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Policy 2410P

High School Graduation Requirements



Prior to registering in high school, and each year thereafter, each student and his/her parents or guardians will be provided with a copy of the current graduation requirements in effect for that student (those in effect when the student enrolled in ninth grade).  Graduation requirements may also be included in the student handbook.


Period of Eligibility to Earn Credits

Generally, credit towards high school graduation will be earned in grades nine through twelve.  However, unless requested otherwise by the student and student’s family, the district will award high school credit towards fulfilling graduation requirements to a student who has completed high school courses while in seventh or eighth grade if one of the following applies:

A.  The course was taken with high school students and the student successfully passed the same course requirements and examinations as the high school students enrolled in the class; or

B.  The course taught at the middle school level has been determined by the district to be similar or equivalent to a course taught at the high school level.

Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the above circumstances shall not be required to take an additional mastery/competency examination or perform any additional assignment to receive credit.

At the request of the student and the student’s parent or guardian, high school credit earned before high school may be transcribed with a non-numerical grade, such as “pass” or “credit.” A non-numerical grade will not be included in the student’s high school grade point average calculations. High school credit earned prior to high school and transcribed with a non-numerical grade will apply to fulfilling high school graduation requirements.

Before the end of eleventh grade, a student and the student’s parent or guardian must inform the school if they do not want credit for the course or courses taken before attending high school or if they want the credit to be transcribed with a non-numerical grade.

Awarding of High School Credit

The district will award high school credit for successful completion of a specified unit of study. A student successfully completes a specified unit of study by doing one of the following:

A.  Earning a passing grade according to the district’s grading policy;

B.  Demonstrating proficiency or mastery of content standards as determined by the district (the district will establish a process for determining proficiency or mastery for credit bearing courses of study); or

C.  Successfully completing an established number of hours of planned instructional activities to be determined by the district.

Credits from Other Programs

The principal or designee is responsible for determining which credits will be recognized by the district for students enrolling from another state-approved learning program (public school, approved private school, or home school or state-approved online program), or from out-of-state, or out-of-country program. The district will accept credits from another Washington public school or accredited state private school or accredited out-of-state public or private school to the extent the credit matches a district graduation requirement, or the credits may be counted as elective credits. The district will evaluate credits from unaccredited programs or homeschools as described below for homeschool students. Decisions of the principal or designee may be appealed to the superintendent within fifteen school days of the initial decision.

The following are the subject and credit requirements that a student must meet to graduate:

A.  Four credits in English.

B.  Three credits in mathematics.

    1. The three mathematics credits must include Algebra I or integrated mathematics I, Geometry or integrated mathematics II, and a third credit of high school mathematics that aligns with the student’s interests and high school and beyond plan.
    2. A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade that is automatically transcribed on the student’s high school transcript or a student who demonstrates mastery or competency in high school math subjects and has received credit for them may use those credits to meet his or her graduation requirement.
    3. A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade and opts to receive no high school credit for that course or those courses or a student who demonstrated mastery or competency in those subject but did not receive high school credits may do one of the following:
      1. Repeat the course or courses for credit in high school; or
      2. Earn three credits of high school mathematics in different math subjects than those completed before high school. The student must take Algebra I or integrated mathematics I and Geometry or integrated mathematics II in high school if the student did not complete those courses at a high school level prior to high school. However, the student does not need to repeat courses if the student already took the courses at a high school level.

C.  Three credits in science.

      1. Two science credits must be in laboratory science.
      2. A student may choose the content of the third science credit based on his or her interests and his or her high school and beyond plan, with agreement of the student’s parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, the school counselor or principal may provide agreement.

    D.  Three credits in social studies.

      1. One social studies credit must be in United States history.
      2. One-half social studies credit must be in contemporary world history, world geography, and world problems. Courses in economics, sociology, civics, political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on contemporary world problems may be accepted as equivalencies.
      3. One-half social studies credit must be in civics.
      4. One social studies credit must be in an elective course or courses.
      5. Although a student does not need to receive credit for such a course, a student must complete a Washington State history and government course.

