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Home » Student Success » Graduation » Graduation Alternatives » Out of State Waiver

Out of State Waiver

With passage of HB 1599 (the “Pathways Bill”) information on this page applies only to students in the Class of 2019 or earlier. More information for students in the class of 2020 and beyond will be made available in fall 2019. View the resource page related to HB 1599 and legislative information on the bill.

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Graduation Alternatives


All students who wish to receive a diploma from Washington State must meet Washington State graduation requirements, including assessment requirements. If a transfer student is eligible for an Out of State (OOS) Waiver, and has met the designated numerical cut score on an approved OOS test, then he/she may apply to receive a waiver for the assessment graduation requirement in a given content area.

Every student enrolled in WA state schools during the federal accountability administration of the Mathematics and/or ELA Smarter Balanced assessment, (or, if applicable, WA-AIM), are expected to participate in those assessments. This ALSO applies to transfer students. If a student enters WA state schools in the 10th grade with passing OOS test scores, that student must still participate in the 10th grade Mathematics and ELA Smarter Balanced assessment federal accountability administrations (or makeup exam) to utilize the out-of-state scores.

The Out of State (OOS) Waiver is a Type of Assessment Graduation Alternative

The OOS Waiver, like all assessment graduation alternatives, requires a student to be eligible prior to submission. NOT ALL transfer students are eligible for this assessment graduation alternative. Any student wishing to apply passing scores from an approved OOS test must first meet the same Eligibility Criteria that apply to other graduation alternatives.

Depending upon when a student transfers into Washington State schools for the first time, he/she may be immediately eligible for assessment graduation alternatives, one of which is the Out of State Waiver.

  • A student who transfers into a Washington public school in the 11th or 12th grade from out of state, out of country or from an in-state non-public school setting (private or home school) is eligible to access the assessment graduation alternatives in all content areas without taking a state exam first.
  • Only those students who transfer into Washington public school so late in 10th grade that they miss the spring accountability testing administration will be granted eligibility to submit assessment graduation alternatives without taking a makeup state assessment first.
  • Otherwise, a student who transfers into a Washington public school in the 10th grade from out of state, out of country or from an in-state non-public school setting must participate in the accountability testing in spring of 10th grade to gain eligibility to submit assessment graduation alternatives.

The OOS Waiver does not grant a CAA or CIA

The Out of State (OOS) waiver is a waiver of the assessment graduation requirement if the student has met the designated cut score on an approved non-Smarter Balanced OOS high school exam. The waiver does not grant the student a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) or Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA). A student who meets graduation assessment requirements with one or more waivers will be granted a diploma, but without the designation of a CAA or CIA. A student who is approved for an Out of State waiver may choose to pursue a CAA or CIA through meeting Washington's assessment graduation requirements via the standard state assessment or another assessment graduation alternative. Students who have met or exceeded the Washington state graduation cut score on the math or ELA Smarter Balanced assessment from another state can use their scores to earn a CAA or CIA.

Expanded OOS Waiver - For transfer students with IEPs
Eligible transfer students who also receive special education services have additional means for applying for an OOS waiver. They may pursue an Expanded OOS waiver if:

  • They enroll in a WA school with another state's approved assessment (eligible for use in accountability or exit exam purposes), having met or exceeded that state's comparable performance level to Washington's CIA cut score
  • They enroll in a WA school having met or exceeded the CIA cut score set by Washington on a common assessment (Smarter Balanced assessment in ELA or Math)
  • *For students with significant cognitive challenges* they met standard in another state's Alternate Assessment used for that state's federal accountability assessment

OOS Tests Approved by OSPI

Out of State tests are not simply approved based upon their role or validity in the student’s former state of residence; they are approved based upon evaluation and comparison with the skills and knowledge currently required to earn a diploma in the state of Washington.

OOS tests are reviewed by a panel that evaluates each test for its level of similarity, in content and rigor, to Washington State’s current graduation-level tests: The English Language Arts Smarter Balanced assessment, Mathematics Smarter Balanced assessment, Algebra 1 EOC, and Geometry EOC. You can check which OOS tests have been approved by OSPI by viewing the “OOS Test List” in the Graduation Alternatives Application (on EDS). For more information, please consult the Graduation Alternatives Users’ Guide.

Requesting OSPI Add a Test to the OOS Test List (incl. Expanded OOS Waiver)

  • Expanded OOS Waiver: If you believe a test meets the criteria for the Expanded OOS Waiver, or is an Alternate Assessment from another state used as their federal accountability assessment, please follow the OOS Assessment Review Process to request the assessment be approved for use.
  • All other tests: If you have a score report for an assessment that is not listed in the OOS Test List, and want it added, it must be evaluated and approved by a panel at OSPI. Approval of OOS tests is based upon that test meeting similar standards in content and rigor to Washington’s current graduation-level tests (ELA Smarter Balanced assessment and Mathematics Smarter Balanced assessment). If you believe that this is the case with a specific OOS test, please follow the OOS Assessment Review process to submit the test for research and approval.
    This process can be lengthy, as it requires conducting research on the test and which standards it addresses. This research is compiled and submitted as an informational packet for the panel to review. If you have information that helps establish a test as a comparable assessment to those listed above, please include it in your OOS Assessment Review request.

Documentation Required for Submitting an OOS Waiver

To submit an OOS waiver using scores on an approved test, documentation is required to verify the scores entered into the digital Out of State Waiver form in Graduation Alternatives Application. This documentation must also be uploaded in the Graduation Alternatives Application.
Documentation MUST clearly display the following information:

  1. Student name
  2. Test name
  3. Date of testing
  4. Exact (numerical) student test score (designations of “met standard,” “passed,” etc. are not acceptable)

Types of applicable documents (which must include the above information) include:

  • Student test score report (actual copy of individual test score report)
  • Test score history report (list of all tests, test dates, and scores of the student while in a given school, district, or state)
  • Student transcript that includes test information (an academic transcript from a previous out of state school which includes the above required information)

Eligibility for this Assessment Graduation Alternative

To be eligible for this assessment graduation alternative, the student must:

In a nutshell: If a student is enrolled in Washington state schools and misses an available administration of one of the required federal accountability tests, the student must participate in a makeup testing opportunity before they will be considered eligible for assessment graduation alternatives—including Out of State Waivers.

How to submit this assessment Graduation Alternative

This assessment graduation alternative is submitted in the Graduation Alternatives Application.

To submit, the student must:

  • Fulfill assessment graduation alternatives Eligibility Criteria
  • Be enrolled in 11th or 12th grade (as determined by the student's graduation requirement year in CEDARS)**
  • Meet or exceed the cut score indicated for an approved Out of State test for the respective content area, as indicated in the Graduation Alternatives Application Out of State Waiver form
  • Provide acceptable documentation for the approved out of state test(s) and score to their counselor to be uploaded within the Graduation Alternatives Application

**Please Note: Students who have met standard using an approved Out of State test prior to gaining eligibility to submit may retain their score documentation and submit these scores only after they have fulfilled Eligibility Criteria.