To graduate from high school in Washington state, at a minimum students must earn required credits, and complete both a Graduation Pathway and a High School Beyond Plan.
The resources on these web pages are designed for school support staff, educators, school districts, and families to help students to graduate with a diploma and a plan for a meaningful first step after high school.
Class of 2022
The State Board of Education (SBE) passed permanent rules in July 2021, allowing for individual students to use a Graduation Requirement Emergency Waiver (GREW) if their ability to earn all credits and/or complete a Graduation Pathway was impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. This waiver should be used only after high schools have made a "good faith effort" to help students meet all graduation requirements and only if the student can still demonstrate their preparation for their post high school plan.
More inforamtion can be found on the SBEs Emergency Waiver Program website and in OSPIs Class of 2022 Graduation Pathways Toolkit.
Class of 2021
Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the State Board of Education passed emergency rules to ensure that seniors who could demonstrate their preparation for their post-high school plan could access a Graduation Requirement Emergency Waiver (GREW) and still graduate even if not all state and/or local graduation requirements had been met.
For additional detail about the graduation requirements for this class, access the Class of 2021 Graduation Pathways Toolkit (published Aug. 2020) here. For more information about the GREW, go to SBEs Emergency Waiver Program website.
Class of 2020
Given the interruption of students' access to in-person education as a result of the COVID-19 school building closures, the SBEs emergency waiver rules apply to the students in the Class of 2020. For students needing flexibility in meeting their graduation requirements, the Expedited Assessment Appeal (EAA) waiver is still available.
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, Graduation Pathways (for the Class of 2020 and on), 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 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.