Graduation Alternatives - Eligibility Criteria
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Graduation Alternatives

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility to access Assessment Graduation Alternatives (both CAA and CIA options) is driven by one of two factors

  1. Testing History, or
  2. Transfer Status

Eligibility Based on Testing History

– “Did this student participate in the required state accountability assessments?”

Every student enrolled in WA state schools during the administration of state assessments in spring of 10th grade (spring of 11th grade for class of 2019 and earlier) must attempt them, or a makeup exam, before gaining eligibility to submit assessment graduation alternatives in the respective content areas.

Content Area Tests Required for Assessment Graduation Alternatives Eligibility
Class of 2018 Class of 2019 and 2020 2021 and beyond


Smarter Balanced Assessment*

Smarter Balanced Assessment - 10th Grade level*

Smarter Balanced Assessment - 10th Grade level*

Mathematics (choose one)

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment*
  • Algebra 1 EOC exam*
  • Geometry EOC exam*

Smarter Balanced Assessment - 10th Grade level*

Smarter Balanced Assessment - 10th Grade level*




Next Generation Science Standards exam*

* The WA-AIM remains the applicable alternate assessment (for students with significant cognitive challenges) for all graduation years, in all content areas

Assessments that meet the assessment graduation requirements are not necessarily the same as federal accountability exams. A student’s assessment graduation requirements are dependent on his or her graduation cohort. For more information on assessments according to cohort, please refer to OSPI’s State Testing webpage.

Eligibility Based on Transfer Status

– “Did this student transfer* after required state exams were administered?”
* Transfer must be from out of state (OOS), out of country, or from a private/home school environment

Because testing drives access to assessment graduation alternatives, those who were not enrolled in Washington state schools during the required administrations of the state assessments are not required to take a makeup exam prior to gaining eligibility for alternatives (including an Out of State waiver) in the respective content area.

  • For the class of 2018 and earlier: the required administrations of ELA and Math Smarter Balanced assessments occur/occurred in spring of the 11th grade year
  • For the class of 2019: Because class of 2019 does not have an official accountability year, a class of 2019 student who transfer into WA state schools in their junior or senior year will be granted eligibility to submit graduation alternatives without first taking the test. **If an eligible Class of 2019 transfer student has an incorrect eligibility status shown in the Graduation Alternatives application, please forward the student’s SSID to, and OSPI will correct the status after verifying student eligibility.
  • For classes of 2020 and beyond: the required administrations of ELA and Math Smarter Balanced assessments occur in spring of the 10th grade year

If a student was enrolled during a required testing administration of the Smarter Balanced assessment, but did not test, he or she MUST participate in a re-take before gaining eligibility to submit any assessment graduation alternatives. In order to impact eligibility (as shown in the Graduation Alternatives Application), final student assessment scores must be present in the CAA/CIA database.


OSPI Policy - for the class of 2019 and earlier

Students in the class of 2019 and earlier will be considered participants in a 'statewide student assessment' in ELA and/or mathematics and may access assessment graduation alternatives if the student's assessment is state-administered and the assessment fulfills the student's CAA/CIA graduation requirement. This policy allows (as applicable, according to IEP) students from the class of 2019 and earlier to use an off-grade assessment in ELA and/or mathematics as the “statewide student assessment.”

**Class of 2019 students are still expected to participate in the Spring 2018 federal accountability administration of the on-grade statewide science assessment, regardless of any previous participation in the Biology EOC.

OSPI Policy - for the class of 2020 and beyond

Participation in the on-grade statewide student assessment is required to grant eligibility for applying any graduation alternative. For any [class of 2020 and beyond] student who, for whatever reason, earns passing scores on an off-grade level assessment prior to participation in the on-grade statewide student assessment, their CAA/CIA status will remain as "not met" until an on-grade attempt is recorded in the CAA/CIA database.

   Updated 2/21/2018

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