Policies, Regulations Forms and Bylaws

1160-20 | Challenge

Date Approved: February 21 2014
Date Reviewed/Amended: July 19 2017

A. Preamble

Challenge is a tool that can assess students' prior learning and can allow them to obtain credit for a grade 10, 11 or 12 course.

Challenge is a rigorous process for students who provide compelling evidence of being exceptional in a subject area and who have a high likelihood of successfully meeting the learning outcomes of a course. It is anticipated that challenge will apply to only a small number of students.

Challenge is not envisioned as a way for students to improve their course marks, nor as a replacement for the valuable experience students gain by being in a classroom setting.

B.  Regulation

  1. All students may challenge courses for credit, subject to procedures established by the School Board.
  2. Students may challenge for credit grade 10, 11 and 12 Ministry developed or Board approved courses taught in the school district.
  3. For a challenge to be successful, students must demonstrate they have met the prescribed learning outcomes of a course.
  4. To successfully challenge for credit, students must meet the same standards as students who take the course through regular classes.
  5. Students will be awarded a letter grade and percentage mark for a course which has been successfully challenged.
  6. There is no limit to the number of grade 10, 11 and 12 courses that a student can challenge.
  7. Courses will be available for challenge one year after full implementation of the course.
  8. A challenge should begin no later than one quarter (10 weeks) prior to the commencement of the course being challenged.
  9. The Principal is responsible for implementation of the procedures.

C.  Eligibility

Challenge is not available in the following circumstances:

  • the student has already challenged the course and received a passing grade
  • the student has already completed the course through previous enrolment, or
  • the student has already been granted equivalency for the course.

Therefore the principal must first consider whether credit for the course can be granted through equivalency.

In order to be eligible to participate in the challenge process, a student must be enrolled in the School District.

Students arriving from other jurisdictions may challenge for credit where equivalency cannot be determined.

Students must demonstrate their readiness to challenge a specific course for credit. This should not be an onerous process. Indications of readiness will include:

  • recommendations from teachers based on previous learning;
  • evidence that relevant learning has been acquired outside of school; and
  • appropriateness of challenge to the student's education goals as set out in their Student Learning Plan.

The decision for readiness should be made by the school in consultation with the student and parents.

Students who qualify to participate in the challenge process may challenge for credit only grade 10, 11 or 12 courses. Students may challenge a course without being enrolled in grade 10, 11 or 12.

D.  Assessing and Evaluating the Challenge

The assessment and evaluation of a challenge should reflect the range and depth of the prescribed learning outcomes for the course and could include:

  1. hands-on demonstrations
  2. oral/aural performances
  3. portfolios or collections of work
  4. interviews
  5. written examinations
  6. reports, essays or other written forms of expression

The assessment and evaluation strategies should include more than a single activity and should involve a process over time.

Each department as required will develop a Challenge Framework for assessing and evaluating a student's ability to meet the prescribed learning outcomes.

The assessment and evaluation strategy should be established jointly by administrator, department head or designate, counsellor, challenge student and their parents. The final decision shall rest with the Principal.

The assessment and evaluation strategy must be completed at least two weeks prior to the first reporting period for the course.

Challenging Courses with Provincial Examinations

Students may challenge courses with a provincial examination according to the following procedures:

  • Students will first challenge the school portion of the course mark.
  • If the students are unsuccessful, they will be given an opportunity to write the provincial examination.
  • The school will submit the school mark derived from the challenge process before the provincial examination is written, as indicated in the Ministry's Handbook of Procedures.
  • Students will only write the provincial examination at the scheduled times set by the Ministry.
  • Students will be awarded credit and receive a letter grade and percentage mark according to Ministry Reporting Regulation and Guidelines and the Student Progress Report Order.


Ministry Policy - Earning Credit through Equivalency, Challenge, External Credentials, Post Secondary Credit and Independent Directed Studies

1160-30 – Equivalency for Credit Grade 11 and 12 Regulation

1160-30 - - Equivalency for Credit Grade 11 and 12