2418 Waiver of High School Graduation Credits

  • The board seeks to provide all students with the opportunity to complete graduation requirements without discrimination and without disparate impact on groups of students.  In so doing, the board acknowledges that circumstances may arise that prevent a student  earning all twenty-four (24) credits required for high school graduation.  Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Homelessness;
    • A health condition resulting in an inability to attend class;
    • Limited English proficiency;
    • Disability, regardless of whether student has an IEP or Section 504 plan;
    • Denial of an opportunity to retake classes or enroll in remedial classes free of charge during the first four years of high school;
    • Transfer during the last two years of high school from a school with different graduation requirements; and
    • Other circumstances (e.g., emergency, natural disaster, trauma, personal or family crisis) that directly compromised a student’s ability to learn.

    The board delegates to the superintendent or their designee discretion to grant a waiver of a maximum of two elective credits required for graduation.  A student’s parent/guardian or a student must file the district’s Application for Waiver of High School Graduation Credits with the superintendent’s office or designee no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the student’s scheduled graduation date.  In order to graduate, students granted a waiver must earn seventeen required subject credits (four English, three Math, three Science, three Social Studies, two Health and Fitness, on Arts, and one Career and Technical Education) which may be by satisfactory demonstration of competence as provided by WAC 180-51-050.

    Cross References:         
    Policy 2410     High School Graduation Requirements

    Legal References:
    RCW 28A.230.090     High school graduation requirements or equivalencies-High school and beyond plans-Career and college ready graduation requirements and waivers-Reevaluation of graduation requirements-Language requirements-Credit for courses taken before attending high school-Postsecondary credit equivalencies
    RCW 28A.345.080     Model policy and procedure for granting waivers of credit for high school graduation
    WAC 180-51-068     State subject and credit requirements for high school graduation – Students entering ninth grade on or after July 1, 2015
    WAC 180-51-050     High school credit – Definition

    Management Resources:
    Policy & Legal News         Apr 2015; July 2019

    ADOPTED:  06/21/2016
    REVISED:  12/12/2019

    Procedure No. 2418P Waiver of High School Graduation Credits
    A student or their parents/guardians may request a waiver of up to two elective credits during their year of expected graduation from high school due to the student's circumstances.  The superintendent or designee will review each request on a case-by-case basis and use their judgment, experience and knowledge of the student to determine whether the circumstances exist to justify the waiver.

    Request Process
    Requests will be made using the district’s form made available for this purpose and will include any materials (e.g., letter from the student’s licensed physician) that document the student's circumstances.  Requests must be received by the superintendent or designee’s office no less than forty-five (45) days prior to graduation.  The superintendent or designee may waive the forty-five day deadline in cases of catastrophic events occurring within forty-five days of graduation that have a direct effect on the student or students requesting a waiver.

    In determining whether to grant the request for waiver based on a student's circumstances such as those listed in Policy 2418, the superintendent or designee will consider factors such as:

    • Unique limitations directly affecting the student as a result of the unusual circumstances;
    • Whether the unusual circumstances were beyond the student’s control;
    • Whether the unusual circumstances compromised the student’s ability to learn;
    • The student’s efforts to cope with the unusual circumstances;
    • Documentation provided by the student’s parents or guardians;
    • Possible discriminatory effects on the student and/or possible disparate impact on a group of students if the waiver is not granted; and
    • Significant decline in the student’s academic performance following the occurrence of the unusual circumstances.

    In considering whether to grant the waiver, the Superintendent or designee may, at their discretion, consult with school staff who have knowledge of the student and with any person identified in the application as having knowledge of the student’s circumstances.

    Response Process
    The superintendent or designee will provide a response to a request for waiver within ten (10) business days.  A response granting the waiver will include the number of elective credits that will be waived and notification that completion of the remainder of required credits is required for graduation.  A response denying the waiver will state the reason(s) therefore, which may include, but are not limited to the following:

    • The request was received within less than forty-five (45) days of graduation and does not concern a catastrophic event;
    • The request did not include sufficient information to justify waiver of high school graduation credit; and
    • The request was not based on documented or verifiable events that would justify waiver of high school graduation credit.

    The superintendent or designee’s decision is final and will only apply to the student’s current graduation year.

    ADOPTED:  06/21/2016
    REVISED:  12/12/2019

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