Credit Taken in Middle School for High School Graduation

2013 WI Act 138 Was Signed - A Guidance Document will be posted here shortly. 


May algebra or geometry taken in 7th or 8th grade count toward high school graduation?

According to s.118.33, Wis. Stats., students must take at least three credits of mathematics in grades 9-12 to meet the state high school graduation requirements. If algebra or geometry is taken by students in 7th or 8th grade, a district may award high school credit providing the course is the same as the course offered at the high school, the course is taught by a licensed mathematics teacher (a grade 1-9 with mathematics minor license may be used for algebra but not geometry), and district policy permits awarding credits prior to grade nine.

Credits obtained would count toward the overall district’s credit-requirement, but not for the credits specified in law.

Should a district permit accumulation of high school credits prior to entry to grade nine, a student must still take at least 4 credits English, 3 credits social studies, 3 credits science, 3 credits mathematics, and 1 ½ credits physical education in grades 9-12 to meet the state requirements. Statutes have always allowed students to take the ½ credit of health instruction in grades 7-12.

The Department of Public Instruction recommends that high school courses taken in 7th or 8th grade should be so noted on the transcript along with the grade received; however, the grade/s received should not be factored into high school grade point average. The reasoning behind that recommendation is that students might shy away from taking a more challenging course because of future implications on their overall grade point average.

What about high school courses, other than mathematics,
that are taken in the middle school grades?

With the exception of health education, the same answer applies. The law specifically identifies that the ½ credit in health education may be taken in grades 7-12.


For questions about this information, contact Beverly Kniess (608) 266-3706