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Designing a New Graduation Pathway Option

Release Date: 

June 21, 2023

The most meaningful learning experiences are relevant, engaging, and hands-on. These experiences should prepare students for graduation and their next steps. For some students, a new, performance-based graduation pathway option can align with post-high school goals, inspire greatness, and recognize real-world experiences. To make this new pathway the most meaningful it can be, we need your help designing rules for it.

The State Board held an interactive webinar on Thursday, July 20.

Because of new legislation (HB 1308), the State Board of Education (SBE) must adopt official rules (state laws in the form of Washington Administrative Code) to implement the performance-based graduation pathway option. These rules will give more detail about the requirements for ensuring the safety and quality of the learning experience and the assessment criteria for determining the student has demonstrated the learning standards.

How can a project, practicum, work-related experience, community service experience, or cultural activity show that a student is prepared for life after high school? How could a performance, presentation, portfolio, report, film, or exhibit show a student has met our state’s learning standards? We need to hear your thoughts.

Share your story

Do you know of a culminating project or a student led project currently happening in a school that you think could count as this new pathway option in the future? We want to hear your stories. Please email SBE’s Director of Communications, Stephanie Davidsmeyer. She can work with you to highlight this experience and the student, and/or educator involved in the project.

High-level timeline for feedback and rulemaking

  • May – August: State Board collects feedback on the new performance-based pathway and how it can work well for students, and uses that feedback to draft rules
  • September: The Board considers proposed rules (public comment period starts)
  • December: The Board considers final rules (December 4 is deadline for final public comment)
  • January: Rules take effect

Can’t make the webinar? All registrants will get a recording and links to electronic ways to give feedback. We are also collecting comments on the performance-based pathway via email at until December 4.

More information about the new pathway

The State Board of Education, in collaboration with OSPI, will make tools to support implementation of the performance-based pathway. School districts must adopt a local policy that meets state requirements before offering the performance-based pathway option. Most school districts that are interested in offering this pathway will be able to offer it beginning with the Class of 2025. View the new FAQ or Download the handout for more details.

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Director of Communications