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State subject and credit requirements for high school graduationStudents entering the ninth grade on or after July 1, 2015.

The statewide subject areas and credits required for high school graduation, beginning July 1, 2015, for students who enter the ninth grade or begin the equivalent of a four-year high school program, shall total twenty-four as required in this section, except as otherwise provided in subsections (11) and (12) of this section. All credits are to be aligned with the state's essential academic learning requirements developed under RCW 28A.655.070 for the subject. The content of any course shall be determined by the local school district.
(1) Four English credits.
(2) Three mathematics credits that satisfy the requirements set forth in (a) through (e) of this subsection:
(a) Unless otherwise provided for in (b) of this subsection, the three mathematics credits required under this section must include:
(i) Algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I;
(ii) Geometry or integrated mathematics II; and
(iii) A third credit of high school mathematics, aligning with the student's interests and high school and beyond plan as provided in (10) of this section, and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system in RCW 28A.655.061, with agreement of the student's parent or guardian, or, if the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, agreement of the school counselor or principal. A request for agreement of the student's parent or guardian should be made in the predominant language of a parent(s) or guardian(s) who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent feasible. The school must in all cases give precedence to the direction of the parent(s) or guardian(s), if provided, in election of the third credit to meet the requirements of this section;
(b) A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completed algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I; and/or geometry or integrated mathematics II, but does not request high school credit for such course(s) as provided in RCW 28A.230.090, may either:
(i) Repeat the course(s) for credit in high school; or
(ii) Complete three credits of mathematics as follows:
(A) A student who has successfully completed algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I shall:
(I) Earn the first high school credit in geometry or integrated mathematics II;
(II) Earn the second and third high school credits in courses aligning with the student's interests and high school and beyond plan and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system in RCW 28A.655.061; and
(B) A student who has successfully completed algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I, and geometry or integrated mathematics II, shall: Earn the first, second and third high school credits in courses aligning with the student's interests and high school and beyond plan and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system in RCW 28A.655.061.
(c) A student who satisfactorily demonstrates competency in algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I pursuant to a written district policy, but does not receive credit under the provisions of WAC 180-51-050, shall complete three credits of high school mathematics in the following sequence:
(i) Earn the first high school credit in geometry or integrated mathematics II;
(ii) Earn the second and third high school credits in courses aligning with the student's interests and high school and beyond plan and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system in RCW 28A.655.061.
(d) A student who satisfactorily demonstrates competency in algebra 1 or integrated mathematics I and geometry or integrated mathematics II pursuant to a written district policy, but does not receive credit for the courses under the provisions of WAC 180-51-050, shall complete three credits of high school mathematics in the following sequence: Earn the first, second and third credits in courses aligning with the student's interests and high school and beyond plan and preparing the student to meet state standards for graduation under the assessment system in RCW 28A.655.061.
(3) Three science credits, at least two of which must be in laboratory science as provided in subsection (15)(a) of this section. A student may choose the content of the third credit of science, based on the student's interests and high school and beyond plan, with agreement of the student's parent or guardian, or, if the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, agreement of the school counselor or principal. A request for agreement of the student's parent or guardian should be made in the predominant language of a parent(s) or guardian(s) who predominantly speak a language other than English, to the extent feasible. The school must in all cases give precedence to the direction of the parent(s) or guardian(s), if provided, in election of the third credit to meet the requirements of this section.
(4) Three social studies credits (2.5 credits prescribed courses, plus a .5 credit social studies elective) and a noncredit requirement. The social studies requirement shall consist of the following mandatory courses or equivalencies:
(a) One credit shall be required in United States history.
(b) Successful completion of Washington state history and government shall be required, subject to the provisions of RCW 28A.230.170, 28A.230.090 and WAC 392-410-120, and shall consider including information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first inhabitants of the state. Successful completion must be noted on each student's transcript. The Washington state history and government requirement may be waived by the principal for students who:
(i) Have successfully completed a state history and government course of study in another state; or
(ii) Are in eleventh or twelfth grade and who have not completed a course of study in Washington's history and state government because of previous residence outside the state.
(c) One credit shall be required in contemporary world history, geography, and problems. Courses in economics, sociology, civics, political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on contemporary world problems may be accepted as equivalencies.
(d) One-half credit shall be required in civics and include at a minimum the content listed in RCW 28A.230.093.
(5) Two health and fitness credits (.5 credit health; 1.5 credits fitness). Students may be excused from the fitness requirement under RCW 28A.230.050. Such excused students shall be required to demonstrate proficiency/competency in the knowledge portion of the fitness requirement, in accordance with written district policy.
(6) Two arts credits. The essential content in this subject area may be satisfied in the visual or performing arts. One of the two arts credits may be replaced with a personalized pathway requirement as provided in subsection (15)(c) of this section.
(7) One credit in career and technical education. A career and technical education (CTE) credit means a credit resulting from a course in a CTE program or occupational education credit as contained in the CTE program standards of the office of the superintendent of public instruction. "Occupational education" means credits resulting from a series of learning experiences designed to assist the student to acquire and demonstrate competency of skills under student learning goal four and which skills are required for success in current and emerging occupations. At a minimum, these competencies shall align with the definition of an exploratory course as contained in the CTE program standards of the office of the superintendent of public instruction. An exception may be made for private schools as provided in WAC 180-90-160.
(a) Students who earn a graduation requirement credit through a CTE course determined to be equivalent to a non-CTE course will not be required to earn a second credit in the non-CTE course subject. The single CTE course meets two graduation requirements.
(b) Students who earn a graduation requirement credit in a non-CTE course determined to be equivalent to a CTE course will not be required to earn a second credit in the CTE course subject. The single non-CTE course meets two graduation requirements.
(c) Students satisfying the requirement in (a) or (b) of this subsection will need to earn five elective credits instead of four. Total credits required for graduation will not change.
(8) Two credits in world languages or personalized pathway requirements. If the student has chosen a four-year degree pathway under subsection (10) of this section, the student shall be advised to earn two credits in world languages.
(9) Four credits of electives.
(10) Each student shall have a high school and beyond plan to guide his or her high school experience, including plans for post-secondary education or training and career. The process for completing the high school and beyond plan is locally determined and designed to help students select course work and other activities that will best prepare them for their post-secondary educational and career goals. Students shall create their high school and beyond plans in cooperation with parents/guardians and school staff. School staff shall work with students to update the plans during the years in which the plan is implemented in order to accommodate changing interests or goals.
(11) A school district wishing to implement the requirements for high school graduation for students who enter the ninth grade or begin the equivalent of a four-year high school program on July 1, 2016, or July 1, 2017, rather than July 1, 2015, may apply to the state board of education for a temporary waiver of the requirements of this section. The state board of education shall post an application form on its web site for use by districts seeking this waiver.
(a) An application for a waiver must:
(i) Meet the requirements of chapter 217, Laws of 2014 (E2SSB 6552), which include describing why the waiver is being requested, the specific impediments preventing timely implementation of the high school graduation requirements established in subsections (1) through (9) of this section, and the efforts that will be taken to achieve implementation with the graduating class proposed under the waiver.
(ii) Be accompanied by a resolution adopted by the district board of directors requesting the waiver. The resolution must state the entering freshman class or classes for whom the waiver is requested, and be signed by the board chair or president and the district superintendent.
(b) A district implementing a waiver shall continue to be subject to the requirements of WAC 180-51-067 during the school year or years for which the waiver has been granted.
(c) Nothing shall prevent a district granted a waiver from electing to implement subsections (1) through (10) of this section during the term for which the waiver is granted. A district granted a waiver that elects to implement subsections (1) through (10) of this section shall provide notification of such decision to the state board of education.
(d) The state board of education shall post the application for each waiver on its public web site.
(12) A school district that grants high school diplomas may waive up to two of the credits required for graduation under this section for individual students for reason of unusual circumstances, as defined by the district. Unless otherwise provided in law, students granted a waiver under this subsection must earn the seventeen required subject credits in subsections (1) through (7) of this section, which may be by satisfactory demonstration of competence under WAC 180-51-050. The waiving of credits for individual students for reason of unusual circumstances must be in accordance with written policies adopted by resolution of each board of directors of a district that grants diplomas.
(13) Equivalent career and technical education (CTE) courses meeting the requirements set forth in RCW 28A.230.097 can be taken for credit in place of any of the courses set forth in subsections (1) through (6) of this section, if the courses are recorded on the student's transcript using the equivalent academic high school department designation and course title.
(14) Students who complete and pass all required International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme courses are considered to have satisfied state subject and credit requirements for graduation from a public high school, subject to the provisions of RCW 28A.230.090, 28A.230.170, and chapter 28A.230 RCW.
(15) Definitions:
(a) "Laboratory science" means any instruction that provides opportunities for students to interact directly with the material world, or with data drawn from the material world, using the tools, data collection techniques, models and theories of science. A laboratory science course meeting the requirement of subsection (3) of this section may include courses conducted in classroom facilities specially designed for laboratory science, or coursework in traditional classrooms, outdoor spaces, or other settings which accommodate elements of laboratory science as identified in this subsection;
(b) "Personalized pathway" means a locally determined body of coursework identified in a student's high school and beyond plan that is deemed necessary to attain the post-secondary career or educational goals chosen by the student;
(c) "Personalized pathway requirements" means up to three course credits chosen by a student under subsections (6) and (8) of this section that are included in a student's personalized pathway and prepare the student to meet specific post-secondary career or educational goals.
[Statutory Authority: 2014 c 217 and RCW 28A.230.090. WSR 14-19-032, § 180-51-068, filed 9/8/14, effective 10/9/14.]
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