2410P Procedure - High School Graduation Requirements


Prior to registering in high school and each year thereafter, each student and their parents or guardians will be provided with a copy of the graduation requirements in effect for that student (those in effect when the student enrolled in ninth grade). Graduation requirements may also be included in the student handbook.

Period of Eligibility to Earn Credits

Generally, credit towards high school graduation will be earned in grades nine through twelve. However, unless requested otherwise by the student and the student’s family, the district will award high school credit towards fulfilling graduation requirements to a student who has completed high school courses while in seventh or eighth grade if one of the following applies:

  1. The course was taken with high school students, and the student successfully passed the same course requirements and examinations as the high school students enrolled in the class; or 
  2. The course taught at the middle school level has been determined by the district to be similar or equivalent to a course taught at the high school level.

Students who have taken and successfully completed high school courses under the above circumstances shall not be required to take an additional competency examination or perform any other additional assignments to receive credit.

Grades for these courses will be transcribed with a letter grade. Before the end of eleventh grade, a student and the student’s parent or guardian must inform the school if they do not want credit for the course or courses taken before attending high school or if they want the credit to be transcribed with a nonnumerical grade.

Awarding of High School Credit

The district will award high school credit for successful completion of a specified course of study. A student successfully completes a specified course of study by doing one of the following:

  1. Earning a passing grade according to the district’s grading policy; 
  2. Demonstrating proficiency or mastery of content standards in accordance with FPS Procedures 2402 – 2409, 2413; or 
  3. Successfully completing an established number of hours of planned instructional activities to be determined by the district.
Awarding of Partial High School Credit

At the beginning of each semester, teachers and/or professional learning communities will determine the expected number of standards covered in that semester. Students who exit the semester before the end of the term will be awarded partial credit based on the following formula:

The number of standards the student is passing at the *time of withdrawal divided by the number of expected standards covered during the term multiplied by 0.5 credit.

*If a student is withdrawn after 20 consecutive days of non-attendance, any assignments given after the student’s last date of attendance will be excluded from the partial credit calculation.

Credits from Other Programs

The principal or designee is responsible for determining which credits will be recognized by the district for students enrolling from another state approved learning program (public school, approved private school, or home school), or from an out-of-state or out-of-country program. The district will accept credits from another Washington state public school or accredited state private school or accredited out-of-state public or private school to the extent the credit matches a district graduation requirement—or the credits may be counted as elective credits. The district will evaluate credits from unaccredited programs or home schools as described below for home school students. Decisions of the principal or designee may be appealed to the superintendent within fifteen school days of the initial decision.

Subject and Credit Requirements for Graduation

The following are the subject and credit requirements that a student must meet to graduate from Franklin Pierce Schools: 

