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2194 Rigorous High School Course Enrollment

The School Board recognizes the need for all high school students to have greater access to rigorous courses, including dual credit courses. Research shows that access to rigorous courses is both what SPS students and families want and what correlates with higher rates of postsecondary success. Moreover, there have been numerous studies that illustrate that access to rigorous courses is more limited for students of color furthest from educational justice. Thus, this access is a critical component of the district’s strategy for meeting its commitment to racial equity, as described in Policy No. 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity.

To that end, the district will automatically enroll students who meet or exceed the state standard on the eighth grade or high school English language arts, mathematics, or science statewide student assessment into the next most rigorous level of course or program in the sequence, as offered by the high school, in accordance with RCW 28A.320.195. Students who do not meet or exceed state standards on the student assessments may also choose to enroll in the next most rigorous level of course or program in the sequence. The district will also engage in racial equity analyses to determine additional criteria that will be used to trigger automatic enrollment. This use of additional criteria to identify student readiness for rigorous coursework is in alignment with the Advanced Learning Department’s use of multiple criteria to identify students for Highly Capable services.

The district will inform students and parents/guardians regarding this policy and the rigorous courses available to students. The district will provide parents/guardians with an opportunity for the student to opt out of participation in the automatic enrollment process.

The Superintendent is directed to develop procedure to implement this policy, and to define what constitutes rigorous coursework.