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    Procedure High School Graduation Requirements

    File: 2410P

    GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS 
    FOR STUDENTS IN THE CLASS OF 2020 AND BEYOND

    Each student must meet the following requirements to graduate from high school: 

    1. Demonstrate career and college readiness by completing a High School and Beyond Plan
    2. Complete the credit requirements in this procedure
    3. Meet the requirements of at least one graduation pathway option in this procedure  
    1. High School and Beyond Plan Requirements
      Each student must have a High School and Beyond Plan to guide the student’s high school experience and inform course taking that is aligned with the student’s goals for education or training and career after high school. Students must begin the planning process for the High School and Beyond Plan in seventh or eighth grade. In preparation for initiating a High School and Beyond Plan, each student must first complete a career interest and skills inventory. School staff will update students’ plans to reflect high school assessment results. Each student’s High School and Beyond Plan will be updated to inform junior year course taking.

      The district encourages parents/guardians to be involved in the process of developing and updating students’ High School and Beyond Plans. Students’ plans will be provided to students’ parents/guardians in their native language if that language is one of the two most frequent spoken non-English languages of students in the district.

      For students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the High School and Beyond Plan must be developed and updated in alignment with their IEP, but in a similar manner and with similar school personnel as for all other students.

      All High School and Beyond Plans will, at a minimum, include the following:
      1. Identification of career goals, aided by a skills and interest assessment
      2. Identification of educational goals
      3. Identification of dual credit programs and the opportunities they create for students, including eligibility for automatic enrollment in advanced classes under RCW 28A.320.195, Career and Technical Education Programs, running start programs, Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate programs, and college in the high school programs
      4. Information about the college bound scholarship program established in RCW 28B.118 
      5. A four-year plan for course taking that does the following:
        1. Includes information about options for satisfying state and local graduation requirements
        2. Satisfies state and local graduation requirements
        3. Aligns with the student’s secondary and post-secondary goals, which can include education, training, and career
        4. Identifies course sequences to inform academic acceleration, as described in RCW 28A.320.195, that include dual credit courses or programs and are aligned with the student’s goals
        5. Includes information about the college bound scholarship program
        6. Evidence that the student has received the following information on federal and state financial aid programs that help pay for the costs of a post-secondary program:
          1. Information about the documentation necessary for completing the applications; application timelines and submission deadlines; the importance of submitting applications early; information specific to students who are, or have been, in foster care; information specific to students who are or at-risk of being homeless; information specific to students whose family member or guardians will be required to provide financial and tax information necessary to complete the application; and
          2. Opportunities to participate in sessions that assist students and, when necessary, their family members or guardians to fill out financial aid applications.
        7. By the end of the 12th grade, a current resume or activity log that provides a written compilation of the student’s education, any work experience, and any community service and how the school district has recognized the community service.

