High School Information

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Enrollment OptionsHigh School CreditsEarly High School CreditsCredits ApprovalCourse DescriptionsGraduation RequirementsRecommended CoursesHigh School HelpPRS Diploma

High School Enrollment Options

PRS offers two enrollment options for high school students; Diploma Program and Cover Only. Both choices include private school enrollment and record keeping. You will specify each year whether or not you will enroll in the Diploma Program and submit high school credits when registering or renewing enrollment for your child.

Diploma Program*
  • private school enrollment
  • secure record keeping
  • submit grades with credits
  • official PRS transcript
  • eligible to graduate from PRS
  • eligible to receive a PRS diploma
    (optional purchase)
Cover Only
  • private school enrollment
  • secure record keeping
  • submit basic grades without credits
    OR semester summary
  • report card or semester summaries report

The Diploma Program includes approval of submitted course credits, which are then applied to an official PRS transcript and PRS graduation. If you choose to submit high school credits, an annual Diploma Program fee applies.

Cover Only enrollment provides legal cover and basic record keeping, but reported grades are not applied toward an official PRS transcript or diploma. A semester summary may be submitted each semester to meet PRS reporting requirements. Upon your child’s completion of high school, you may create your own homeschool transcript and diploma. Do not pay the annual high school student enrollment fee if you choose this option.

*Note: Diploma Program enrollment is required to submit early high school credits in 8th grade.

Read about the Cover Only enrollment option for high school students who are not seeking a PRS official transcript and diploma.

How to Assign High School Credits

There are two ways to determine high school credits for a course; content covered or time spent.

Content-based credits: Most purchased curricula will give a recommended number of credits for each course. Well-defined core courses such as math or science are typically worth 1 high school credit for the whole course regardless of how much time your student actually requires to complete it.

Time-based credits: For courses that aren’t as well defined or curricula that does not offer a recommended number of credits, you may determine credits based on time spent. 1 credit represents 120-180 hours of work. This range of hours is related to the type and level of the course. 120 hours is typically enough for an elective, 150 hours for a standard core course, and 180 for an honors core course.

How to report semester credits: When reporting a year-long course that is split over two semesters, assign half of total course credit per semester. For example, a 1 credit core course completed over two semesters, would be reported as 0.50 credit per semester. Those credits will be added together for the full credit for the year.

Visit recommended links below for more information about how to assign credits for high school courses.

College/Dual Enrollment Courses

Credits for College Courses: PRS recommends using the standard high-school to college credit conversion used by traditional schools. Please contact PRS to provide an explanation if you choose to submit higher high school credits than those listed here.

College High School
1-2 college credits 0.50 high school credit
3-5 college credits 1.00 high school credit

Note: The credits listed above are for the full course. If the full course is completed over more than one semester, the credits should be divided across those semesters.

Reporting College Courses to PRS: For college classes, select the high school credit category and then check the “Other” to enter the course name. The name should include the abbreviated college name, the college course number, and the course name. Include high school credits only. College credits will be transferred to a future college based on your child’s college transcript and should not be included on the PRS high school transcript. Remember to select “College” for the course weight.


The example above shows how to enter the course name in the Semester Grades form. In this example, the course was taken through Front Range Community College (FRCC), the course number is MAT1340, and the course name is College Algebra.

Early High Schoool Credits

Students may be enrolled with the option to report early high school credits in 8th grade.*

  • This option is for students working ahead of grade level, completing explicitly high-school-level courses during 8th grade. If the course is not high-school-level, do not report high school credits.

  • 8th grade credits are approved only for the following high school level core subjects unless other arrangements have been made with PRS: English, math, and science.

  • Courses typically completed during middle school, such as pre-algebra, are not eligible for high-school credit during 8th grade.

  • A maximum of 1.0 credit total for the semester and 2.0 credits total for the year will be approved for high-school-level courses completed during 8th grade unless other arrangements have been made with PRS.

  • Non-credit 8th-grade courses will be listed in your student’s grades, but will not be included on their high school transcript.

*Note: Diploma Program enrollment is required to submit early high school credits in 8th grade.