    E.  Two credits in world languages or personalized pathway requirements.

        1. “Personalized pathway requirement” means up to three credits chosen by a student that are included in a student’s personalized pathway and prepare the student to meet specific post-secondary career or educational goals.
        2. “Personalized pathway” means a locally determined body of coursework identified in a student’s high school and beyond plan that is deemed necessary to attain the post-secondary career or educational goals chosen by the student.

      F.  Two credits in the arts. One of the two arts credits may be replaced with a personalized pathway requirement.

      G.  One-half credit in health.

      H.  One and one-half credit in physical education.

      I.  One credit in career and technical education.

        1. A career and technical education credit is a credit resulting from a course in a career and technical education program or an occupational education credit.
        2. A student who earns credit through a career and technical education course determined by the district or by the office of the superintendent of public instruction to be equivalent to a non-career and technical education core course will not be required to pass a course in the non-career and technical education subject to earn a credit in that subject. The student earns one credit while meeting two graduation requirements, a career and technical education requirement and the non-career and technical education subject requirement. The total number of credits required for graduation remain unchanged, and the student will need to earn an additional elective credit.

      J.  Four elective credits.

      Total number of credits required to graduate: 24.

      Alternative Programs

      The district may grant credit toward graduation requirements for planned learning experiences primarily conducted away from the facilities owned, operated or supervised by the district.

      A proposal for approval of out-of-school learning activities shall be submitted prior to the experience, will be at no additional cost to the district, and will include at least the following information:

      A.  The name of the program or planned learning experience;

      B.  The length of time for which approval is desired;

      C.  The objective(s) of the program or planned learning experience;

      D.  The state learning goals and related state learning standards are part of the program or planned learning experience;

      E.  A description of how credits will be determined in accord with WAC 180-51-050(1);

      F.  The content outline of the program and/or major learning activities and instructional materials to be used

      G.  A description of how student performance will be assessed;

      H.  The qualifications of instructional personnel; and,

      I.  The plans for evaluation of program; and

      J.  How and by whom the student will be supervised.

      The district will keep a list of approved programs on file in the superintendent’s office.  The superintendent or designee will communicate the reasons for approval or disapproval to those making the request.

      Running Start

      The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend community college classes (100 level or above) for part or all of their schedule.  Students must be of junior standing or above to be eligible for the program.  Students earn college credit which is also converted and applied to their high school transcript.

      In order to enroll in the Running Start program, students need to do the following:

      A.  Apply and pay for admission to the college they are interested in attending.

      1.  English placement options include:

      i.  A 2.90 or higher GPA

      ii.  Smarter Balanced testing (SBAC) ELA test score level 3 or 4

      iii.  Additional college level English Placement Options

      a.  Advanced Placement – AP Test Score (3 or higher on the English exam (Language & Composition or Literature & Composition)

      b.  ACT – English and Reading Placement Scores (19 or higher)

      c.  SAT – Evidenced Based Reading and Writing Scores (510 or higher)

      d.  ACCUPLACER Reading and Writing (Test is offered at the college)

      2.  Math Placement options include:

      i.  A 2.90 or higher GPA

      ii.  Smarter Balanced Math (SBAC testing) level 3 or 4 and completion of high school Algebra 2 (with a grade of B or better) OR Pre-Calculus (with a grade of B or better).

      iii.  ALEKS Math Placement (Test is offered at the college)

      B.  Speak with their counselor to assess credits needed for graduation, then decide which courses they would like to take at the college. Note that part-time Running Start students will need to coordinate college classes so that they do not interfere with their high school classes. Full-time Running Start students will not be enrolled in courses at the high school, even when the community college they attend is not in session.

      C.  Obtain a Running Start authorization form (Enrollment Verification Form) from the college or their high school counselor. The counselor will sign the form after the student completes their portion. A parent signature is required if the student is under 18 years old.

