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2415 High School Graduation Requirements

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that in addition to meeting all graduation requirements set forth by the State of Washington, all District high school students meet the following requirements in order to graduate:

  1. Students in the Class of 2020 or earlier must have a minimum of 21 credits in order to graduate, which is one credit more than the state requirement.  Per state law, students in the Class of 2021 and beyond must earn 24 credits, but districts may put a policy in place to waive up to two of those credits.  The Seattle School Board authorizes this two credit waiver for individual students, based on their circumstances. Credits defined by the State Board of Education as foundational/mandatory core credits may not be waived.  The Superintendent or Superintendent’s Designee is directed to develop a waiver process for this two credit waiver, which will be outlined in the K-12 School Counseling Manual.
  2. Students are urged to examine their post-high school plans, and to take the appropriate credits that will allow them to achieve their postgraduate goals. Additionally, students are encouraged to gain proficiency in many areas of the curriculum.
  3. Individual schools may require additional credits for graduation; to do so, the school must receive a written waiver from the designated Director of Schools, the Assistant Superintendent of Academics, and the Superintendent.
  4. The Board recognizes the importance and is supportive of community service by requiring students to participate in service learning activities, which are jointly developed by the District and school sites. Students are required to complete 60 hours of service learning before graduation.

Students Completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

Beginning in Fall 2011, students who fulfill the requirements of an international baccalaureate (IB) program are considered to have met state high school graduation standards, so long as:

  1. The student meets state graduation requirements;
  2. The student meets the provision regarding study of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington; and
  3. The student meets all graduation requirements required by Seattle Public Schools or by the student’s school that are in addition to state minimum requirements, unless those requirements are

waived by the student’s principal or designee. Fulfilling the requirements of an international baccalaureate program means the student has:

  1. Completed and passed all required IB courses as scored by the school;
  2. Passed all internal assessments as scored by the school;
  3. Successfully completed all required projects and products as scored by the school; and
  4. Completed the final examinations administered by the international baccalaureate organization in each of the required subjects under the IB diploma program.

A student and their parent or guardian will be required to sign the

“International Baccalaureate Option Form” indicating that the student and family understand that the waiver from state minimum graduation requirements only applies for students who fulfill the requirements of the IB program; should a student fail to meet the requirements, or if a student leaves the program prior to completion, they may be required to fulfill state and Seattle Public Schools minimum graduation requirements.

Graduation and Participation in Commencement

  1. Students must be enrolled and attending a school for the semester immediately preceding graduation to be eligible to graduate from that school. Students who are participating in Running Start or who have properly obtained dual-enrollment in another school district or approved program may graduate from their affiliated District high school.
  2. A student must have met all state graduation requirements or fulfilled the requirements of the International Baccalaureate program, and have met or waived all District graduation requirements, in order to participate in commencement, unless the student has a right to participate in commencement as a matter of state or federal law.

The Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee(s) shall annually create, post, and distribute a Graduation Requirements Bulletin for each graduating class detailing all graduation requirements, including requirements set forth by the State of Washington, a breakdown of the areas in which students must earn credit, and a process by which district and state requirements may be waived. The Graduation Requirements Bulletin and the K-12 School Counseling Manual serve as the administrative procedures to further implement this Policy.