The state board of education shall establish high school graduation requirements or equivalencies for students, except as provided in RCW 28A.230.122 and 28A.655.250 and except those equivalencies established by local high schools or school districts under RCW 28A.230.097. The purpose of a high school diploma is to declare that a student is ready for success in postsecondary education, gainful employment, and citizenship, and is equipped with the skills to be a lifelong learner.
Any course in Washington state history and government used to fulfill high school graduation requirements shall consider including information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first inhabitants of the state.
Except as provided otherwise in this subsection, the certificate of academic achievement requirements under RCW 28A.655.061 or the certificate of individual achievement requirements under RCW 28A.155.045 are required for graduation from a public high school but are not the only requirements for graduation. The requirement to earn a certificate of academic achievement to qualify for graduation from a public high school concludes with the graduating class of 2019. The obligation of qualifying students to earn a certificate of individual achievement as a prerequisite for graduation from a public high school concludes with the graduating class of 2021.
ii.(A) A high school and beyond plan must be initiated for each student during the seventh or eighth grade. In preparation for initiating that plan, each student must first be administered a career interest and skills inventory.
(B) For students with an individualized education program, the high school and beyond plan must be developed in alignment with their individualized education program. The high school and beyond plan must be developed in a similar manner and with similar school personnel as for all other students.
iii.(A) The high school and beyond plan must be updated to reflect high school assessment results in RCW 28A.655.070(3)(b) and to review transcripts, assess progress toward identified goals, and revised as necessary for changing interests, goals, and needs. The plan must identify available interventions and academic support, courses, or both, that are designed for students who are not on track to graduate, to enable them to fulfill high school graduation requirements. Each student's high school and beyond plan must be updated to inform junior year course taking.
(B) For students with an individualized education program, the high school and beyond plan must be updated in alignment with their school to postschool transition plan. The high school and beyond plan must be updated in a similar manner and with similar school personnel as for all other students.
iv. School districts are encouraged to involve parents and guardians in the process of developing and updating the high school and beyond plan, and the plan must be provided to the students' parents or guardians in their native language if that language is one of the two most frequently spoken non-English languages of students in the district. Nothing in this subsection (1)(c)(iv) prevents districts from providing high school and beyond plans to parents and guardians in additional languages that are not required by this subsection. v. All high school and beyond plans must, at a minimum, include the following elements:
(A) Identification of career goals, aided by a skills and interest assessment;
(B) Identification of educational goals;
(C) 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, AP courses, international baccalaureate programs, and college in the high school programs;
(D) Information about the college bound scholarship program established in chapter 28B.118 RCW;
(E) A four-year plan for course taking that:
(I) Includes information about options for satisfying state and local graduation requirements;
(II) Satisfies state and local graduation requirements;
(III) Aligns with the student's secondary and postsecondary goals, which can include education, training, and career;
(IV) 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; and
(V) Includes information about the college bound scholarship program, the Washington college grant, and other scholarship opportunities;
(F) Evidence that the student has received the following information on federal and state financial aid programs that help pay for the costs of a postsecondary program:
(I) Information about the documentation necessary for completing the applications; application timeliness 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 are 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 applications; and
(II) Opportunities to participate in sessions that assist students and, when necessary, their family members or guardians, fill out financial aid applications; and
(G) By the end of the twelfth 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 pursuant to RCW 28A.320.193.
d. Any decision on whether a student has met the state board's high school graduation requirements for a high school and beyond plan shall remain at the local level. Effective with the graduating class of 2015, the state board of education may not establish a requirement for students to complete a culminating project for graduation. A district may establish additional, local requirements for a high school and beyond plan to serve the needs and interests of its students and the purposes of this section. e. [Empty] i. The state board of education shall adopt rules to implement the career and college ready graduation requirement proposal adopted under board resolution on November 10, 2010, and revised on January 9, 2014, to take effect beginning with the graduating class of 2019 or as otherwise provided in this subsection (1)(e). The rules**, which must be revised as necessary to comply with (e)(iv) of this subsection (1),** must include authorization for a school district to waive up to two credits for individual students based on a student's circumstances, provided that none of the waived credits are identified as mandatory core credits by the state board of education. School districts must adhere to written policies authorizing the waivers that must be adopted by each board of directors of a school district that grants diplomas. The rules must also provide that the content of the third credit of mathematics and the content of the third credit of science may be chosen by the student based on the student's interests and high school and beyond plan with agreement of the student's parent or guardian or agreement of the school counselor or principal. ii. School districts may apply to the state board of education for a waiver to implement the career and college ready graduation requirement proposal beginning with the graduating class of 2020 or 2021 instead of the graduating class of 2019. In the application, a school district must describe why the waiver is being requested, the specific impediments preventing timely implementation, and efforts that will be taken to achieve implementation with the graduating class proposed under the waiver. The state board of education shall grant a waiver under this subsection (1)(e) to an applying school district at the next subsequent meeting of the board after receiving an application. iii. A school district must update the high school and beyond plans for each student who has not earned a score of level 3 or level 4 on the middle school mathematics assessment identified in RCW 28A.655.070 by ninth grade, to ensure that the student takes a mathematics course in both ninth and tenth grades. This course may include career and technical education equivalencies in mathematics adopted pursuant to RCW 28A.230.097. iv. **Beginning with the graduating class of 2025, graduating students must earn a minimum of 2.5 credits of United States history and government. Nothing in this subsection (1)(e)(iv) is intended to increase or otherwise modify the number of credits required to graduate from a public high school.**
In recognition of the statutory authority of the state board of education to establish and enforce minimum high school graduation requirements, the state board shall periodically reevaluate the graduation requirements and shall report such findings to the legislature in a timely manner as determined by the state board.
The state board shall reevaluate the graduation requirements for students enrolled in vocationally intensive and rigorous career and technical education programs, particularly those programs that lead to a certificate or credential that is state or nationally recognized. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that students enrolled in these programs have sufficient opportunity to earn a certificate of academic achievement, complete the program and earn the program's certificate or credential, and complete other state and local graduation requirements.
The state board shall forward any proposed changes to the high school graduation requirements to the education committees of the legislature for review. The legislature shall have the opportunity to act during a regular legislative session before the changes are adopted through administrative rule by the state board. Changes that have a fiscal impact on school districts, as identified by a fiscal analysis prepared by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, shall take effect only if formally authorized and funded by the legislature through the omnibus appropriations act or other enacted legislation.
Pursuant to any requirement for instruction in languages other than English established by the state board of education or a local school district, or both, for purposes of high school graduation, students who receive instruction in American sign language or one or more American Indian languages shall be considered to have satisfied the state or local school district graduation requirement for instruction in one or more languages other than English.
Unless requested otherwise by the student and the student's family, a student who has completed high school courses before attending high school shall be given high school credit which shall be applied to fulfilling high school graduation requirements if:
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
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.
Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the circumstances in subsection (4) of this section shall not be required to take an additional competency examination or perform any other additional assignment to receive credit.
At the college or university level, five quarter or three semester hours equals one high school credit.