Credit Accrual

NCHE Resources

Maximizing Credit Accrual and Recovery for Homeless Students

Due to their high residential and school mobility, homeless children and youth face unique challenges and barriers related to credit accrual. Class offerings, methods of calculating credits, and graduation requirements can vary greatly among school districts. Further, high schools often have "seat time" rules that prevent youth from earning credits if they enter the district late in the semester or leave early. This NCHE issue brief outlines district responsibilities for removing barriers related to credit accrual for homeless students, and suggests promising strategies for assisting these students with credit accrual and recovery.
Download Maximizing Credit Accrual and Recovery for Homeless Students. *updated Spring 2018*


NCHE Credit Accrual Tip Sheet: SEA and LEA Strategies for Addressing Credit Accrual for Students Experiencing Homelessness

This NCHE tip sheet summarizes the key provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act related to credit accrual, provides credit accrual strategies at the State and local levels, and recommends credit accrual training and collaboration practices.
Download NCHE Credit Accrual Tip Sheet: SEA and LEA Strategies for Addressing Credit Accrual for Students Experiencing Homelessness.

Other Resources

Awarding and Accepting Partial Credits for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Students experiencing homelessness face many challenges to accruing credits and staying on track for graduation. This checklist tool from SchoolHouse Connection provides school districts with practical ways to calculate and award partial course credit to students experiencing homelessness, including as they transfer between sending as receiving schools.
Download Awarding and Accepting Partial Credits for Students Experiencing Homelessness.

California's Partial Credit Model Policy: Improving the Educational Outcomes of Foster Youth

This manual from the California School Boards Association and the California Department of Social Services provides a guide for school districts and child welfare agencies on how to help ensure that foster youth are able to earn credits for school work despite challenges associated with high residential or school mobility. The lessons learned are applicable to support other highly mobile student groups, including homeless and migrant students.
Download California's Partial Credit Model Policy: Improving the Educational Outcomes of Foster Youth.

Sample Forms, Materials, and Policies

AB 1806: Pupil Services - Homeless Children or Youth (CA state law)

This 2014 California state law requires school districts to provide school transition and graduation assistance for students experiencing homelessness through the awarding of partial or full credit.
View the California: AB 1806 law.

On-Time Grade Level Progression and Graduation for Highly Mobile Students

In 2017, the Washington State Legislature amended state statute RCW 28A.320.192 to strengthen supports for on-time grade-level progression and graduation of highly mobile students, including those experiencing homelessness and foster care involvement. This tool from the Washington Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) summarizes related state law provisions, offers a standardized partial credit calculation formula for district use, and provides implementation tools that school personnel, advocates, and caseworkers can use to help with operationalizing the state law.
View the On-Time Grade Level Progression and Graduation for Highly Mobile Students.

SB 1494: Relating to the Educational Needs of Homeless Students (TX state law)

This 2015 Texas state law requires school districts to provide school transition and graduation assistance for students experiencing homelessness or in foster care through the awarding of partial or full credit.
View the Texas: SB 1494 law.

RCW 28A.320.192: On-time grade level progression and graduation of students who are homeless, dependent, or at-risk youth or children—Rules. (WA state law)

This 2017 Washington state law requires school districts to implement policies and procedures that eliminate barriers and facilitate the on-time grade level progression and graduation of students who are homeless or in foster care. Required procedures include the addressing of credit accrual through the awarding of partial or full credit.
View the Washington: RCW 28A.320.192 law.