      D.  Take the authorization form (EVF) to the college and register for classes. Once the classes are completed, the college will notify the high school and credits will be added to the student’s transcript.

      Credit for Career and Technical Work-Based Learning

      The district regards work experience as a part of the educational program of students as part of the secondary school curriculum rather than just a device to relieve a staffing shortage.  The district may grant credit for work experience based upon the following factors:

      A.  The school will supervise the work program.

      B.  The work experience will specifically relate to the student’s school program.

      C.  The work experience will represent growth in the student, and the type of work will have definite educational value.

      D.  The work experience will provide a varied job experience.

      E.  The career placement educator will supplement the work experience with an adequate program of guidance, placement, follow-up and coordination between job and school.

      F.  The work experience may be a planned part of the credit given for a school subject (e.g., sales training class).

      G.  The district may grant one credit for not less than 180 hours for instructional work-based learning experience, and not less than 360 hours of cooperative work-based learning experience related to a student’s school program. Alternatively, the district may grant one credit on a mastery/competency basis as provided under WAC 180-51-050 (1)(b).

      H.  The employer will legally employ the student who must have passed his or her sixteenth birthday.

      I.  The employer will file a report of the student’s work record with the school, indicating the student made satisfactory progress on the job.

      J.  The regular state apprenticeship program and school cooperatively develop the student’s which meets graduation requirement standards.

      K.  The program standards and procedures align with the state career and technical work-based learning standards.

      National Guard High School Career Training

      The district may grant credit for National Guard high school career training in lieu of either required or elective high school credits. Approval by the district will be obtained prior to a student’s participation in a National Guard training program as follows:

      A.  MIL Form 115 or an equivalent form provided by the National Guard will be completed and filed with the school district.

      B.  The number of credits toward high school graduation to be granted will be calculated, agreed upon by the student and an authorized representative of the school district, and such agreement noted on MIL Form 115 or such equivalent form.

      C.  The district may grant credit toward high school graduation  upon certification by a National Guard training unit commander that the student has met all program requirements.

      Home School Credit or Non-Approved Online Programs

      (Note: This does not apply to La Center Home School Academy students.)

      Guidelines for granting high school credit for homeschooling are as follows:

      A.  Take a final created by a 3rd party vendor chosen by the La Center School District. Currently, the district will use APEX Learning.

      B.  The student and parent will be responsible for the cost of the final, plus a $25.00 proctor fee.

      C.  The student must demonstrate proficiency at a minimum of 70 percent of the objectives of each course.

      D.  Each course final taken and passed will earn .5 credit.

      Credit is granted from, but not limited to community colleges, vocational-technical institutes, four-year colleges and universities, and approved private schools in the state of Washington.


      Each student must have a high school and beyond plan to guide the student’s high school experience and inform course taking that is aligned with the student’s goals for education or training and career after high school.

      High school and beyond plans must be initiated for students during the eighth grade to guide their high school experience and prepare them for postsecondary education or training and their careers.  In preparation for initiating a high school and beyond plan, each student must first be administered a career interest and skills inventory that will help inform the student’s ninth grade course taking and initial identification of his or her education and career goals.

      The district encourages parents and guardians to be involved in the process of developing and updating students’ high school and beyond plans.  Plans will be provided to students’ parents or guardians in their native language if that language is one of the two most frequently spoken non-English languages of students in the district.

      The high school and beyond plan will be updated periodically to address the following:

      A.  High school assessment results and junior year course-taking;

      B.  A student’s changing interests, goals, and needs, including identifications of the graduation pathway options the student intends to complete to meet his or her educational and career goals; and

      C.  Available interventions, academic supports, and courses that will enable the student to meet high school graduation requirements and graduation pathway requirements.

      For students with an individualized education program (IEP), the high school and beyond plan must be developed and updated in alignment with their IEP, but in a similar manner and with similar school personnel as for all other students.