High School Credits Approval

PRS reviews all courses and credits submitted for high school students who are enrolled in the Diploma Program. Once approved, credits are applied to the student’s official PRS transcript and graduation requirements. To avoid surprises, PRS highly recommends creating a high school plan for PRS to review and approve. To create a high school plan, go to your student’s records page, click on “High School Plan,” and enter courses and credits. You may edit your plan and request a PRS review at any time.

Semester Credit Approval Process

PRS reviews all high school credits entered each semester. The two reasons for the review and approval are to make sure that your childā€™s transcript will present them the way they wish to future colleges or employers and to allow PRS to confidently issue an official transcript and diploma with PRS administratorā€™s signature. If everything looks fine and there are no questions or concerns the credits are approved right away. This is what happens for almost all credits submitted to PRS.

Credits Pending Approval

If there are any questions or anything seems to have been entered in error, the credits will be marked as pending and you will receive a detailed explanation of anything that needs to be clarified or adjusted. Some reasons for grades to be marked pending are a very high or very low number of credits for a semester, courses assigned to unexpected credit categories (electives, math, science, etc.), or a missing requirement as your child approaches 12th grade. Once PRS is sure that everything is entered the way you want it and the number of credits is reasonable based on your childā€™s situation, the credits are approved and applied to your childā€™s official PRS transcript and diploma.

Unapproved Credits

This is a very uncommon situation but is included here to clarify that PRS retains the right to reject submitted credits if necessary.

If reported credits fall well outside of the typical range of hours of study and the explanation given does not explain the number of credits submitted, additional documentation may be required to allow PRS to confidently sign off of those credits. PRS will make every effort to approve credits. However, if PRS determines that submitted courses and/or additional documentation do not adequately demonstrate that a student has completed the requirements for graduation the student will not graduate or receive a diploma. In this case, unofficial high school grades may be submitted and the family may transfer these courses to their homeschool and create their own transcript and diploma.

Parental Reponsibility for Credit Approval

Although PRS will notify you if there is any concern about submitted credits, it is the sole responsibility of the student’s parent or guardian to make necessary changes and verify that reported credits will be accepted toward a PRS diploma. If you have any questions or concerns about your student’s progress toward a PRS high school diploma, please Contact PRS for assistance.

Course descriptions may be requested by high schools, colleges, military, or other institutions when reviewing a student’s PRS transcript for credit transfer, placement, or acceptance into their program. PRS provides an online form to add these to your student’s records. If PRS is asked to send course descriptions directly to a college, etc., they must be submitted to PRS using the online form.

Required Course Descriptions

PRS requires that parents keep course descriptions in their personal records for each course submitted for PRS high school credit. Course descriptions do not need to be submitted to PRS as part of reporting. However, it is strongly recommended that you submit them on your student’s PRS records page so they are organized and ready go if needed.

What to Include in a Course Description

Writing course descriptions may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You should already have all the information needed, so it’s mostly a matter of pulling it together. We’ve provided examples and links to more resources below to help you get started.

A course description should include the following information, as available and applicable to each course:

  1. Course Name
  2. Number of Credits
  3. Publisher and Name of Curriculum and/or Resources
  4. School or Online Course Provider
  5. Topics covered
  6. Prerequisites
  7. Grading method (see helpful tips below for more information)

Helpful tips

  • The easiest way to write course descriptions is to do them as your go along. Start right away as soon as your child begins high school credit courses so you don’t have a big job at the end of high school.

  • Homeschool curricula websites typically have a course description that is written to sell the curriculum. This is a good place to start, but be sure that your description focuses on the format and content of the course, not a sales pitch.

  • You may need to list multiple curricula for a course. For example, an English course may use separate grammar, writing, and literature curricula.

  • Include the credit assigned for the entire course, not the credit given per semester for a course completed over multiple semesters.

  • If your student takes a class at a school, online, or elsewhere, the course provider should have a description to copy. High schools and colleges typically have a pdf or online course catalog where you can find them and copy and paste the text.

  • The PRS form offers course format options including online course and curriculum. Sometimes, the line between an online curriculum and an online course is not clear. As a general rule of thumb, a course includes a syllabus, assignments, live or recorded instruction, and grading, while a curriculum does not. Use your best judgement when choosing how to enter the information for a course. This is not a critical difference.

