It is the policy of the Highline School Board to award a regular high school diploma to every student enrolled in the district who meets the district’s graduation requirements. Only one diploma will be awarded with no distinctions being made between the various programs of instruction that may have been pursued. Graduation requirements in effect when a student first enrolls in high school shall be in effect until that student graduates unless such period is in excess of ten years.
Graduation requirements comprise four areas: mandatory minimum credit requirements; required state assessments or exams; other state-required activities; and Highline specific requirements.
Highline Public Schools received a two-year temporary waiver from high school graduation requirements from the State Board of Education. This waiver means the district is not implementing the State’s new “Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements” until the class of 2021. Students in the class of 2021 will start high school in 2017.
I. Achievement of Sufficient Credits to Graduate
a. Minimum Credit Requirements
Highline Public Schools has established the following credit requirements to ensure that all graduates are ready for postsecondary success upon graduation; the district will establish a process for determining proficiency/mastery for credit-bearing courses of study:
2020 (Entered HS in Fall 2016)
3 (see note 1)
Science—including 1 lab
3 (see note 2)
Health & Fitness
0.5 Health + 1.5 Fitness (see note 3)
1 (see note 4)
Total Required Credits
Note 1: Courses are algebra 1 + geometry + either algebra 2 or a 3rd credit of math that is based on a career oriented program of study identified in the student’s High School and Beyond Plan and the student, parent/guardian and school representative meet, discuss the plan, and sign the consent form.
Note 2: Class of 2020: 1 credit of US history; 1 contemporary global issues; 0.5 civics; 0.5 social studies elective.
Note 3: One class must include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of automatic external defibrillators (AED).
Note 4: CTE courses that are locally determined to be equivalent to non-CTE courses may be used to meet two graduation requirements.
a. Additional High School Requirements for Certain High Schools
i. Aviation High School is a regional high school that requires additional credits to graduate. Separate from the credits outlined above, Aviation requires 1 additional Science credit and 2 World Language credits. Because 23 credits are still the total needed for graduation Aviation requires only 4 elective credits.
ii. Big Picture has a competency based approach and is open to all students in the district. This school has a non-traditional approach to grading and learning, as compared to other district high schools.
b. High School Credit Earned in Middle School
Unless requested otherwise by the student and their family, a student who has completed high school courses while in middle school shall be given high school credit towards fulfilling graduation requirements if:
i. 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
ii. 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.
c. High School Credit Earned Outside of Highline Public Schools
Under certain circumstances, students may earn credit from other agencies or online programs. Upon request, a student who has completed courses outside of Highline Public Schools may receive credit for those courses if:
i. A student may receive up to 4 credits from outside agencies or programs (World Language credits by proficiency are not included in the total of 4 allowed)
ii. The student must receive approval from the counselor in advance if the course is not from an accredited institution or organization
d. International Baccalaureate Programme Diploma
A student who fulfills the requirements of the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) offered at Mount Rainier High School is considered to have met the state high school graduation credit requirements so long as the student:
- Will receive a certificate of academic achievement by earning the appropriate number of credits required by the district;
- Completes a high school and beyond plan;
- Meets the reading, writing, and math standards on the state assessment; and
- Fulfills requirements of an International Baccalaureate Programme. This means the student has fulfilled all requirements of an IB Diploma which includes completing and passing all required International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme courses as scored at the local level; passing all internal assessments as scored at the local level; successful completion of all required projects and products as scored at the local level; and completion of the final examinations administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization in each of the required subjects under the Diploma Programme.
II. State Required Assessments or Exams
In addition to the minimum credit requirements to earn a diploma, each student must:
a. Assessments: Each student must attempt the district- and state-required assessments identified for the student’s expected year of graduation.
III. Graduation Pathways
In addition to the minimum credit requirements to earn a diploma, each student must complete one or more graduation pathways. Pathways offered by Highline Public Schools include:
1. Meet or exceed standards on the statewide assessment in English language arts and mathematics;
2. Complete and qualify for credit in dual credit courses in English language arts and mathematics. A “dual credit” course is one in which a student can qualify for both high school and college credit;
3. Earn high school credit in a high school transition course, such as bridge to college, in English language arts and mathematics. A “high school transition” course is an in English language arts or mathematics course offered in high school that satisfies core or elective requirements established by the State Board of Education and that ensures college-level placement at participating institutions of higher education when the course is successfully completed;
4. Earn high school credit, with a C+ grade or better, or receiving a 3 or higher on the AP exam, or equivalent, in AP, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge international courses in English language arts and mathematics; or receiving a 4 or higher on International Baccalaureate exams.
a. Courses that meet the English language arts requirements are AP English language and composition literature, macroeconomics, microeconomics, psychology, United States history, world history, United States government and politics or comparative government and politics, or any of the international baccalaureate individuals and societies courses.
b. Courses that meet the mathematics requirements are AP statistics, computer science, computer science principles, or calculus; or any of the international baccalaureate mathematics courses.