      "Personalized pathway" in this procedure means a locally determined body of coursework identified in a student's High School and Beyond Plan that is deemed necessary to attain the post-secondary career or educational goals chosen by the student. A personalized pathway means up to three (3) course credits chosen by a student under Section B, Credit-Based Graduation Requirements, subsection B. 6 and subsection B. 8 that prepare the student to meet specific post-secondary career or educational goals.
    1. Credit-Based Graduation Requirements
      The Lake Washington School District minimum subject areas and credits required for high school graduation for students in the class of 2020 and beyond, shall total 24 credits in this section, except as otherwise provided in subsection 10 of this section.
      1. Four (4) English/language arts credits (reading, writing, and communications) that at minimum align with the state standards in English Language Arts.
      2. Three (3) mathematics credits that satisfy the requirements set forth in this subsection:
        1. Unless otherwise provided for in subsection b. of this section, the three (3) mathematics credits required under this section must include: Algebra I, Geometry, and a third credit of high school mathematics, aligning with the student's interests and High School and Beyond Plan and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system with agreement of the student's parent/guardian or, if the parent/guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, agreement of the school counselor or principal. A request (Appendix F) for agreement of the student's parent/guardian should be made in the predominant language of the parent/guardian who predominantly speaks a language other than English, to the extent feasible. The school must in all cases give precedence to the direction of the parent/guardian, if provided, in election of the third credit to meet the requirements of this section;
        2. A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade and opts to receive no high school credit for such course(s) in accordance with RCW 28A.230.090 and WAC 180-51-030, may either:
          1. Repeat the course(s) for credit in high school; or earn three (3) credits of high school mathematics in different math subjects than those completed prior to high school. The student must take Algebra I or Integrated Math I and Geometry or Integrated Math II in high school if the student did not complete these courses at the high school level, prior to high school. 
          2. The student does not need to repeat the course if the student already took the course at the high school level, prior to high school.
      3. Three (3) science credits, at least two (2) credits of which must be in laboratory science as provided in subsection a. of this section. A student may choose the content of the third credit of science, based on the student's interests and High School and Beyond Plan, with agreement of the student's parent/guardian or, if the parent/guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, agreement of the school counselor or principal. A request for agreement of the student's parent/guardian should be made in the predominant language of the parent/guardian who predominantly speaks a language other than English, to the extent feasible. The school must, in all cases, give precedence to the direction of the parent/guardian, if provided, in election of the third credit to meet the requirements of this section.
        1. “Laboratory science" means any instruction that provides opportunities for students to interact directly with the material world or with data drawn from the material world, using the tools, data collection techniques, models, and theories of science. A laboratory science course meeting these requirements may include courses conducted in classroom facilities specially designed for laboratory science or coursework in traditional classrooms, outdoor spaces, or other settings which accommodate elements of laboratory science as identified in this subsection.
      4. Three (3) social studies credits (2.5 credits prescribed courses, plus a .5 credit social studies elective) and a noncredit requirement that, at minimum, aligns with the State standards in social studies.  The social studies requirement shall consist of the following mandatory courses or equivalencies:
        1. One (1) credit shall be required in United States history.
        2. Successful completion of Washington State history and government shall be required, subject to the provisions of RCW 28A.230.170, RCW 28A.230.090, and WAC 392-410-120, and shall include information on the cultures, histories, and governments of the American Indian peoples who are the first inhabitants of the state.  Successful completion of Washington State history must be noted on each student’s transcript.  The Washington State history and government requirement may be waived by the principal for students who:
          1. have successfully completed a state history and government course of study in another state; or,
          2. are in 11th or 12th grade and who have not completed a course of study in Washington’s history and state government because of previous residence outside the state.
        3. One (1) credit shall be required in Contemporary World History, Geography, and Problems.  Courses in economics, sociology, civics, political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on contemporary world problems may be accepted as equivalencies.
        4. One-half (.5) credit shall be required in civics and include, at a minimum, the content listed in RCW 28A.230.093.
          1. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, each high school must provide a mandatory one-half (.5) credit stand-alone course in civics for each high school student. Except as provided by subsection c. of this section, civics content and instruction embedded in other social studies courses do not satisfy the requirements of this subsection.
          2. Credit awarded to students who complete the civics course must be applied to course credit requirements in social studies that are required for high school graduation.
          3. Civics content and instruction required by this section may be embedded in social studies courses that offer students the opportunity to earn both high school and post-secondary credit.
          4. The content of the civics course must include, but is not limited to:
            1. Federal, state, tribal, and local government organization and procedures;
            2. Rights and responsibilities of citizens addressed in the Constitutions of Washington State and United States;
            3. Current issues addressed at each level of government;
            4. Electoral issues, including elections, ballot measures, initiatives, and referenda; or,
            5. The study and completion of the civics component of the federally administered naturalization test required. 
      5. Two (2) health and physical education credits (.5 credit health; 1.5 credits physical education) that, at minimum, align with the state standards in health and physical education
        1. One-half (.5) credit shall be met by a course covering the state health standards at the high school level.
        2. One-and-one-half (1.5) credits of the physical education portion of the requirement shall be met by coursework in physical education. In accordance with RCW 28A.230.050, individual students may be excused from participating in physical education otherwise required under this section on account of physical disability, employment, religious belief, participation in directed athletics or military science and tactics, or for other good cause.  Students seeking to be excused from physical education must complete and submit a Request for Excuse from Physical Education (Appendix E).  In accordance with WAC 180-51-067, such excused students shall be required to demonstrate competency/mastery of the knowledge portion of the physical education requirement through participation in a district-approved and administered assessment or other district-approved means of demonstrating proficiency based upon addressing health and physical education learning standards as well as alternative means of engaging in physical activities.
      6. Two (2) arts credits that, at minimum, align with the state standards in the arts. The essential content in this subject area may be satisfied in the visual or performing arts. One of the two arts credits may be replaced with a personalized pathway requirement as provided in Section A, High School and Beyond Plan Requirements (Appendix H).
      7. One (1) credit in career and technical education. A career and technical education (CTE) credit means a credit resulting from a course in a CTE program or occupational education credit as contained in the CTE program standards of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Occupational education" means credits resulting from a series of learning experiences designed to assist the student to acquire and demonstrate competency of skills, under CTE student learning goal four, and which skills are required for success in current and emerging occupations. At a minimum, these competencies shall align with the definition of an exploratory course as contained in the CTE program standards of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
        1. Students who earn a graduation requirement credit through a CTE course determined to be equivalent to a non-CTE course will not be required to earn a second credit in the non-CTE course subject. The single CTE course meets two graduation requirements.
        2. Students who earn a graduation requirement credit in a non-CTE course determined by the district office or by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to be equivalent to a CTE course will not be required to earn a second credit in the CTE course subject. 
        3. The student earns one (1) credit while meeting two graduation requirements, a career and technical education requirement and the non-career and technical education subject requirement. The total number of credits required for graduation remains unchanged, and the students will need to earn an additional elective credit.
      8. Two (2) credits in world languages. If the student has chosen a four-year degree pathway under Section A, “High School and Beyond Plan Requirements,” the student shall be advised to earn two (2) credits in world languages. Alternatively, students may use one or both options below:
        1. The two (2) credits may be replaced with a personalized pathway (Appendix G) requirement as provided in Section A, High School and Beyond Plan Requirements.
        2. World Language Competency/Proficiency Credit:  In our state’s diverse communities, it is not unusual for students to have various opportunities to develop language skills, for example, through experiences of using the language at home, attendance at language programs offered in the community, learning online, or time spent living abroad.  Students who wish to pursue competency/proficiency credit must sign up to participate in a district-sponsored World Language Assessment Day and complete an assessment to determine language proficiency. Several assessment days are to be scheduled each year. The first attempt is free. If students demonstrate at least a Novice Mid proficiency level, they will receive a letter indicating proficiency levels and the number of high school credits earned.

