Seattle Public Schools

2024 Out-of-District Credits and Credit Recovery

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board to provide robust course offerings taught by Seattle Public Schools’ teachers in high school. At the same time, the Board also supports a range of options for students to earn credits, including out-of-district courses and credit recovery courses.  

One purpose of this policy is to offer students out-of-district options for earning credits while also ensuring that those options are rigorous and accessible to all students in the district. A second purpose of this policy is to offer students credit recovery options (which may be out-of-district in certain circumstances) and to ensure that these options are also rigorous and accessible to all students in the district. 

This policy and the corresponding procedure only apply to students who are actively enrolled in Seattle Public Schools at the time the out-of-district credits and/or credit recovery are earned. The policy and procedure do not apply when students who transfer to Seattle Public Schools with high school credits from schools outside the district need to transfer their credits to their new high school. 

Out-Of-District Credits 

Students may need to take out-of-district high school courses for first time credit if particular courses are not available at their high school. Out-of-district credits are to be used primarily for first-time credit, but also may be available for credit recovery under certain circumstances.  

For first-time credits, students are to access learning through their high school offerings. If students are not able to access particular courses at their schools, they may be permitted to add out-of-district courses to their high school transcripts, per the process outlined in Superintendent Procedure 2024SP. Out-of-district courses include courses that are offered online, via correspondence, and in-person outside of the district’s and school’s program and course offerings. State and/or district approved dual credit programs, such as Running Start and College in the High School, are not out-of-district courses.  

Courses that will be considered for out-of-district credits are offerings from: 

  • The list of online providers approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI); 
  • Washington state school districts; 
  • Private schools in Washington; and 
  • Colleges and universities in Washington.  

Seattle Public Schools will regularly review this list of out-of-district providers to ensure that only credits earned through currently approved/accredited providers will be considered for addition to student official transcripts. The district will offer students and their families the option of appealing for permission to take a course with a provider not included in this list under specific extenuating circumstances. 

Credit Recovery 

For students who need to recover previously attempted courses, the Board encourages students and school staff to work together to choose the appropriate credit recovery option offered by the school or district. In most cases, that means online credit recovery courses through providers approved by OSPI and supervised by school staff, or summer school.  


The Superintendent may set limits on the number of online courses a student can take. The purpose for these limits is to encourage the in-person learning relationships that align with our foundational beliefs about teaching and learning. At the same time, the district will provide students and their families with the option of appealing the limit on online courses for first time credit if there are extenuating circumstances. 


The district will pay for credit recovery courses offered by Seattle Public Schools when the district claims state education funding for those courses and/or the courses are part of the legally required minimum annual instructional hours. Students and their families must pay for out-of-district courses, whether those courses are for first-time credit or credit recovery. 


The Superintendent or designee is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy and will provide information to parents, students, and staff regarding the conditions under which out-of-district credits and credit recovery will be accepted/offered. The procedure will include, but will not be limited to, a description of student access to out-of-district and credit recovery courses, student eligibility criteria, the types of courses available to students, methods the district will use to support student success, payment of course fees and other costs, granting of course credit, and appeals processes for extenuating circumstances. 

This policy is effective starting on July 1, 2019.