Below is the fourth edition of our Parents & Families newsletter for the 2019-20 school year.

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Welcome back to our Parents & Families newsletter, and welcome to 2020! Now that we’re into the second half of the school year, I’d like to dive into a new topic over the next three months: high school graduation pathways.

No matter what grade your student is in, they’re working toward the academic milestone of achieving a high school diploma at the end of their 12th-grade year. Recently, our state made some updates to the way high school graduation can be achieved in Washington, so it feels like an opportune time to dig into all you need to know about graduation. If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] and ask.

In this newsletter, I’ll start with an overview to keep things simple and give you a chance to start digesting the information. Over the next two months, I’ll dig deeper into the details.

So, what does it mean to receive a high school diploma in Washington? Ideally, it means that the student receiving it is prepared for life after high school. Literally speaking, though, a high school diploma in Washington means the following things, as of 2019:

  • you’ve passed the required high school courses
  • you’ve completed a High School and Beyond Plan to guide your course choices
  • you’ve completed one of the following pathways:
    • passed the state assessment in English/Language Arts (ELA) and/or Math
    • passed a dual credit class in ELA and/or math
    • passed an AP/IB/Cambridge class in ELA and/or math
    • passed a transition course in ELA and/or math
    • passed a sequence of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses
    • achieved the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) passing score
    • met the graduation score of the SAT or ACT in ELA and/or math
    • met a combination of the above pathways in ELA and/or math

Now, although all these pathways are options for students, your district may only offer some of them right now. The best way to move forward in getting the most relevant information for you would be to research what is going in your district, because every district is a little different.

Here are some resources that review the changes from a statewide lens to get you started:

I hope this can serve as a starting place for you, and then we’ll pick up with more information in our next newsletter.

If you’re interested in learning more about graduation pathways or about how to advocate for change at your school and at the state legislature, please join us as a volunteer and we’ll reach out to connect and learn more about what you’re interested in.