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Outside Learning Process

Outside Learning Approval

In some cases, students may be granted credit for learning experiences completed outside Bellevue School District (BSD), provided the learning experiences meet the criteria outlined within the district procedures. Approval for credit (not necessarily a grade) must be obtained prior to enrollment and/or participation in the outside learning experience in order to be eligible for consideration for high school credit on the BSD transcript. In order to receive credit for any approved outside learning experience, students must continue to be fully scheduled in a Bellevue School District high school, taking the minimum required credits during the regular school day (7 credits for students grades 6-11, and 6 credits for students in grades 11 and 12). Students may not drop a course and/or shorten their schedule in order to have a learning experience outside the regular program.

Students can submit up to a total of 2 credits (4 semesters) during their high school years for grade improvement. There is no limit to courses for credit recovery (grade and credit) or for original credit (credit, no grade) that students can add to their BSD transcript. All Outside Learning Courses must have prior approval before starting or completing the course.

Steps to Enroll in a Course Outside of Bellevue School District (Outside Learning)

Online course: Choose an OSPI Approved Online Provider from this list. OSPI Approved Online Course Providers.
In person course: Choose a provider that it is accredited in the State of Washington. This information is typically included on the provider website.

  • Complete the approval form Outside Learning Request. The form is a fillable PDF. Type in the fillable boxes, do NOT click the “fill and sign” tool.
  • Save the form with your Last Name, First Name, and Outside Learning (OL) Course Name like this example (LAST First-OL Algebra1).
  • Email the form to your counselor and they will send it to the appropriate school administrator for their signature.

NOTE: When the Outside Learning Request is processed, it will be uploaded to the ‘Documents’ tab in Synergy StudentVue.

  • Check that the request has been approved. If the request was not approved, check for a note with an explanation and resubmit with changes if appropriate.
  • If the course has been approved, register for the course directly with the provider that was approved. Make sure that you are registering for the course that was approved. Bellevue School District does not register students for courses approved for Outside Learning.
  • Complete the course.
  • When finished, request an official transcript be emailed directly to the registrar at your school so that the course can be added to your BSD transcript.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which providers can I use for Outside Learning courses?

For courses that are taken in-person (not virtually or online), the providers must be accredited. Accreditation information is typically located on the provider/school website.
Students should choose a provider from the OSPI list of Approved Online Course Providers (linked below) for online courses. Most of these providers allow students to register for individual courses. Go directly to the provider’s website to find the most up-to-date list of courses.
Please note: BYU Independent Study courses must have the ‘OSPI approved’ designation (small yellow icon) in order to be approved for Outside Learning.
List of Approved Online Course Providers

Can I replace a B grade with outside learning?

No. Students need a 2.0 GPA to graduate, so only grades C or lower can be replaced with the change documented on the Bellevue School District transcript. However, you can take a course elsewhere and send that transcript as a separate document in your college applications.

After I retake 2 credits, can I still retake additional courses and get credit but not a grade?  (Example:  I got a “D” in math and want to replace the “D” with a “credit”)

No.  However, you can send your new transcript from the institution where you retook the math course to the colleges to which you are applying.

Is there a limit to replacing the number of F grades?

No. Students can always earn credit and grades through credit recovery.

Is there a limit to the number of classes I can take for math acceleration?

Outside Learning credit is available ONLY for high school credited courses. In Math, this is Algebra 1 and above. Bellevue School District believes in authentic acceleration.  This means that as long as the high school course is within the proper course sequence and the course is completed prior to enrolling in the new course and with an accredited, high school credit-granting institution, this is allowable.  Please note it is important to seek prior approval per Board Procedure 2410 and that any courses taken through outside learning for original credit will be documented as credit only/no grade on the Bellevue School District transcript.
Information about math acceleration in middle school

Who is responsible for keeping track of the 4 semesters allowed for grade improvement?

Students are responsible for submitting only a total of 4-semester grades for grade improvement.  BSD will run annual reports to ensure compliance.

Is there a limit to the number of courses I can put on my transcript for credit only (no grade)?

No. There is no limit.  Remember that students must be fully enrolled in BSD classes in order to get the Outside Learning request approved.

Where can I get the Outside Learning request form?

The form is also published in the Policy and Procedure section of the BSD website:  Outside Learning Form 2410 Exhibit A