5. Meet or exceed 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;
6. Meet any combination of at least one English language arts option and at least one mathematics option as outlined in sections 1-5, above;
7. Meet standard in the armed services vocational aptitude battery (ASVAB); and
8. Complete a sequence of career and technical education courses that are relevant to a student's postsecondary pathway, including those leading to workforce entry, state or nationally approved apprenticeships, or postsecondary education, and that meet either: The curriculum requirements of core plus programs for aerospace, maritime, health care, information technology, or construction and manufacturing; or the minimum criteria identified in RCW 28A.700.030.
IV. Additional Required Activities
a. Complete a High School and Beyond Plan: High School & Beyond Plans help us know our students by name, strength and need and support them in graduating ready to choose their future. The High School and Beyond Plan is a meaningful, individualized plan that is grounded in students’ interests, strengths, and hopes for their future. Through deeper, structured conversations with caring adults and real world experiences, students stay engaged, on-track toward graduation, and are prepared for success after high school. High School and Beyond Plans increase staff knowledge of their students’ strengths and needs and support students in graduating ready for college, career, and citizenship. The plan, which will be revised as student interests or goals change, should be developed in collaboration with the student, parent/guardian, and district staff. Each student plan should be reviewed annually at the beginning of the school year to assess student progress, refine the plan and the vision for the student’s activities post-high school based on prior experiences and the plan should be used to advise the student on steps necessary for successful completion of the plan.
V. Issuance of a Diploma
A student will be issued a diploma after completing the district’s requirements for graduation. Students who qualify for special education services may earn a certificate of individual achievement. A student shall also be advised that he/she may receive a final transcript if requested prior to July 1 following graduation.
However, a student’s diploma or transcript may be withheld until the student pays for any school property that has been lost or willfully damaged. Upon payment for damages, or the equivalency through voluntary work, the diploma or transcript will be released. 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 the procedures (3240P) of the Student Conduct policy (Policy 3240). When damages are in excess of $100, the appeal process for long-term suspension as defined in the procedures (3240P) of the Student Conduct policy (Policy 3240) shall apply.
Transcripts for seniors who are applying for post-secondary educational programs or employment who need a transcript as part of their application are eligible to receive a transcript if the school and student have developed a repayment plan. The final transcript and diploma may still be withheld at the end of the year if the student still has outstanding fees or fines.
VI. Issuance of a Certificate
Students who qualify for special education services will earn a Certificate of Individual Achievement as determined by their individual education plan (IEP.)
VII. Seal of Biliteracy
The district will award the Washington Seal of Biliteracy to students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. Students who meet the criteria as established in WAC 392-410-350 will be awarded the seal on their high school diploma and transcript. The superintendent will implement procedures to determine eligibility.
VIII. Participation in Graduation Ceremonies
In general, students will only be permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies (allowed to “walk”) if they have met all district graduation requirements.
Students who qualify for special education services and who have an individual education plan (IEP) that permits them to attend school until age 21 may walk in the graduation ceremony with students of his or her age.
In the event that other forms of corrective actions are imposed for violations of school rules, the student may be denied participation in graduation ceremonies. Such exclusion will be regarded as a school suspension. In such instances, the diploma will be granted.
The Superintendent or designee is authorized to develop procedures for implementing this policy.
Credit by Competency/Proficiency - Policy 2409 Service Learning - Policy 2414
Rights and Responsibilities - Policy 3200
Student Conduct - Policy 3240
Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook
High school graduation requirements or equivalencies — Reevaluation of graduation requirements — Review and authorization of proposed changes — Credit for courses taken before attending high school — Postsecondary credit equivalencies - RCW 28A.230.090
High school diplomas — Issuance — Option to receive final transcripts — Notice - RCW 28A.230.120 Running start program – Definition - RCW 28A.600.300-400
Defacing or injuring school property — Liability of pupil, parent or guardian — Withholding grades, diploma, or transcripts — Suspension and restitution — Voluntary work program as alternative — Rights protected - RCW 28A.635.060
High school graduation requirements - WAC 180-51
Alternative learning experience requirements - WAC 392-121-182
Special service programs - Running start program - WAC 392-169
Secondary education - WAC 392-348
Courses of study and equivalencies - WAC 392-410
Policy and Legal News - February 2009; April 2009; June 2010; October 2011; April 2012; September 2013
Highline School District 401 Adopted by the Board: August 1984
Revised by the Board: 3.89; 6.00; 6.01; 3.02; 1.07; 6.07; 7.08; 5.09; 6.11; 6.12; 5.14; 7.15; 1.16; 5.16; 6.19