A St. Paul school allowed two staff members to teach without licenses, but this year's senior class will not be penalized as a result.
The courses were electives, not core subjects, and a review of student transcripts shows that no one who is on track to graduate will see those plans derailed, Theresa Battle, an assistant superintendent for the St. Paul School District, wrote Thursday in an e-mail to families.
In addition, student grade-point averages will be "held harmless," district spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said.
The district, however, is investigating why the two paraprofessionals were allowed to teach at the downtown school, and whether it has happened elsewhere.
"We don't see any evidence at this time of it being a widespread problem," Stewart Downey said.
About four years ago, students at a Minneapolis school were required to attend classes after school and on Saturdays to make up for credits lost when it was discovered that the school had allowed unlicensed teachers to teach.
Creative Arts is a grades 6-12 school focusing on the literary, visual and performing arts. It has 399 students, 55 of whom are seniors.
Stewart Downey said that Battle learned of the unlicensed instructors while working with the school on its 2015-16 budget.
The two staff members, Adam Bucher and Cadex Herrera, were hired as temporary employees in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and were moved into their current full-time roles as paraprofessionals in 2002.
In her e-mail, Battle said that the district is seeking the state's permission to let the staff members serve as licensed instructors.
The two still are with the school, but one of the positions could be eliminated in 2015-16 because of budget cuts — and not the licensure issue, Stewart Downey said.
She declined to say whether anyone had been disciplined for allowing the two to teach without licenses, saying that it was a personnel matter. But the district has sent in another principal to work at the school, she said.