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Graduation Requirement Emergency Waiver Program

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**New in 2024: The Board adopted final rules modifying the graduation requirements emergency waiver for students graduating in the 2023-2024 school year (see announcement for more info). 

The State Board of Education has adopted rules for an emergency waiver program. The purpose of this program is to allow school districts, charter schools, tribal compact schools, state schools, community and technical college high school programs, and private schools to waive certain graduation requirements on an individual student basis, and allow for the waiver of certain requirements for private schools. The waiver program is not longer available for private schools. The emergency waiver program is to prevent students from being unduly impacted by unforeseen disruptions to their education resulting from an emergency or disaster. The authority for this waiver is RCW 28A.230.320.

WAC 180-111-050 specifically addresses the waiver program to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and applies to students graduating in 2020 through 2024.

Authority to Administer the Waiver

School districts and other local educational agencies must apply to the State Board of Education for authority.

The application for emergency waiver authority in response to the COVID-19 emergency is available for school districts, or other applicable local education agencies as defined in Chapter 180-111 WAC. School districts or local education agency governing bodies must adopt a resolution that includes a plan describing the process for granting and declining the emergency waivers for students. WAC 180-111-030 requires the Superintendent or equivalent personnel with authority to sign on behalf of the school district to complete the application form.

If your district was approved to grant graduation requirement emergency waivers previously, you do not need to reapply. Please review the list of approved districts and agencies above to confirm your approval status.

Waivers are currently available for students in the graduating classes of 2020-2024.

In order to be granted the waiver authority, the district or local education agency must certify compliance with each of the following requirements: 

  • The local education agency has considered equity in applying for the waiver and will consider equity in administering the waiver. This may include, but is not limited to, an equity analysis, community outreach, or other means to assess and mitigate potential disparate impacts of this waiver.
  • The local education agency will grant waivers on an individual student basis to eligible students in accordance with section WAC 180-111-040.
  • The local education agency will demonstrate a good faith effort, as defined in WAC 180-111-020, to help the individual student address credit deficiencies and meet core course and graduation pathway requirements prior to granting a waiver.
  • The local education agency will administer the waiver in accordance with program rules as outlined in WAC 180-111.