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Graduation Requirement Emergency Waiver Program

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Click to enlargeThe 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, 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 purpose of 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 Chapter 7, Laws of 2021 (EHB 1121).

WAC 180-111-050 specifically addresses the waiver program to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and applies to students graduating in 2020 through 2022. The Board adopted permanent rules at the May 2022 meeting, extending the waiver to the Class of 2023.

Authority to Administer the Waiver

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

Private Schools must notify the State Board of Education. A form link to the notification form for the 2021-2022 school year will be available here in spring 2022. The form is due by July 31, 2022. 

Application for Authority to Administer an Emergency Waiver Program in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The application for emergency waiver authority in response to the COVID-19 emergency for the graduation class of 2022 is now 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 desrcribing 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 you were approved to grant graduation requirement emergency waivers for either 2019-2020 or 2020-2021, you do not need to reapply as your approval status for 2021-2022 remains in effect. 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 2020-2022. The Board is considering extending the waiver to include students graduating in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 but a final decision on availability and criteria for waivers for those cohorts has not yet been made. For more information see our rulemaking page at

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.