      A.  All high school and beyond plans will, at a minimum include the following:

      B.  Identification of career goals, aided by a skills and interest assessment;

      C.  Identification of educational goals;

      D.  Identification of dual credit programs and the opportunities they create for students, including eligibility for automatic enrollment in advanced classes under RCW 28A.320.195, career and technical education programs, running start programs, AP courses, international baccalaureate programs, and college in the high school programs; Information about the college bound scholarship program established in chapter 28B.118 RCW;

      E.  A four-year plan for course taking that does the following:

      1.  Includes information about options for satisfying state and local graduation requirements;

      2.  Satisfies state and local graduation requirements;

      3.  Aligns with the student’s secondary and postsecondary goals, which can include education, training and career;

      4. Identifies course sequences to inform academic acceleration as described in RCW 28A.320.195 that includes dual credit courses or programs and are aligned with the student’s goals; and

      5.  Includes information about the college bound scholarship program.

      F.  Evidence that the student has received the following information on federal and state financial aid programs that help pay for the costs of a postsecondary program:

        1. Documentation necessary for completing financial aid applications, including at a minimum the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or the Washington application for state financial aid (WASFA); and
        2. Application timelines and submission deadlines;
        3. The importance of submitting applications early;
        4. Information specific to students who have been in foster care;
        5. Information specific to students who are or are at risk of being homeless;
        6. Information specific to students whose family member or guardians will be required to provide financial and tax information necessary to complete the application;
        7. Opportunities to participate in sessions that assist students and, when necessary, their family members or guardians, in filling out financial aid applications;
        8. Information provided on the Washington student achievement council website concerning each of the state and federal financial aid applications in this subsection; and
        9. Information on college bound scholarship application and eligibility.

      G.  By the end of the twelfth grade, a current resume or activity log that provides a written compilation of the student’s education, any work experience, any community service and if applicable, how the school district has recognized the community service.

        Students who have not earned a score of level three or four on the middle school math state assessment must include in their plan taking math courses in ninth and tenth grade.

        For students who have not earned a level three or four on the middle school language arts exam or their middle school science exam, the district will inform them of supports and courses that will address their learning needs and be considered in their course-taking plans.

        For students meeting graduation requirements, their high school and beyond plans should be used to guide their choices of what their third credit of high school math and science will be.


        A student may choose to pursue one or more of the pathway options described below to demonstrate career and college readiness as long as the option chosen is in alignment with the student’s high school and beyond plan.

        Statewide High School Assessment

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting or exceeding the graduation standard established by the State Board of Education on the statewide high school assessments in English language arts and mathematics.

        Dual Credit Courses

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by completing and qualifying for college credit in dual credit courses in English language arts and mathematics. A dual credit course means a course in which a student is eligible for both high school credit and college credit at the level of 100 or higher upon successfully completing the course.  Examples of such courses include running start, college in the high school courses, and career and technical education dual credit courses.

        High School Transition Courses

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by earning high school credit in a high school transition course in English language arts and mathematics. A high school transition course is a course offered in high school where successful completion by a high school student ensures the student college-level placement at participating institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016. High school transition courses must satisfy core or elective credit graduation requirements established by the State Board of Education.

        AP Courses and International Baccalaureate Programs

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by doing either A or B below:

        A.  Earning high school credit with a grade of C+ or higher in each term in the following advanced placement, international baccalaureate, or Cambridge international courses in English language arts and mathematics.

        1.  English language arts courses:

        i.  AP courses: English literature and composition, macroeconomics, microeconomics, psychology, United States history, world history, United States government and politics, or comparative government and politics.

        ii.  International baccalaureate courses: individuals and societies courses or English language and literature courses.

        iii.  Cambridge advanced or advanced subsidiary courses: English language, literature and English, English general paper, psychology, history, sociology, global perspectives and research, or law.

        2.  Mathematics courses:

        i.  AP courses: statistics, computer science A, computer science principles, or calculus.

        ii.  International baccalaureate courses: any international baccalaureate mathematics course.

        iii.  Cambridge advanced or advanced subsidiary courses: any Cambridge advanced or advanced subsidiary mathematics course.

        B.  Achieving the following scores on the following exams:

        1.  Score a three or higher on AP exams in one of the English language arts and one of the mathematics courses identified above.

        2.  Score a four or higher on international baccalaureate exams in one of the English language arts and one of the mathematics courses identified above.

        3.  Score an E or higher on Cambridge international exams in one of the English language arts and one of the mathematics courses identified above.

        SAT or ACT Scores

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting or exceeding the scores established by the state board of education for the mathematics portion and the reading, English, or writing portion of the SAT or ACT.

        Combination of Options

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting any combination of at least one English language arts option and at least one mathematics option described above.

        Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting standard in the armed services vocational aptitude battery by scoring at least the minimum established by the military for eligibility to serve in a branch of the armed services at the time the student takes the assessment. The state board of education will post eligibility scores on its website at least annually by September 1st.

        Career and Technical Education Courses

        A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by completing a sequence of career and technical education courses that are relevant to a student’s postsecondary pathway that meet either the curriculum requirements of core plus programs for aerospace, maritime, health care, information technology, or construction and manufacturing; or that meet the minimum criteria identified in WAC 180-51-230(h) and RCW 28A.700.030.

        Expedited Appeal Process for Waiving Student Assessment Requirements

        For the graduating classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and -2020, an expedited appeal process for waiving specific requirements in RCW 28A.655.061 pertaining to the certificate of academic achievement and the certificate of individual achievement is available for eligible students who have not met the state standard on the English language arts statewide student assessment, the mathematics high school statewide student assessment, or both. The student or the student’s parent, guardian, or principal may initiate an appeal with the district and the district has the authority to determine which appeals to submit to the superintendent of public instruction for review and approval.

        A student in the classes of 2014- 2017 and 2019-2020 is eligible for the expedited appeal process if he or she met all other graduation requirements established by the state and district.

        A student in the class of 2018 is eligible for the expedited appeal process if he or she met all other graduation requirements established by the state and district and has attempted at least one alternative assessment option as established in RCW 28A.655.065.

        This expedited appeal process will no longer be available after August 31, 2022.


        A student who fulfills the requirements for an International Baccalaureate Programme diploma is considered to have satisfied at least one of the graduation pathway options, and the minimum state requirements for graduation from high school, but the district may require the student to complete additional local graduation requirements. To receive an international baccalaureate diploma, a student must complete and pass all required diploma program courses, as scored at the local level; pass all internal assessments, as scored at the local level; successfully complete all required projects and products, as scored at the local level; and complete the final exams administered by the international baccalaureate organization in each of the required subjects.


        A student’s IEP team must determine whether the graduation pathway options described above are appropriate for the student. Expiring with the class of 2021, if the IEP team determines that those options are not appropriate, then the student must earn a certificate of individual achievement to graduate. A certificate of individual achievement may be earned by using multiple measures to demonstrate skills and abilities commensurate with the students IEP.

        The following process will be followed to help a student with an IEP graduate:

        A.  By the age of 14, the student will participate with the IEP Team (including a special education teacher, general education teacher, parents, student, and other school personnel and agency representatives who will assist the student in achieving the goals of the IEP) in a discussion of transition service needs that focuses on the student’s course of study.

        B.  As an outcome of the discussion, the IEP will include appropriate graduation requirements based on the student’s individual needs and abilities consistent with the student’s transition plan. Modifications to the district’s standard graduation requirements may include:

        1.  Attainable alternate classwork or individualized activities substituted for standard requirements;

        2.  An extension of time for the student to remain in school to complete graduation requirements. The student may remain in school up to and including the school year in which the student reaches twenty-one years of age.

        C.  The student will, in cooperation with his or her parent or guardian and the IEP team, determine:

        1.  The projected date by which all graduation requirements will be met; and

        2.  The projected date and conditions under which the student will participate in the graduation ceremony.

        D.  The student will have an IEP that incorporates all issues and decisions from the above procedures. Any decision that modifies the district’s standard graduation requirements will be made through the IEP process. Annually or as needed, the IEP will be reviewed or revised to accommodate the student’s progress and development.


