade level placement. The child’s placement may not be in a grade level higher than warranted by the child’s chronological age assuming entry into the
first grade at age six and annual grade advancement thereafter. After initial placement the child may be advanced according to his demonstrated performance. All grade placements will be determined by the building principal. Any parent or guardian who is dissatisfied with the second placement of the child may appeal it to the secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.
2. Secondary Students. Students in grades 9-12 who transfer in to the Spearfish School District from unaccredited schools in another state or country or from an alternative instruction program under SDCL 13-27-3 will be tentatively placed in English and math at the level of achievement demonstrated by one or two standardized tests. In all other subjects the student will be tentatively placed within the subjects and grade level recommended by their transcript, report card, or in the case of home schooled students, self reports from the parents. The child’s placement may not be in a grade level higher than warranted by the child’s chronological age assuming entry into the first grade at age six and annual grade advancement thereafter. After initial placement the child may be advanced according to his demonstrated performance. Any parent or guardian who is dissatisfied with the second placement of the child may appeal it to the secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.
D. Awarding of Credits. The awarding of credits toward meeting the Spearfish High School
diploma requirements for academic work completed within an unaccredited school in another state or country or from an alternative instruction program under SDCL 13-27-3 shall be based upon the following criteria:
1. Students can earn credit by proving mastery through verifiable scores on nationally-normed tests, state standardized tests or local assessments developed by the district. Testing is mandatory to receive credit. The tests can be taken previously in the prior setting. There also needs to be proof of the scope and sequence of a curriculum and the standards addressed in courses.
2. Costs of taking standardized tests will be at the expense of the family.
3. Attendance records are not necessary in determining credit.
4. Grades for these courses will be indicated by a “P” on the transcript and will not be included in the Grade Point Average or class rank.
5. The current SHS policy requiring a minimum of six (6) semesters to be completed at SHS to be Valedictorian and Salutatorian and to be in the class rankings will continue.
6. There will be a notation on the transcript that these grades were transferred in from a non-accredited setting and earned differently.
7. There will be no credit for Science lab courses without documented lab experiences parallel to what the school offers.
8. Credit for classes not offered at the school will only be issued with administrative approval. The Principal determines whether or not credit is issued. Appeals of the decision of the Principal will be directed to the Superintendent and then to the Board of Education.
E. Graduation. A student whose previous high school enrollment has been in a non-accredited school or in alternative instruction may receive a high school diploma from Spearfish schools only if that student has met all graduation requirements and has been enrolled as a full-time student in the high school for the last two (2) consecutive semesters..
F. Loan of Textbooks. Under provisions of SDCL 13-34-23 the board shall loan, without charge, textbooks to all persons age five (5) through nineteen (19) who reside within the school district
or who attend an accredited non-public school within the school district or who have been
excused by action of the school board to attend an alternative educational program within the school district. The textbooks provided under this policy shall be the same textbooks adopted
and approved by the school board and used by enrolled students. Teacher manuals will not be provided. Textbooks will be provided from the office of the school principal at the request of the parents or guardians of such students after the board has approved a request to excuse the
student. Textbooks must be signed out by the parent or guardian and returned to the public school at the end of the school year.
G. Appeals of Decisions. Any parent, guardian, or eighteen (18) year old student dissatisfied with the placement of a student or a credit determination may appeal to the superintendent of schools. The parent or guardian, if dissatisfied with the decision of the superintendent, may appeal to the secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.
Adopted January 13, 1997
Reviewed December 14, 1998
Revised March 12, 2001
Revised July 12, 2004
Revised January 12, 2009