Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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Administrative Procedure 365: COURSE CHALLENGE


High school students are to have the opportunity to enroll in courses appropriate to their background and learning rate. Senior high students who believe they already possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes prescribed in the Program of Studies for a course, shall be allowed to demonstrate these learnings through special assessment opportunities

Course challenge is a provision that allows senior high school students to challenge the expectations of a course by participating in a formal assessment process, rather than taking the course. Normally, a course challenge will apply only to a course that is at a higher level in a course sequence, or is at a similar level in an alternative course sequence. The primary purpose for having a course challenge is to deal with special circumstances whereby students may have acquired various knowledge and skills from previous experiences. The onus is on the student to demonstrate to the Principal that he/she has a reasonable chance to successfully meet the acceptable standards of the course. If a student makes application for a course challenge, it does not automatically mean that this challenge will be granted. Based on consultation that involves the student, the parents and subject teacher(s) where applicable, the Principal shall make the final decision about the student’s readiness for the course challenge.


  1. Authority to administer the course challenge Administrative Procedure, is delegated from the Superintendent to the Principal of each high school.
  2. Course challenge is a provision that allows senior high students to participate in a summative evaluation process, to be given a final course mark, and if successful, credits in that course.
  3. Course challenges shall be administered by each Principal in accordance with this Administrative Procedure and only be applicable after the student has registered in that school.
  4. The Principal shall ensure that each course challenge includes strategies that will assess the breadth and scope of learning expectations for the course as outlined in the Program of Studies.
    1. The “assessment process” includes the student performing a number of tasks and showing samples of work that demonstrate the degree to which the student has achieved the expected standards for the outcomes of the course.
  5. The student shall initiate the course challenge process and shall take the responsibility for providing evidence of readiness to challenge a course. This might include such things as a student portfolio, documentation of work and/or experience, recommendations from previous teachers, etc.
  6. The Principal shall assign the administration and evaluation of the course challenge to a certified teacher who has taught the course.
    1. If there is no qualified teacher on staff capable of administering the challenge course, the Principal can refuse the student’s request.
  7. Students shall not be charged a fee for administering course challenges.
  8. A student shall attempt a particular course challenge only once. If the student is unsuccessful in the course challenge, but wants credit in the course or wishes to raise his/her mark, the student is required to take the course.
  9. Course challenge assessment opportunities will be provided in January and June of each school year and coincide with the exam schedules for regular courses that are being offered in the school.
  10. Upon successful completion of a course challenge, waived prerequisite credits and a “P” for “pass” for courses lower in the course sequence shall be awarded.
  11. In the case of diploma exam courses, the mark obtained on the course challenge would have to be combined with the mark obtained on the diploma exam before a final course mark or credits could be awarded.
  12. Students can only challenge courses that have specifically defined content in the Program of Studies. Courses such as Work Experience and Special Projects could not be challenged.


Section 18,31,33,52,53,56,196,197,222 Education Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Practice Review of Teachers Regulation 11/2010

Student Evaluation Regulation 177/2003

Student Record Regulation 225/2006

Ministerial Order 015/2004 – Standards for Special Education

Ministerial Order 001/2013 – Student Learning

Ministerial Order 016/97 – Teaching Quality Standard

Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12

Achievement Testing Program Grades 3, 6 and 9 General Information Bulletin

Diploma Examinations Program General Information Bulletin

Principles for Fair Student Assessment Practices for Education in Canada


Approved: June 22, 2008

Amended: August 21, 2018