          The district will award one (1) or more credits based on the student demonstrating an overall proficiency level according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines as follows:
          • Novice Mid – One (1) credit
          • Novice High – Two (2) credits
          • Intermediate Low – Three (3) credits
          • Intermediate Mid – Four (4) credits
      9. Four (4) credits of electives.
      10. Individual students may request to waive up to two (2) elective credits required for graduation, based on a student’s circumstances. Circumstances could include homelessness, limited English proficiency, medical conditions, disabilities, inability to retake classes or enroll in remedial classes free of charge, or other individual student circumstance (e.g. emergency, natural disaster, trauma, personal or family crisis) that directly compromises a student’s ability to learn. The professional judgment of the building principal or designee will determine whether the request shall be granted. Unless otherwise provided in law, students granted a waiver under this subsection must earn the seventeen required subject credits in subsections (1) through (7) of Section B, Credit-Based Graduation Requirements     (Appendix A).
      11. Career and technical courses determined to be equivalent to academic core courses, in full or in part, by the district shall be accepted as meeting core requirements, including graduation requirements, if the courses are recorded on the student's transcript using the equivalent academic high school department designation and title. Full or partial credit shall be recorded as appropriate. Equivalent career and technical education courses can be taken for credit in place of any of the courses set forth in subsections (1) through (6) of Section B, Credit-Based Graduation Requirements.
    1. Graduation Pathway Option Requirements 
      Students must achieve one or more of the following pathway options:
      1. Meet or exceed the Smarter Balanced Assessment scores set by the State Board of Education in English Language Arts (ELA) and math;
      2. Complete and qualify for at least one (1) high school credit in dual credit courses in English Language Arts and one (1) high school credit in dual credit courses in math, such as those earned through Running Start, College in the High School, or other programs where the student earns both high school and college credit at the 100 level or higher after completing the course;
      3. Earn at least one (1) credit in a high school transition course in English Language Arts, and one (1) credit in a high school transition course in math when completion of the course will ensure college-level placement in a community college or state college or university;
      4. Earn at least one (1) high school credit in English Language Arts and at least one (1) credit in state in math in state approved Advanced Placement courses with a C+ grade each term or score of three (3) or higher on the AP exam; a C+ each term in state approved Cambridge International courses or E on state approved Cambridge International exams; or C+ each term in International Baccalaureate (IB) courses or four (4) on IB exams;
      5. Meet or exceed the scores established by the State Board of Education for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT);
      6. Meet any combination of at least one (1) English Language Arts option and at least one (1) math option as described above;
      7. Meet standard in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery by scoring at least the minimum established by the military for eligibility to serve in a branch of the armed services at the time the student takes the assessment; or 
      8. Complete a sequence of CTE courses that are relevant to a student’s post-secondary pathway, including those leading to workforce entry, state, or nationally approved apprenticeships, or post-secondary education and that meet either:
        1. The curriculum requirements of Core Plus programs for aerospace, maritime, health care, information technology, or construction and manufacturing; or
        2. Complete a sequence of career and technical education (CTE) courses as defined in RCW 28A.700.030 and that:
          1. Include courses within the same career and technical education program area; or,
          2. Include courses within one (1) or more career and technical program areas that are approved by the district Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee established under RCW 28A.150.500 and submitted to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for an expedited approval.

