Re: Classification Policy and Grade Level Requirements
The State Board of Education approved four new statewide graduation requirements to take effect with the graduating Class of 2008. This class was chosen because it is the first class educated with the state's learning standards since kindergarten. Together, the requirements are designed to ensure that every public high school student graduates with the following fundamental skills:
1. Read with comprehension, write with skill, and communicate effectively and responsibly in a variety of ways and settings.
2. Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical and life sciences; civics and history; geography; the arts; and health and fitness.
3. Think analytically, logically and creatively, and integrate experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems.
4. Understand the importance of work and how performance, effort and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.
In addition to any local graduation requirements, all students must complete four statewide requirements:
1. High School and Beyond Plan: Students develop a plan for meeting the high school graduation requirements and for connecting successfully to their next steps in life. A student's plan should include the classes needed in preparation for a 2- or 4-year college, vocational or technical school, certificate program or the workforce.
2. Credit Requirements: Students pass a required number of classes and earn credits in English, math, science (including one lab), social studies, health and fitness, visual or performing arts, occupational education and electives. Most school districts expect students to go above and beyond the state's required 19 credits.
3. Complete a Culminating Project: This integrated learning project helps students understand the connection between school and the real world. Some Samples include a portfolio collection, studying topics of interest, engaging in meaningful career internships, or developing in-depth projects to name a few. Some schools have students present their findings, for example, in a research paper, through a multi-media presentation to peers or to a school/community panel. In fact, many school districts already have activities in place that will count towards the culminating project graduation requirement.
4. Earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement or Certificate of Individual Achievement: The certificates tell families, schools, businesses and colleges that an individual student has mastered a minimum set of skills by graduation. Students earn the Certificate of Academic Achievement by meeting state reading, writing and math standards on the High School Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) or on one of the Certificate of Academic Achievement Options (state-approved alternatives to the WASL). Students in special education programs who are unable to take the High School WASL can earn the Certificate of Individual Achievement by demonstrating their skills through a portfolio or a WASL designed for a different grade level.
Until 2013, students can still earn a diploma without one of the certificates if they:
- Meet the state's reading and writing standards, and
- Earn math credits and test annually until graduation.
Please visit Washington's Office of Public Instruction's website for latest information: