There are many questions and concerns about graduation and other requirements for the 2020 senior class. We’re working hard to address all questions and offer support. Our commitment is helping you graduate and we will continue to look at solutions with your best interest in mind.
We are also working closely with our partners: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), State Board of Education, colleges, community colleges and universities that provide credit-bearing classes for students.
- Students on track to graduate
The State Legislature recently passed EHB 2965, which ensures students in the class of 2020, who were on track to graduate, will still earn their diploma.
- Students not on track to graduate
In the fall, every senior who was not on track to graduate met individually with counselors to review graduation requirements and develop plans to retrieve credits necessary to graduate. These plans were given to students and their family.
Students and families can check course and advisory grades through Family Access. Seniors not passing a class should complete any required missing assignments or assessments assigned prior to March 13. Students and parents can always reach out to teachers and counselors for questions and support.
4/9/20: Below is additional information released from the State Board of Education about graduation requirements.
What is the ruling from the State Board of Education (SBE)?
The State Legislature passed ESB 2965 which ensures students in the Class of 2020, who were “on track to graduate”, will still earn their diploma. The State Board of Education followed up with this legislation by passing emergency rules that local school districts must follow to be in compliance.
According to SBE, what does “on track to graduate” mean?
“On track to graduate” is defined as a student whose current or planned enrollment of classes as of February 29, 2020, would have been sufficient to meet the state minimum graduation requirements by the end of the 2019-2020 school year excluding summer school.
What are the rules local school districts must follow?
The district will need to apply for the Emergency Waiver through the SBE. The window to apply for a waiver should open for districts by April 15, 2020. The SBE will approve its first round of waivers on April 21. SBE will promptly post information on its website related to decisions to approve or deny applications.
Will the SBLSD get the waiver if they apply?
The district must meet specific criteria in order to be in compliance for the waiver including considering equity for all students and making a good faith effort to help individual students address credit deficiencies and meet core requirements. The district will ensure it meets all requirements needed for the application.
Will the waiver be granted for all students?
The waiver allows the district to waive graduation requirements for individual students on an as needed basis. Any student who was on track to graduate as of February 29, 2020, would be eligible to have credits waived.
How many credits does the waiver work for?
The waiver applies to any classes a student was currently enrolled in or planned to take second semester in order to earn their diploma. For most students, the maximum number of credits needing to be waived would be 3.
Are there any other rules students need to know about the waiver?
Before granting the waiver to any student, the district must consult with the student and a parent or guardian about the potential benefits and limitations that could result from receiving the waiver.
What does my transcript look like if I use the waiver?
If a student uses the waiver for any class, the student’s transcript will reflect a grade mark of “no credit” or “NC”.
Does a “no credit” impact my GPA?
No, a “no credit” will not impact a student’s GPA.
If I continue working in my classes until the end of year, what will happen with my credits?
We encourage students to keep working and to finish the year strong. If students are passing their classes at the end of the year, students will receive credit for their classes. Student transcripts will reflect these courses and applicable grades. Students will not need to use a waiver if credit is earned.
Why would a student want to use the waiver?
Students are eligible for the waiver if they were on track to graduate as of February 29, 2020. Everyone’s current situation is different and unique. Some students may find distance learning challenging, some students face adversity such as homelessness, while other students are working to help support their family. The waiver was intended so a student’s graduation was not negatively impacted because they couldn’t successfully complete their coursework as a result of the coronavirus. Districts must put forth a good faith effort in helping to support students so they have the opportunity to pass their classes. Students will only use the waiver if they are unable to successfully complete any class or classes.
Why would a student not want to use the waiver?
Students should consider their post-secondary plans before electing to waive credits. Not earning credit in specific classes could potentially lead to students needing to take a class or classes at colleges or universities. Many universities use a student’s GPA in core classes for admittance to their institutions. Some colleges or trade schools may want letter grades for certification or licensure. We have not yet received guidance from NCAA or highly selective colleges on how they plan to treat credit/no credit grades with regard to eligibility and/or admissions. While most institutions appear to be flexible due to the coronavirus, students should consider contacting post-secondary admission counselors with any questions and/or clarification.
What if I do not pass a class or classes and do not want to apply for the waiver?
The district will work with students to earn any needed credits during summer school as well as in the 2020-2021 school year.
Does the waiver apply to underclassmen?
No, the current waiver is only for students in the Class of 2020, or earlier, who were on track to graduate as of February 29, 2020.
- Seniors, our school leadership is working with state and local officials for the proper guidance to ensure you get the assistance you need on meeting credit requirements and making postsecondary transitions.
