180-18-050  <<  180-18-055 >>   180-18-065

Alternative high school graduation requirements.

(1) The shift from a time and credit based system of education to a standards and performance based education system will be a multiyear transition. In order to facilitate the transition and encourage local innovation, the state board of education finds that current credit-based graduation requirements may be a limitation upon the ability of high schools and districts to make the transition with the least amount of difficulty. Therefore, the state board will provide districts and high schools the opportunity to create and implement alternative graduation requirements.
(2) A school district, or high school with permission of the district board of directors, or approved private high school, desiring to implement a local restructuring plan to provide an effective educational system to enhance the educational program for high school students, may apply to the state board of education for a waiver from one or more of the requirements of chapter 180-51 WAC.
(3) The state board of education may grant the waiver for a period up to four school years.
(4) The waiver application shall be in the form of a resolution adopted by the district or private school board of directors which includes a request for the waiver and a plan for restructuring the educational program of one or more high schools which consists of at least the following information:
(a) Identification of the requirements of chapter 180-51 WAC to be waived;
(b) Specific standards for increased student learning that the district or school expects to achieve;
(c) How the district or school plans to achieve the higher standards, including timelines for implementation;
(d) How the district or school plans to determine if the higher standards are met;
(e) Evidence that the board of directors, teachers, administrators, and classified employees are committed to working cooperatively in implementing the plan;
(f) Evidence that students, families, parents, and citizens were involved in developing the plan; and
(g) Identification of the school years subject to the waiver.
(5) The plan for restructuring the educational program of one or more high schools may consist of the school improvement plans required under WAC 180-16-220, along with the requirements of subsection (4)(a) through (d) of this section.
(6) The application also shall include documentation that the school is successful as demonstrated by indicators such as, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The school has clear expectations for student learning;
(b) The graduation rate of the high school for the last three school years;
(c) Any follow-up employment data for the high school's graduate for the last three years;
(d) The college admission rate of the school's graduates the last three school years;
(e) Use of student portfolios to document student learning;
(f) Student scores on the high school Washington assessments of student learning;
(g) The level and types of family and parent involvement at the school;
(h) The school's annual performance report the last three school years; and
(i) The level of student, family, parent, and public satisfaction and confidence in the school as reflected in any survey done by the school the last three school years.
(7) A waiver of WAC 180-51-060 may be granted only if the district or school provides documentation and rationale that any noncredit based graduation requirements that will replace in whole or in part WAC 180-51-060, will support the state's performance-based education system being implemented pursuant to RCW 28A.630.885, and the noncredit based requirements meet the minimum college core admissions standards as accepted by the higher education coordinating board for students planning to attend a baccalaureate institution.
(8) A waiver granted under this section may be renewed upon the state board of education receiving a renewal request from the school district board of directors. Before filing the request, the school district shall conduct at least one public meeting to evaluate the educational requirements that were implemented as a result of the waiver. The request to the state board shall include information regarding the activities and programs implemented as a result of the waiver, whether higher standards for students are being achieved, assurances that students in advanced placement or other postsecondary options programs, such as but not limited to: College in the high school, running start, and tech-prep, shall not be disadvantaged, and a summary of the comments received at the public meeting or meetings.
(9) The state board of education shall notify the state board for community and technical colleges, the higher education coordinating board and the council of presidents of any waiver granted under this section.
(10) Any waiver requested under this section will be granted with the understanding that the state board of education will affirm that students who graduate under alternative graduation requirements have in fact completed state requirements for high school graduation in a nontraditional program.
(11) Any school or district granted a waiver under this chapter shall report annually to the state board of education, in a form and manner to be determined by the board, on the progress and effects of implementing the waiver.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.150.220 and 28A.305.140. WSR 04-23-006, § 180-18-055, filed 11/4/04, effective 12/5/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.150.220(4), 28A.305.140, and 28A.305.130(6). WSR 04-04-093, § 180-18-055, filed 2/3/04, effective 3/5/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.230.090, 28A.305.140 and 28A.600.010. WSR 99-10-094, § 180-18-055, filed 5/4/99, effective 6/4/99.]
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