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Columbia public schools’ credit recovery program help increase graduation rate

About 895 high school students in the Columbia Public School District were in summer school taking a credit recovery course, as of June 2.

Every school district in the state might have some type of credit recovery program, but none of them will be exactly the same.

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not regulate what schools must include in a credit recovery program. DESE also does not keep track of which districts have a program or track results of the programs.

Columbia public schools describe their program as one that will “provide students who have failed one or more semesters of a course to have an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in the summer school setting. While the ‘F’ remains on the student transcript, a ‘P’ (pass) and credit can be earned during summer school. Counselors will enroll students in credit recovery if appropriate.”

High school students can only take a credit recovery class for English, science, social studies and math.

While one critique of credit recovery programs is that school districts just want to increase graduation rates, Tony Gragnani, the new principal of Hickman High School, said an increased graduation rate is just a positive side effect.

“Our goal that we have is we want the students to recover the skills, so that we don’t find them back in summer school for credit recovery. Like, we love all of our kids, but we want them to be successful where we’re not signing up for credit recovery summer school,” Gragnani said.

Students who enroll in a credit recovery course will be given a portfolio that shows them what objectives they will work on. For most courses, students have the option to take a placement test the first day of class. If they pass, they receive the credit.

The credits students receive after passing a credit recovery course do not affect their grade point average.

The Jefferson City Public School District also offers a credit recovery program, but it’s not the same as CPS.

Students in Jefferson City public schools who enroll in a credit recovery course have to retake the whole class.

Once the student finishes the course, their new grade is added to their transcript, but doesn’t replace the previous grade.

At JCPS, 120 students are enrolled in a credit recovery course this summer.

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