  1. Four credits in English. 
  2. Three credits in mathematics. 
    1. The three mathematics credits must include Algebra I or integrated mathematics I, Geometry or integrated mathematics II, and a third credit of high school mathematics that aligns with the student’s interests and high school and beyond plan.
    2. A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade that is automatically transcribed on the student’s high school transcript or a student who demonstrates mastery or competency in high school math subjects and has received credit for them may use those credits to meet their graduation requirement. 
    3. A student who prior to ninth grade successfully completes one or more high school level math courses with a passing grade and opts to receive no high school credit for that course or those courses or a student who demonstrated mastery or competency in those subjects but did not receive high school credits may do one of the following:
      1. Repeat the course or courses for credit in high school; or 
      2. Earn three credits of high school mathematics in different math subjects than those completed before high school. The student must take Algebra I or integrated mathematics I, and Geometry or integrated mathematics II in high school if the student did not complete those courses at a high school level prior to high school. However, the student does not need to repeat courses if the student already took the courses at a high school level. 
    4. A student may substitute a computer science course aligned to state computer science learning standards as an alternative to a third year of mathematics so long as:
      1. Before substituting the mathematics course, the counselor provides the student and the student’s parent/guardian with written notification of postsecondary consequences due to the substitution;
      2. The student, the student’s parent or guardian, and the school principal or counselor agree to the substitution;
      3. The substitution aligns with the student’s high school and beyond plan; and
      4. The student has not already substituted a third-year science course for a computer science course.
  3. Three credits in science. 
    1. Two science credits must be in laboratory science.
    2. A student may choose the content of the third science credit based on their interests and their high school and beyond plan, with agreement of the student’s parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not indicate a preference for a specific course, the school counselor or principal may provide agreement. 
  4. Three credits in social studies.
    1. One-half social studies credit must be in a world history course.
    2. One social studies credit must be in United States history.
    3. One-half social studies credit must be in contemporary world history, world geography, and world problems. Courses in economics, sociology, civics, political science, international relations, or related courses with emphasis on contemporary world problems may be accepted as equivalencies, as noted in the district course catalog. 
    4. One-half social studies credit must be in civics.
    5. One-half social studies credit must be in an elective course.
    6. Although a student does not receive credit for such a course, a student must complete the Washington state graduation requirement of a Washington State history and government course. 
  5. Two credits in world languages or personalized pathway requirements.
    1. “Personalized pathway requirement” means up to three credits chosen by a student that are included in a student’s personalized pathway and prepare the student to meet specific post-secondary career or educational goals.
    2. “Personalized pathway” means a locally determined body of coursework identified in a student’s high school and beyond plan that is deemed necessary to attain the post-secondary career or educational goals chosen by the student. 
  6. Two credits in the arts. One of the two arts credits may be replaced with a personalized pathway requirement. 
  7. One-half credit in health. 
  8. One and one-half credits in physical education. One-half credit must be in Intro to PE. 
  9. One credit in career and technical education (CTE).
    1. A career and technical education credit is a credit resulting from a course in a career and technical education program or an occupational education credit.
    2. A student who earns credit through a career and technical education course determined by the district or by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to be equivalent to a noncareer and technical education core course will not be required to pass a course in the noncareer and technical education subject to earn a credit in that subject. The student earns one credit while meeting two graduation requirements, a career and technical education requirement and the noncareer and technical education subject requirement. The total number of credits required for graduation remain unchanged, and the student will need to earn an additional elective credit. 
  10. Elective credits.
    1. Class of 2022, 2023, and 2024: 4 elective credits
    2. Classes of 2025 and beyond: 4 elective credits

Total number of credits required to graduate: 24 credits

Two elective or personalized pathways credits may be waived at the school level for individual students based on an individual student’s extraordinary circumstances in accordance with FPS Policy 2418: Waiver of High School Graduation Credits.

Individual students may be excused from participating in the fitness portion of physical education on account of physical disability, employment, religious belief, or because of participation in directed athletics or military science and tactics or for other good cause. Such excused students shall be required to demonstrate proficiency/competency in the knowledge portion of the physical education requirement in accordance with FPS Policy 2407: Health and Physical Education Mastery-Based Credit (RCW 28A.230.050).

Experiential Education Opportunities

The district may grant credit toward graduation requirements for planned learning experiences primarily conducted away from the facilities owned, operated, or supervised by the district. To grant credit for such experiences, a proposal for approval of credit must be developed with or submitted to a district-designated team, with final approval from the superintendent’s designee, in accordance with FPS Policy 2413: Equivalency Credit Opportunities.

Running Start

The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend community college classes (100 level or above) for part or all of their schedule. Students must be of junior standing or above to be eligible for the program. Students earn college credit, which is also converted and applied to their high school transcript.

