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District will continue to accept Hillside summer credits

November 16, 2011

La Cañada Unified students who take summer school courses at outside campuses like Hillside School won’t have to worry about the district not accepting their credits toward graduation — for now.

At a lengthy meeting Tuesday night, school board members decided to leave the process for accepting credits from outside summer school courses unchanged, yet they may decide to return to the issue in the future.

Around 60 parents and residents showed up to hammer the board on controversial teachers and summer school courses in La Cañada Unified, while expressing the importance of Hillside and other schools as a resource to students.

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Bob Miller, a counselor at Hillside and former counselor at La Cañada High School, told the board that colleges require transcripts from every school the student has attended and “the idea of the integrity of the transcript really isn’t an issue.”

“It has nothing to do with what is educationally sound or a transcript technicality,” he said. “It is all about money and the competition for that money.”

The district has accepted credits from Hillside for more than 15 years, but former Supt. Jim Stratton proposed establishing a new policy in January that would limit the credits accepted by requiring a minimum of 6,960 minutes for a summer school course — other institutions courses are only 3,480 minutes long.

The district has been analyzing if the shorter classes at other schools would be educationally equal to the district’s summer school program, which the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation now operates. 

Supt. Wendy Sinnette presented a 56-page data packet during Tuesday’s meeting comparing academic performance at Hillside and La Cañada High, which the district has spent months computing but found the results to be inconclusive. 

“We did the research and we care about our issue, but our homework failed us in being inconclusive,” she told the audience.

-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News

Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly

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