        To be awarded the Washington Seal of Biliteracy, graduating high school students must meet the following criteria:

        A.  Demonstrate proficiency in English by (1) meeting statewide minimum graduation requirements in English as established by the Washington State Board of Education and (2) meeting state standards on the reading and writing or English language arts assessment; and

        B.  Demonstrate proficiency in one or more world language. For purposes of this section, “world language” is defined as a language other than English, including American Sign Language, Latin, and Native American or other indigenous languages or dialects. The fact that a language is not written is not a barrier to receive the Seal of Biliteracy. Proficiency may be demonstrated by:

        1.  Passing a foreign language Advanced Placement exam with a score of 3 or higher;

        2.  Passing an International Baccalaureate exam with a score of 4 or higher;

        3.  Demonstrating intermediate-mid level or higher proficiency on the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines using assessments approved by OSPI for mastery/competency-based credits; and demonstrating proficiency using reading assessments approved by OSPI (when developed);

        4.  Qualifying for four mastery/competency-based credits by demonstrating proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading the world language at intermediate-mid level or higher on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines according to Policy 2409, Credit for Competency-Proficiency; or

        5.  Demonstrating proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading the world language through other national or international assessments approved by OSPI. OSPI and the federally recognized Tribes in Washington have a language proficiency system in place to determine tribal language proficiency with students for the Seal of Biliteracy.”



        If students fulfill graduation requirements by the end of the last term of their senior year, they may participate in graduation ceremonies.  Each student will be awarded a diploma after satisfactorily completing local and state requirements.  Upon request, each graduating student will receive a final transcript.  Each student will be notified of this opportunity at least one month prior to the close of the school term.

        Any student receiving services under an IEP who will continue to receive such services between the ages of 18 and 21 will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies and activities after four years of high school attendance with his or her age-appropriate peers and receive a certificate of attendance.

        The district will allow students who are members of a federally recognized tribe to wear traditional tribal regalia or objects of Native American cultural significance along with or attached to a gown at the graduation ceremony or related school event. Additionally, the district will not require such students to wear a cap if it is incompatible with the regalia or significant object they have chosen to wear. Otherwise, the district has discretion to determine the conduct for graduation ceremonies as described below:

        1. Each participating student must participate in the graduation ceremony rehearsal. Each student who participates will purchase or rent the proper cap and gown as designated by the school administration and the class advisor and officers.
        2. With the exception of allowing tribal regalia as stated above, caps and gowns will be worn in the proper manner, as designated by the school administration and class advisor.
        3. Students who participate will use good taste in their choice of accessories for their attire.
        4. Each student who participates will cooperate with the class advisor and participate in all parts of the graduation ceremonies.
        5. Failure to comply with the above requirements may forfeit a student’s privilege of participation in the graduation ceremonies.


        The district may withhold a student’s diploma or transcript  until the student pays for any school property the student has lost or willfully damaged. Upon payment for damages, or the equivalency through voluntary work, the district will release the diploma or transcript. When the damages or fines do not exceed $100, the student or his/her parents will have the right to an appeal using the same process as used for short-term suspension as defined in Policy 3241, Student Discipline. When damages are in excess of $100, the appeal process for long-term suspension as defined in Policy 3241 will apply. The district may, in its discretion, choose to offer in-school suspension in these circumstances.

        Per the District’s Meal Charge Policy, diplomas for students with meal accounts in a negative status will be withheld until the account is paid in full.

        In the event that the district has imposed other forms of corrective action for violations of school rules, the district may deny the student’s participation in graduation ceremonies. Such exclusion from graduation ceremonies is regarded as a school suspension. In such instances, the district will grant the diploma.




        Adopted: May 26th, 2009; Revised: June 28th, 2011; February 25th, 2014, July 22nd, 2014;February 25, 2020; April 27, 2021