      Students with IEPs in the classes of 2020 and 2021 have the option to use the existing Certificate of Individual Achievement process if the student and the IEP team determine that none of the pathways are appropriate. IEP teams should work with students to determine first which of the new graduation pathways would best serve the student, and consider what, if any, additional supports are needed for the student to access that pathway. If, for the classes of 2020 and 2021, the IEP team determines none of the pathways serve the student, other measures may be used to demonstrate skills and abilities of the student.

      An expedited appeal process for waiving specific pathway graduation requirements is available to eligible students in the classes of 2014 through 2020.  Students, parents, guardians, or principals may initiate a waiver request for an eligible student.  This option is not available for the class of 2021 and beyond. 

    Provisions Related to Graduation Requirements

    1. Special Education, Section 504 Accommodations, and English Learner Programs
      1. Granting High School Graduation Credit for Students with Special Educational Needs
        A student with an individualized education program must be provided needed accommodations to progress in the general curriculum toward meeting state and local graduation requirements. In limited circumstances, when determined necessary by the individualized education program team due to the unique needs resulting from the student's disability, a graduation credit and subject area requirement may be substituted with comparable content course work, as identified in the individualized education program team course of study and aligned to the student's high school and beyond plan.
      2. Granting High School Graduation for Students with Section 504 Accommodation Plan
        No student shall be denied the opportunity to earn a high school diploma solely because of limitations on the student’s ability. A student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan team shall consider the graduation requirements for inclusion in the student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan when a student with disability registers for grade nine or when a student qualifies for a Section 504 Plan after ninth grade.