- We are focused on and committed to getting clear and concise information for you during what we know is a challenging time.
- The District plans to secure an emergency waiver from the State Board of Education to give us more flexibility in certain graduation requirements following the extensive school closures due to COVID-19. Once we receive the waiver, we will have the authority to waive credits on an individual basis for seniors who were on track to graduate this school year.
- All seniors will receive support from guidance counselors on opportunities to earn and document credits they need for postsecondary transitions.
- We are in the process of determining how grading will take place in a way that is equitable for all students.
- Credits may be earned in multiple ways, which could include credit via work completion, competency-based assessments, expanded course equivalency, or pass/no credit transcript designations.
- Washington Student Achievement Council revised its admissions standards policy to allow for more flexibility. The revision applies to the Class of 2020 – students pursuing direct postsecondary enrollment. See the revised policy here.
- Four-year colleges and universities released a joint statement, including admissions contacts for each institution, about supporting the high school Class of 2020.
- The Council of Presidents resource page is here.
- Independent Colleges of Washington resource page is here.
- The State Board of Community and Technical Colleges resource page is here.
- Expect to be in touch with your teacher, counselor, advisor in the days/weeks to come to process this information and discuss your plans toward graduation and beyond. We are here for you!
- We’re engaging with you to think about how to celebrate the work and achievement of seniors while complying with social distancing orders. Additionally, statewide plans for a virtual celebration are underway.
- We want to hear from you on how you would like to be honored! Share your ideas with what you think is the best way for our district to recognize you and your classmates.
Prom & Events
- When it comes to school-related events and gatherings, we’re engaging with our students to come up with creative alternatives to celebrate these milestones. Please share your ideas!
- The past month has demonstrated tremendous adaptability and innovation from students, educators, parents and community members alike, and we will continue to work with the educational community to come up with creative avenues to celebrate events, such as prom.
- In some cases, special events may be postponed until summer, or held virtually. We recognize the difficulty of this decision, yet the safety of our students, families and community is, and will continue to be, our top priority.
- We will keep students and families updated on these decisions so that you can plan in advance to participate.
- Students on track to graduate
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We are currently moving forward with graduation ceremonies in June. As of now, no dates or times have changed. However, this is an evolving situation. Be cautious in making any graduation-related purchases until further information becomes available.
Please note, the last attendance day for seniors is June 12
We are working on a plan to help seniors earn credits for classes they are currently enrolled in, as well as any other credits they may need to meet graduation requirements. Stay up-to-date on the most current information from teachers and counselors by checking student email accounts frequently. Also, check this page frequently.
Credits and Courses
We are waiting for more information from the State Board of Education
Due to health and safety concerns, the district is waiving the requirement for students in the Class of 2020 to complete a job shadow, a student led conference, or to fulfill community service (volunteer) hours for their High School and Beyond Plan. Students are still required to complete all activities in Career Cruising. If you or your child have questions or concerns regarding grades or their High School and Beyond Plan, please contact the advisory teacher or counselor for support.
At this time, we are still awaiting final decisions on spring sports. Should the season be cancelled, we will consider all options available, including waiving PE credit requirements. Stay tuned for further communication and updates.
One of the graduation requirements for the class of 2020 includes a state assessment and/or pathway option. Seniors who have not yet met their state assessment and/or pathway option requirement should contact their school counselor to explore options (SHS, BLHS).
Yes, please continue taking online courses that you started before the school closure. This includes courses through Edmentum.
Students and families may contact their school’s Career Specialist and/or Counselor. They can help with financial aid and FAFSA/WASFA questions, award letter review, and scholarship essay review. Link here for contact information: SHS, BLHS.
In Washington state there are many ways that you can meet the state testing requirements for graduation. Contact your school counselor to see what other options are available. Link here for contact information: SHS, BLHS.
The International Baccalaureate organization announced that the examinations originally scheduled for April 30-May 22 for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme will not be held this year due to COVID-19.
The IB will use a range of evidence to award the diploma or course certificate, including coursework already completed by the student. This is based on the student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. At this time, IB still plans to release grades on July 5, 2020.
We will provide further updates to our IB students and families as information becomes available.
World Language Credit by Proficiency testing will be rescheduled when school reopens with priority going to seniors. Additional plans will be shared as soon as they are finalized.
Students should check the College Board website for the most updated information on testing dates and locations.
Our Technology Department is available to assist you. During the business day (8 a.m.-4 p.m.), you may email email@example.com or call (253) 891-6111 and leave a message. The technology team will return your email/call within 24 hours.