To graduate from high school in Washington state, students in the Class of 2021 must earn credits, demonstrate readiness to graduate through one of the new graduation pathways, and complete a High School and Beyond Plan.
The resources on these web pages are for educators, school districts, and families to help support students to graduate with a diploma and a plan for a meaningful first step after high school.
Class of 2021
The continuation of the COVID-19 public health crisis has meant that many school districts are re-opening using either a fully remote or hybrid learning model. However, there are currently no additional credit flexibility or waiver options for the Class of 2021 graduation requirements like those used for the Class of 2020.
As this year progresses, updates regarding added flexibility and/or changes to graduation requirements passed by the legislature will be posted in the “What’s New” box on this webpage and sent out via multiple agency and organizational communication channels.
Class of 2020
Last spring, OSPI published guidance specific to helping staff understand multiple options to support seniors in meeting their graduation requirements and preparing for a first step after high school. Go to OSPI’s COVID-19 Guidance and Resource page and click on the “Guidance for Seniors” tab for the information on supporting seniors that is still relevant for both the Class of 2020 and 2021.
In 2019, the Washington State Legislature provided students with multiple pathways to graduation by passing House Bill (HB) 1599. This webpage includes links to a FAQ, training slide deck, bill report and other resources to support students’ pathways to meeting graduation requirements and preparing for a meaningful first step after high school.
In recent years, the need to ensure that all students graduate ready for career, college and civic engagement has resulted in increased focus on graduation requirements. This webpage links to specific details about credit requirements, the new Graduation Pathways begun for the Class of 2020, and the High School and Beyond Plan.
Currently, the Class of 2021 will be the last graduating class where the opportunity to access a Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) is still available. This webpage describes different CIA options and assessment waivers that can be utilized for eligible students needing these supports.
For high school students, a transcript is their official academic record and may possibly be used to determine eligibility for a job, internship or apprenticeship, but is most commonly used as part of the military enlistment, and college and scholarship application processes. This webpage links to OSPI’s annual Transcript User Guide and FAQ, often used by K-12 and higher education admissions staff.
For middle and high school counselors, support staff, teachers, administrators, and families, as well as staff from community-based organizations, the resources linked on this webpage are designed to be utilized in partnership, and within a comprehensive and multi-tiered system of student supports.
While Washington’s data shows the highest on-time graduation rate of almost 81% statewide, there are still considerable gaps in graduation rates by race and other indicators. The links on this webpage connect to information, data, best practices and other FAQs related to improving on-time and extended graduation rates for all students.
There are a number of both federal and state laws and policies surrounding graduation rates. Some of the most commonly referenced are linked to on this webpage.
While OSPI is the agency that supports Washington’s public K-12 education system, there are a number of other agencies and organizations which partner with OSPI staff to support students in their transition to the workforce, apprenticeships, the military and college. This webpage links to many of OSPI’s partners in the incredible work of ensuring all students graduate ready for career, college and civic engagement.