        For a high school student with a Section 504 Accommodation Plan, the students’ Section 504 Accommodation team shall determine whether the student will pursue graduation requirements with or without accommodation(s).
      3. Variations for Students Served by the English Learner Program
        Students served by our English Learner Program will be provided opportunity to complete the graduation requirements. Graduation requirements for these students shall be as stated unless modified in an individual graduation plan developed and annually reviewed by a team including school staff, teachers of the student, parent/guardian of the student, and the student. Specifications for standards shall not be modified to permit completion in a language other than English.
    2. Course of Study
      1. District Application of State Requirements
        The course content and the determination of which courses satisfy particular state and subject area requirements and whether a particular course may satisfy more than one subject area requirement for different students shall be determined by the district.
      2. Course of Studies and Related Sequences
        It is the responsibility of the principal to provide courses of studies and related sequences which prepare students to accomplish the district graduation requirements and to allow any student who wishes to put forth the necessary effort to meet college admissions entrance requirements. Each high school will identify clearly to students and their parents/guardians those courses which meet the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs) for College Admissions to in-state, post-secondary four-year institution. 

        High school principals may make exceptions to these courses of studies and related sequences for high school students who:
        • Transfer into the state and have already earned five (5) or more credits but who shall not be able to make normal progress toward graduation with their class without an exception;
        • Fail a course and jointly enroll in the failed course and another course in the same subject area if such other course does not require the failed course as a prerequisite and the students are not able to make normal progress toward graduation with their class without an exception; 
        • Have mastered the content of any given course or have successfully received credits under the state mandated Running Start Program, may be granted an exemption from the course of studies and related sequences by the high school principal.
    3. High School Credit—Definition
      Students will earn credits in courses taken or as defined below from post-secondary institutions and from accredited private school. These credits will be recorded on the student's transcript for communicating coursework to post-secondary institutions. The term "high school credit," the equivalency of one-year of study, shall be defined in accordance with WAC 180-51-050:
      1. At the high school level, 135 hours of planned instruction equals one (1) high school credit. Planned instruction includes educationally related activities that are conducted in and out of school or satisfactory demonstration by a student of established standards pursuant to this policy.
      2. At the adult education level, 180 (50 minute) hours of planned in-school instruction or 9,000 minutes or, in lieu thereof, 90 (50-minute) hours or more of planned in school instruction and three hours of planned individual study homework substituted for each (50 minute) hour of in-school instruction less than 180 equal(s) one (1) high school credit.
      3. At the college or university level, five (5) quarter hours or three (3) semester hours may equal up to one (1) high school credit depending upon course content equivalency.
      4. High school credits from community and technical colleges may be earned by juniors and seniors through the Running Start Program. If accepted into this program, WAC 180-51-050 provides for the conversion of college credits to high school credits at the rate of one (1) high school credit for five (5) college quarter or three (3) college semester hour credits.
      5. The professional judgment of the building principal or designee will determine whether or not a credit meets the district's standard for recognition and acceptance of a credit. Decisions of the principal or designee may be appealed to the superintendent or designee within 15 school days of the initial decision.
    4. High School Credit for Courses Completed Before Attending High School 
      Unless requested otherwise by the student and the student's family, a student who has completed high school courses before attending high school shall automatically be given high school credit, which shall be applied to fulfilling high school graduation requirements if: 
      1. The course was taken with high school students, if the academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes, and the student has successfully passed by completing the same course requirements and examinations as the high school students enrolled in the class; or
      2. The academic level of the course exceeds the requirements for seventh and eighth grade classes and the course would qualify for high school credit, because the course is similar or equivalent to a course offered at a high school in the district as determined by the school district Board of Directors.

        At the request of the student and the student’s parent/guardian, high school credit earned before high school may be transcribed with a non-numerical grade. A non-numerical grade will not be included in the student’s high school grade point average calculations. High school credit earned prior to high school and transcribed with a non-numerical grade will apply to fulfilling high school graduation requirements. 

        A student and the student’s parent/guardian must inform the school before the end of the 11th grade if they do not want credit for the course(s) taken before attending high school or if they want to request that credit be transcribed with a non-numerical grade (Appendix D).

        Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the circumstances in this section shall not be required to take an additional competency examination or perform any other additional assignment to receive credit.
    5. High School Credit from Accredited Public or Private Secondary Credit-Providing Institutions for Students Concurrently Enrolled in District Schools
      For students currently enrolled in district schools, the high school principal may accept credits for high school graduation from a non-district public high school, an accredited private school, or from a post-secondary institution providing non-college credit. Acceptance of such credit is limited to three (3) credits for courses offered by the district high school.  In addition, classes may also be accepted if the student is not able to take the class in his/her high school because of scheduling conflicts or because the class is not available in his/her high school. To be accepted for credit the student and or his/her parent/guardian must:
      1. Be already enrolled with a full load in district schools;
      2. Complete a written proposal (Appendix C) for approval of credit for the class, which is submitted to the principal for preapproval; and, 
      3. The proposal must be preapproved to be eligible for district acceptance of credit prior to the taking of the class and contain the following:
        1. name of class,
        2. objectives,
        3. length of time,
        4. description of how credits shall be determined,
        5. content outline of program and/or major learning,
        6. description of how student performance shall be assessed,
        7. qualifications of instructional personnel, and 
        8. reason the class cannot be taken in a district high school.

        The professional judgment of the building principal or designee will determine whether or not a credit meets the district's standard for recognition and acceptance. Decisions of the principal or designee may be appealed to the superintendent or designee within 15 school days of the initial decision.
    6. Equivalency Credit for Alternative Learning Experiences, Non-High School Courses, Work Experience, Community Service, and Challenges.
      It is the principal's responsibility to provide for the awarding of equivalency credit for alternative learning experiences, non-high school courses, work experience, community service, and challenges. High school credits may be given and recorded on the transcript. The principal may grant high school graduation credit for planned learning experiences conducted away from the school. Examples of planned learning experiences are travel study, work-study, community service, private lessons, distance learning, etc. One (1) credit is awarded on the basis of 135 (60 minutes) hours of instruction. Students may not seek equivalency credit in physical education; instead, students who request to be excused from PE under RCW 28A 230.050 must demonstrate competency/mastery of the knowledge portion of the fitness requirement through participation in a district-approved and administered assessment. Persons requesting the granting of credit for out-of-school learning activities are to complete a written proposal (Appendix B) for approval of credit submitted to the principal. This proposal is to be submitted prior to the experience and contain the following:
      1. name of course/program,
      2. objectives,
      3. length of time,
      4. description of how credits shall be determined,
      5. content outline of program and/or major learning,
      6. description of how student performance shall be assessed,
      7. qualifications of instructional personnel, and
      8. plans for evaluation of program.

      The professional judgment of the building principal will determine whether or not an experience or a challenge meets the district's standard for recognition and acceptance. Decisions of the principal may be appealed to the superintendent or designee within 15 school days of the initial decision
    7. Physical Education Excuse and Proficiency/Competency Demonstration
      Individual students requesting to be excused from coursework in Physical Education (PE) must complete the appropriate “Request for Excuse from Physical Education” for their graduating class (Appendix E).  The form is to be submitted to the principal or designee for approval.
    8. Procedural Process - Graduation Requirements
      1. Requirements for Graduation
        Changes in graduation requirements shall be made in accordance with state requirements (WAC 180-51-035).
      2. Copies of Graduation Requirements for Each Year
        Each high school shall keep on file, for student and public inspection, a copy of the state board and district rules and regulations regarding high school graduation requirements and procedures for equivalencies applicable for the school year, including the preceding ten years.
    9. Yearly Graduation Information and Progress Report
      Commencing with the beginning of the ninth grade and each year thereafter, each high school shall provide each student and his/her parent/guardian with a copy of the high school graduation requirements applicable to each student and a progress report at the close of each school year thereafter of each individual student's progress toward meeting those requirements. If a student is not making normal progress toward such requirements, the high school shall notify the student and parent/guardian of alternative education experiences, including summer school opportunities.

    Adopted:
    12/09/19

    LEGAL REFS.:
    RCW 28A.230, generally
    RCW 28A.655, generally
    RCW 28A.320.195
    RCW 28A.700.030
    WAC 180-51, generally

    Forms: