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PDFWAC 180-51-003

Intent of graduation requirements.

(1) The state board of education is responsible for establishing minimum high school graduation requirements that appropriately balance:
(a) Statewide public expectations for all graduating students;
(b) High, meaningful, and fair requirements every student can meet;
(c) The unique characteristics of and differing resources among all school districts and high schools in Washington; and
(d) Recognition that some students' educational plans may not include college or may include application for admission to a postsecondary institution one year or more after being granted a high school diploma.
(2) In order to support the continuing refinement of the standards and performance-based system of education, encourage and facilitate local innovation, and realize the vision under WAC 180-51-001, it is the intent of the state board of education to enact changes that will:
(a) Align the statewide minimum high school graduation requirements with the goal of the basic education act under RCW 28A.150.210 and the mission of the common school system under WAC 392-400-210;
(b) Allow districts the optional discretion to define and award high school credit based on demonstrated performance that is not tied to a state minimum number of hours of instruction or instructional activities;
(c) Assure that the essential academic learning requirements developed under RCW 28A.655.070(2) are taught in the high school curriculum;
(d) Assure that students are aware of the connection between their education and possible career opportunities as referenced in RCW 28A.150.210(4) and WAC 392-415-090; and
(e) Assure that students are provided the opportunity to effectively prepare for the secondary Washington assessment of student learning and earn the certificate of academic achievement required under RCW 28A.655.061(2) recognizing that the certificate of academic achievement, along with other state and local requirements, represents attainment of the knowledge and skills that are necessary for high school graduation.
(3) It is the state board's view that the creative development and application of integrated curriculum within existing resources will significantly facilitate the implementation of the graduation requirements under WAC 180-51-061. The board strongly encourages districts to:
(a) Implement curriculum that includes courses that incorporate the best applied, theoretical, academic or vocational features as authorized under RCW 28A.230.010;
(b) Emphasize the integration of academic and vocational education in educational pathways as required under RCW 28A.655.060 (3)(c); and
(c) Consider using the model curriculum integrating vocational and academic education as it is developed by the superintendent of public instruction under RCW 28A.300.235.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.230.090. WSR 07-07-051, § 180-51-003, filed 3/14/07, effective 4/14/07; WSR 00-23-032, § 180-51-003, filed 11/8/00, effective 12/9/00.]
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