  • It is helpful to include a website address for curriculum or courses for easy reference.

  • Topics covered may be provided as a list on a syllabus or as a table of contents in the course text book. Copy the topics and format them as a comma-separated list in a sentence. Check homeschool curricula websites for an online or pdf copy of these and copy and paste text rather than typing it all from the physical book.

  • The grading method describes how the final course grade is calculated. For example; 70% tests, 20% homework, 10% quizzes. This information is typically included on a course syllabus for courses taken at a school or online and given as recommendations in a parent guide for homeschool curriculum. If you have this information, include it.

  • If you’ve created your own course, it may be helpful to search online for similar courses for ideas on how to write a description. Be sure to include a list of the main resources used in place of curriculum. You’ll find these on homeschool curricula and course websites as well as various blogs and articles on writing course descriptions. See examples and links below.

Course Description Examples

Online Curriculum:

2020-2021, grade: 9
Curriculum: Ramsey Education, Foundations in Personal Finance

The Foundations in Personal Finance high school curriculum consists of 13 chapters of essential personal finance principles, including Budgeting, Saving Money, Credit and Debt, Consumer Awareness, Spending Behavior, College Planning, Financial Services, The Role of Insurance, Income and Taxes, Housing and Real Estate, Investing and Retirement, and Global Economics. 39-week course, 3-5 hours per week, 1.00 credit.

Online Class:

2020-2021, grade: 9
Online Class: ThinkWell Homeschool

Thinkwell Algebra 1 offers comprehensive coverage of foundational concepts to Algebra 1 and higher math, emphasizing the comprehension and extension of skills introduced in the Middle Grades through analysis and practical application. Topics covered in Thinkwell Algebra 1 focus on expressions, equations, inequalities, functions, data analysis, and probability. Prof. Edward Burger presents lessons through approximately 19 hours of video lectures. The studentā€™s grade is determined by their scores on quizzes (40%), tests (40%), one midterm exam (10%), and one final exam (10%). 36-week course, 1.00 credit.

Multiple Curricula:

2020-2021, grade: 9
Kautzer & Oldar, Write Shop 2
Brave Writer, Boomerang
R. Robin Finley, Analytical Grammar

Comprehensive high school English course covering writing, literature, and grammar.

WriteShop II teaches students to write and edit advanced descriptive narration including changing points of view and first and third-person narratives, as well as persuasive, compare/contrast, and descriptive essays. Students work on the components of an essay, including thesis statements, while also learning to work within a time limit. In each lesson, students will apply skills, such as outlining and the use of parallel sentence construction, as they brainstorm, outline and edit, and revise their compositions, resulting in well-structured and polished writings.

Boomerang guides the student through the study of selected novels using passages taken from the novel for copywork and dictation to focus on literary analysis, historical context, writing elements, and grammar and punctuation.

Systematic grammar study based on sentence diagramming, editing, and sentence writing exercises. Topics covered: parts of speech, phrases, clauses, punctuation, and active and passive voice.

School Course:

2021-2022, grade: 10
School Class: Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins High School, COMP/LIT 095

Description: This course provides a comprehensive overview of all college prep English skill sets. Students will be challenged to analyze and evaluate texts at a more advanced level to prepare for college-level reading tasks and to articulate, in both speech and writing, interpretations of poems, short stories, novels, and plays. They will also practice writing skills including a focus on the sentence level as well as making intentional decisions to compose various genres of writing effectively. Students will focus on conducting research and thinking critically about how to gather, process, and use information to become thoughtful, productive citizens in the modern world.
Prerequisites: NWEA MAP scores, ACCUPLACER scores, and/or COMP and LIT 090
Designation: College Prep
Credits: 1.0

Online Course with Textbook:

2021-2022, grade: 10
Online Class: Outschool, The Mysterious Patient: An Interactive Introduction to Psychology Course

Topics covered: Introduction to Psychology, Psychological Research, Biopsychology, States of Consciousness, Sensation and Perception, Learning, Thinking and Intelligence, Memory, Lifespan Development, Emotion and Motivation, Personality, Social Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Stress, Lifestyle, and Health, Psychological Disorders, Therapy and Treatment

Honors students attend live sessions and complete all required assignments. Students must complete two of the three options: the project, exams, or well-researched papers.

