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Statement: ethnic studies grad. requirement

The Board has received several public comments about a potential “vote on ethnic studies” over the past few days. This is not accurate. Please read on to find out what will actually be discussed at this week’s meeting.

Student feedback on graduation alignment

As part of our work on the alignment of graduation requirements with the Washington Profile of a Graduate, SBE staff attended the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) student voice meeting on April 11, the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) Student Representative Network meeting on April 18, and held a student listening session facilitated by SBE student members Pavan Venkatakrishnan and McKenna Roberts on May 3. The AWSL meeting had approximately 25 students and the WSSDA Student Representative Network had approximately 10 students.

Graduation Requirement Emergency Waivers

At the upcoming March 9-10 meeting, the State Board of Education will consider rules on graduation requirement emergency waivers for upcoming graduating classes, specifically focused on (but not limited to) the Class of 2023. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, similar emergency waiver rules have been adopted to help students struggling to graduate. The waiver was created as the pandemic impacted students’ ability to finish high school as they would have under normal conditions.

SBE to Host Special Meeting, Emergency Waiver Program

On February 25, beginning at 1:00 p.m., the State Board of Education (SBE) will host a special meeting where the Board will review and discuss a draft of emergency rules about the emergency graduation requirements waiver program. The draft is available to the public. The Board will receive public comment, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. SBE will also collect written public comment (email

Social Studies Graduation Requirements

SBE and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) hosted a webinar last week featuring Linda Drake (SBE Director of Career- and College Readiness) and Jerry Price (OSPI Social Studies Program Supervisor) about new graduation requirements around social studies. Please find a video recording of the presentation here: Webinar Recording.

Graduation Pathway Options

Legislation passed in the 2019 session (HB 1599) established multiple graduation pathway options. In 2023, HB 1308 passed establishing the performance-based pathway.

Graduation Requirements

If you are a student or family member of a student, see the Families and Students page. Students are assigned an expected graduation year at the time they enter ninth grade (WAC 180-51-035). They are held to the graduation requirements of that graduation year regardless of the year they actually complete high school.

WA's Mandatory & Encouraged Ed. Offerings

Download the two-page resourceIn our state, there are both required and encouraged educational offerings at each school district. The law tells us that districts must provide an educational program that allows students to meet graduation requirements.

Student Wishes, Wants, Concerns about Graduation

Before the January 2021 Board meeting, members of the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) surveyed students from around the state about their wishes, wants, and concerns around graduation and graduation requirements. The following are some of the responses from current Washington students.