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    Information for Class of 2020 During COVID-19 School Closure
    Posted on 04/01/2020

    Class of 2020 Updates During COVID-19 School Closure

    There are many questions and concerns about graduation and other requirements for the Class of 2020 during this extended school closure.

    We are working closely with our partners at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the State Board of Education, colleges, community colleges, and universities as we make decisions and provide guidance to schools, students, and their families.

    We are committed to ensuring that seniors’ graduation and postsecondary planning will not be negatively impacted as a result of the current health crisis.

    Graduation Ceremonies

    The scheduled June graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will all be virtual/online.

    Graduation Requirements

    During the week of March 30, school-based staff are reaching out to all seniors to check in on them individually and to let them know we are developing plans to support them. This check-in will focus on wellness, access to technology, academic engagement, and graduation requirements.

    During these check-ins, school-based staff will share updates on the state’s plan to support the Class of 2020. Specifically, the governor signed HB 2965 into law that instructs school districts to apply to the State Board of Education for a waiver of high school graduation requirements for students in the graduating class of 2020 who were “on track to graduate before… February 29, 2020” and who cannot meet the statewide minimum credit and subject area graduation requirements due to forced school closures. The State Board of Education expects to adopt program rules on April 8, 2020 explaining who is eligible for these waivers and plans to launch the application for districts by mid-April. We will continue to provide updates as this moves forward.


    In accordance with OSPI guidelines, we will continue making every effort to provide seniors with meaningful learning that enables them to earn the credits required to graduate. OSPI is also encouraging districts to utilize a pass/fail option for second semester in lieu of letter grades. SPS is still determining guidelines for how educators should award credits. Guidelines will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

    We are exploring ways for students to earn high school credits across different subject areas during the school closure (e.g., online credit recovery programs, virtual/distance work-based CTE learning experiences, Schoology courses for required science courses, World Language Credit Testing for students who speak another language). More information will be coming regarding ways for students to earn credits.

    State Assessments/Pathways Requirements

    Per previous OSPI guidance, the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) will not be administered statewide for grades 3–8 nor grade 10. If school resumes, the testing platform for the SBA will be open Monday, April 27 through Friday, June 5.

    This would allow the district to provide:

    • An option for seniors (Class of 2020) to take (or retake) the English language arts (ELA) and/or math SBA to meet a graduation pathway.
    • An option for seniors (classes of 2017–19) to take (or retake) the ELA and/or math SBA in order to earn a CAA or CIA, or access established graduation alternatives.
    • An option for seniors wanting to take the ELA summative assessment for their Seal of Biliteracy.

    Students in the Class of 2020 or earlier are still eligible for the expedited waiver from the graduation pathways required by state law (HB 1599). Specifically, students who have gained admission to a higher education institution (e.g., Seattle Colleges via Seattle Promise) or career preparation program are eligible for this waiver.

    AP/IB Tests

    Central office staff are working directly with The College Board to coordinate AP testing on behalf of all our high schools that offer AP exams. Schools, students, and families do not need to take any actions regarding AP testing, as this will be coordinated centrally for all schools. The College Board has recently released new online resources for students. Students and families can elect to attend live instruction provided by The College Board for free. Additional information regarding AP exams will be shared as plans progress. More information about AP can be found on The College Board website.

    The IB exams have been canceled. More information about exams is available on the IB website.

    High School and Beyond Plans

    The SPS College and Career Readiness Team will develop guidance on how to use Naviance and other tools to help students continue to engage in high school and beyond planning activities. We will also explore how to provide hard-copy alternative lessons (either online or hard copy) for families who opted out of Naviance. To review district guidance on using Naviance, visit our webpage.

    Class of 2020 FAQ

    We are working to address all questions and support our high school seniors, and will be updating the Class of 2020 FAQ page each week with new information for students and their families as it becomes available.

    Senior FAQs