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Updated COVID-19 Information

Release Date: 

March 18, 2020

UPDATE: link to section below regarding an emergency waiver from SBE of certain graduation requirements for on-track seniors.

COVID-19 (also known as the Novel Coronavirus) information
Many regions around the world are experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the virus known as COVID-19. This is an evolving situation that may have significant implications for Washington communities, including schools, in the months.

For more information about:

SBE will adopt emergency rules around an emergency waiver for districts in response to COVID-19

The State Legislature passed a new law (EHB 2965) supporting the state’s response to the novel coronavirus. This law includes a provision (see Section 10) that allows the State Board of Education to grant an emergency waiver to local education agencies (e.g., school districts, etc.) and private schools. The waiver will provide flexibility so students in the graduating Class of 2020 or earlier, who were on track to graduate, are not held back by school closures due to the novel coronavirus.

Under the emergency waiver program, public school districts, charter schools, and tribal compact schools will be able to apply to the State Board of Education for a waiver of certain high school graduation requirements. To get the waiver, schools and districts must demonstrate a good faith effort to address core course requirements and credit deficiencies. In addition, the State Board of Education may waive credit-based graduation requirements in addition to school day and instructional hour requirements for private schools. 

The State Board of Education is working with partners to review different scenarios and considerations to ensure the program rules effectively support students, schools, and communities. The Board held a Special Meeting from 1:30 – 3:30 on Thursday, March 26, to review the draft timeline and considerations for rulemaking. The Board expects to adopt emergency rules by the middle of April. Find meeting documents, a video recording, and presentations on SBE's news page.

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Communications Manager
(360) 764-0522