for students who need to demonstrate their skills in a different way.
- Certificate of Academic Achievement
- Certificate of Individual Achievement
- Assessment Waiver
Most Washington state public high school students will fulfill the
assessment portion of the graduation requirements by passing state exit
exams. If students don’t pass on their first attempt, there are retake
Some students, however, may need to demonstrate their skills in a
different way. For these students, state-approved alternatives are available,
called Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) options.
Collection of Evidence
The COE is an evaluation of a set of work samples prepared by the
student in a classroom environment with instructional support from
a teacher. Students must meet eligibility criteria and must attempt
an exit exam at least once before attempting this CAA option.
A student’s grades in courses corresponding to specific content
areas are compared with the grades of students who took the same
courses and passed the exit exam. This option is available to students
in their 12th-grade year who have an overall grade-point average
of 3.2. Students must attempt an exit exam at least once before
attempting this CAA option.
Students may use their math, reading and/or writing scores on the
SAT reasoning test, ACT or ACT Plus Writing tests, specified Advanced
Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations,
or Smarter Balanced assessments (starting in 2015) to show they
have key skills expected of high school graduates. They may also
use scores from specified AP or IB exams to meet the science graduation
assessment requirement, which starts with the Class of 2015. Students
must attempt an exit exam at least once before attempting this CAA
(for students receiving
special education services)
In the past, the selection of graduation options for students receiving
special education services was tied to a policy of content area services;
there were several options, but not all of these options were available
to each student depending on the nature of the received services. In
2014-2015, students receiving special education services will continue
to have multiple assessment options in mathematics, English language
arts, and science towards earning a Certificate of Individual Achievement
(CIA), but a student’s IEP team will make the determination as to which
assessment is appropriate for the student based on the student’s learner
characteristics, taking into consideration a student’s PLAAFP, post-secondary
goals, and previous testing history. Making assessment decisions based
on learner characteristics and not special education services is a shift
that accompanies the transitions in assessment for 2014-2015 and the
additional science graduation requirement. Please see IEP Team Guidance
document for further direction.
Basic (L2) on General Assessment/COE
A determination by a student’s IEP team to establish a passing score
at Level 2, or Basic, on the state’s annual assessment. The Basic
(L2) cannot be used for state and federal accountability; but, the
Basic (L2) can be used to meet state graduation requirements.
Students receiving special education services may take a standards
based test in a specific content area (Mathematics, English Language
Arts, Science) at an elementary or middle school grade level. The
student must meet the established cut score for proficiency for
the grade level accessed.
A series of state-prescribed assessments available in the content
areas of reading, writing, mathematics and science that can be selected
and administered at the local school. The LDA is accessible by 12th
grade students only for purpose of meeting state graduation requirements.
Meeting standard is scoring at or above the established minimum
grade equivalency (G.E.) for the prescribed test or the established
Out of State Transfer Waiver
This waiver is for students who transfer from another state in the
11th or 12th grade. The student may apply to receive a waiver of
the assessment graduation requirement if the student has previously
passed another state’s high school exit or accountability examination.
The waiver does not grant the student a Certificate of Academic
Achievement (CAA) or Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA).
These transfer students may also be eligible to receive access to
the CAA Options via Direct Access.
Students who transfer before the 11th grade and have passed another
state’s state-administered Algebra I, Geometry or Biology End of
Course assessment that is the state’s exit or accountability examination
may also apply to receive a waiver of the assessment graduation
requirement in that content area.
Awareness Level Waiver
For students with disabilities at extreme low levels of cognitive
interaction, IEP teams and associated district personnel can pursue
a waiver from further state testing and the state graduation requirements
linked to the state’s assessment program.
Special, Unavoidable Circumstance Appeal (SUCA)
This applies to students in their 12th grade year who have yet to
meet standard on the High School Proficiency Exam, Exit Exam or
a state-approved alternative, and experience a “special, unavoidable
circumstance” that precludes their ability to access a state-approved
assessment as a senior.