Semester project: Beginning in Week 3, students will receive information about a patient who has come to them (a psychologist) for help. The patient gives very little information initially. Students must create a list of questions, relevant to each chapter, to discover more information and submit project milestones with their current hypotheses.

Textbook: OpenStax Psychology 2e
15-week course, 0.50 credit

Links for More Resources

Visit the links below for additional information, tips, and examples.

Homeschool Course Descriptions in 6 Steps by Simplify Homeschool
Homeschool Course Descriptions – a “How-to” Guide by The HomeScholar
The Complete Guide to High School Course Descriptions for Homeschoolers by It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool
Tips for Writing High School Course Descriptions by HSLDA (HSLDA Members Only)

Read about the Cover Only enrollment option for high school students who are not seeking a PRS official transcript and diploma.

PRS High School Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for a Poudre River School high school diploma, students must complete the minimum credit requirements listed below. Course Recommendations are provided for students planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college or university. These are only recommendations based on what colleges typically expect to see. The best way to find out what courses your student should complete before applying to college is to contact several colleges of interest and ask them what they want to see on their transcript.

Subject Credits
English 4.0
Math 3.0
Science 3.0
Social Studies 3.0
Health & Wellness 0.5
Physical Education 1.0
Personal Finance 0.5
Electives 7.0
TOTAL 22.0

High School Course Recommendations

The following recommendations are provided as guidelines based on what colleges and universities typically require. Students should choose coursework based on their individual goals and interests. Students are encouraged to seek additional guidance from colleges and potential employers if they have specific goals or plans.

For more information about planning for high school, visit HSLDA’s Guide for Homeschooling Through High School page and Sample Plans.

Subject Credits For Students Planning to Attend:
4-year College or University 2-year Tech School or College
Math 3.0 Algebra I & II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus or Statistics Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
Science 3.0 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or other lab sciences Physical Science, Biology ,and one credit of choice
English 4.0 English 9, 10, 11, 12 English 9, 10, 11, 12
Social Studies 3.0 US History, World History, Government, Economics US History, World History and one credit of choice
Electives 7.0 2 credits of a foreign language
(two years of the same language)
1 credit of performing or fine arts

Read about the Cover Only enrollment option for high school students who are not seeking a PRS official transcript and diploma.

How To Receive a PRS Diploma

  1. At least 6 weeks prior to your student’s graduation date, enter all courses for your child’s final semester, including credits and a grade of “In Progress” for incomplete courses.

  2. When your student has sufficient approved credits to meet PRS graduation requirements, “Eligible to Graduate” will be displayed next to your child’s student info on your account page.

  3. When your student is eligible to graduate, click on “Records/Reporting” below the eligibility notice.

  4. On the “Orders & Requests” or “Credit Summary” tab, click on the blue “Order Diploma” button.

  5. Verify your child’s name, graduation date, and your shipping address. Then select your desired options, enter your credit card information, and submit the form to complete your order.

  6. You will receive an email within 2 business days of placing your order asking you to approve a digital proof of your diploma. If you find any errors, we will make any needed changes and provide and updated digital proof. Your diploma order will be sent to the printer after you have approved the proof.

Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery after proof approval.

Diploma Description


Professionally printed 8.5″ x 11″ diploma on quality, acid-free, ivory parchment paper personalized with your student’s full name and graduation month and year in a deluxe black, gold foil-stamped, padded diploma cover. Diplomas arrive with a school administrator’s signature and a blank line for you to sign as the instructor. $55.00 *


Archive copy: A second copy of your student’s diploma, which comes in an archival glassine envelope. Add this to your order if you’d like a copy to frame or a backup in case the original is lost. $10.00

Personalized cover: Your student’s name will be gold foil-stamped in the lower right-hand corner of the cover. $11.00

Note: Diplomas are custom printed and orders cannot be canceled or refunded after being submitted to the printer.

* Shipping not included.