Credits for Graduation:

Students are encouraged to present more than the minimum units of credit for graduation.  Most students will graduate with more than 26 units of credit.  Units of credit are earned at the end of the year with a passing score.  A unit of credit is based on all four marking periods for a year-long course.  All credits required for graduation must be taken at a SMCPS high school to fulfill graduation requirements unless otherwise noted in this Program of Studies.

Only students enrolled in St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) may participate in SMCPS digital learning courses provided through Edgenuity.  The exception to this requirement is students enrolled in the Pathway to Graduation program.  Prior to enrollment in any digital learning original credit course, students must submit a completed SMCPS Student Participation Agreement. School Counselors are responsible for securing the completed agreement.

SMCPS offers online learning opportunities as alternatives for gaining original credit or recovery credit for classes in which students did not receive credit. All online learning is aligned to the MD Common Core Standards. Courses for original must be offered through an approved vendor who meets the requirements established by MSDE.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools utilizes Edgenuity as the platform for digital courses. Edgenuity’s academic curriculum provides standards-based courses in math, science, English, social studies, world languages, electives, and Advanced Placement. 

Original Credit Courses

  • Enrollment in an original credit course is limited to those courses that have been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The list of MSDE approved courses is updated periodically. An original credit course is one where eighty percent or more of instruction is conducted online where the teacher and student are separated by distance and time or both and in which two-way communication between the teacher and student is required.
  • The grade from the original credit course will be reflected on the student’s report card and transcript.
  • Students wanting to take an MSDE approved Original Credit Course over the summer must take that course through one of the approved vendors. MSDE approved vendor list is periodically updated throughout the year. Before enrolling in a course through an approved vendor, students must submit the SMCPS Student Participation Agreement and receive approval from SMCPS.  This ensures that the course is still approved prior to paying the vendor for the cost of the course.
  • Please refer to the MSDE Vendor Approved Courses for a complete listing of all MSDE approved Original Credit courses.

Blended Learning Original Credit

  • Blended learning original credit courses are those in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content from a content certified teacher and instruction via digital and online media.
  • All Edgenuity courses are eligible for enrollment in a blended learning original credit course. In order to enroll in a blended learning original credit course, a content certified must be assigned as the teacher of record.
  • The grade from the original credit course will be reflected on the student’s report card and transcript.

Credit Recovery

  • Credit recovery provides students the opportunity to recover a course in which he/she previously was not academically successful in earning credit towards graduation.
  • Courses are offered as part of the student’s regularly scheduled classes during the school day.
  • The grade from the credit recovery course will be recorded on the student’s transcript as a transfer grade and the student will receive credit for the course. This grade does not replace the original grade received in the course nor is it factored in to the student’s cumulative grade point average.

Quarter Recovery

  • Quarter recovery provides students in grades nine through twelve the opportunity to recover a failing marking period grade during the school year. The program is offered as part of the student’s regularly scheduled classes during the school day.
  • Students must complete the course with at least 70% content mastery in order to receive credit for the course in order to replace the marking period grade with a 59.5%.

Summer School Credit Recovery

  • Summer school credit recovery provides students the opportunity to retake a course in which he/she previously was not academically successful in earning credit towards graduation.
  • Students will be required to complete all assigned work for the marking periods in which they failed during the school year.
  • The grade from the summer school credit recovery course will be recorded on the student’s transcript as a transfer grade and the student will receive credit for the course. This grade does not replace the original grade received in the course nor is it factored in to the student’s cumulative grade point average.

Pathway to Graduation

  • Pathway to Graduation is a program that enables current St. Mary's County Public Schools seniors and former SMCPS high school students needing three credits or fewer to meet the academic requirements for a Maryland high school diploma.
  • Students must have passed all MSDE required assessments for graduation in order to participate in Pathways to Graduation.
  • All coursework must be completed within one year of enrollment.