In order to enroll in the Running Start program, students need to do the following: 

  1. Check with their high school counselor and/or determine the options for demonstrating college-level placement via assessments or courses taken. At a minimum, college-level skills in reading and writing are required. First time Running Start students will need to apply and enroll in the college before completing the registration process at the high school and college.
  2. Speak with their counselor to assess credits needed for graduation, then decide which courses they would like to take at the college. Note that part-time Running Start students will need to coordinate college classes so that they do not interfere with their high school classes. Students are permitted to enroll in a combined annual average of 1.4 FTE between high school and college.
  3. Every quarter, complete and submit a Running Start verification form to the college. Work with high school counselor and college advisor to verify course decisions and coverage of tuition via state funding for selected courses. Parent consent is required if the student is under 18 years old.
  4. Register for classes via the college’s registration system, adhering to the college’s registration deadlines.
Credit for Career and Technical Work-Site Learning

The district regards work experience as a part of the educational program of students as part of the secondary school curriculum rather than just a device to relieve a staffing shortage. The district may grant credit for work experience based upon the following factors: 

  1. The school will supervise the work program. 
  2. The work experience will specifically relate to the student’s school program. 
  3. The work experience will represent growth in the student, and the type of work will have definite educational value. 
  4. The work experience will provide a varied job experience. 
  5. The student’s assigned CTE teacher will supplement the work experience with an adequate program of guidance, placement, follow-up, and coordination between job and school. 
  6. The work experience may be a planned part of the credit given for a school subject (e.g., sales training class). 
  7. The district may grant one credit for not less than 180 hours for instructional work-site learning experience and not less than 360 hours of cooperative work-site learning experience related to a student’s school program. 
  8. The employer will legally employ the student who must have passed their sixteenth birthday. 
  9. The employer will file a report of the student’s work record with the school, indicating the student made satisfactory progress on the job. 
  10. The regular state apprenticeship program and school cooperatively develop the student’s training, which meets graduation-requirement standards. 
  11. The program standards and procedures align with the state career and technical work-site learning standards.
College in the High School

The college in the high school program is a dual credit program located on a high school campus or in a high school environment in which a high school student may earn both college credit and high school credit by achieving a passing grade in a college-level course. A college in the high school program will be governed by a local contract which will include qualifications for students to enroll in the program. Additionally, applicable information regarding students in the program includes the following:

  1. Students who have not yet received a high school diploma, and are eligible to be in the ninth, tenth, eleventh or twelfth grades may participate in the college in the high school program.
  2. Students will receive credit for the courses they complete. If a student completes a course for which there is not a comparable course with the district, then a Teaching and Learning Services administrator will determine how many credits the student will receive for the course.
National Guard High School Career Training

The district may grant credit for National Guard high school career training in lieu of either required or elective high school credits. Approval by the district will be obtained prior to a student’s participation in a National Guard training program as follows: 

  1. Military (MIL) Form 115 or an equivalent form provided by the National Guard will be completed and filed with the district. 
  2. The number of credits toward high school graduation to be granted will be calculated and agreed upon by the student and superintendent’s designee. Such agreement will be noted on Military (MIL) Form 115 or an equivalent form. 
  3. The district may grant credit toward high school graduation upon certification by a National Guard training unit commander that the student has met all program requirements.
Home School Credit

Guidelines for granting high school credit for home schooling are as follows: 

  1. To gain credit for a course of study, a student will provide the following:
    1. A journal that reflects the actual work completed during a home-study course of study;
    2. Exhibits of any specific projects completed (e.g., themes, research papers, art and/or shop projects); or
    3. Any such other performance-based exhibits of specific course-related accomplishments. 
  2. To gain credit for a course of study, a student must demonstrate minimum proficiency of the objectives of the course. Such testing will be available as an ancillary service of the district if it is regularly available to all students. If not, the parent may engage district-approved personnel to conduct such an assessment at a cost determined by such personnel. 
  3. Credit is granted for the following approved schools:
    1. Community colleges, vocational-technical institutes, four-year colleges and universities, and approved private schools in the state of Washington; and
    2. Other schools or institutions that are approved by the district after evaluation for a particular course offering.

Each student must have a high school and beyond plan to guide the student’s high school experience and inform course taking that is aligned with the student’s goals for education or training and career after high school.

Plan Development

Beginning by the seventh grade, each student will be administered a career interest and skills inventory, which is intended to inform eighth grade course scheduling and the development of an initial high school and beyond plan.

No later than eighth grade, each student must have begun development of a high school and beyond plan that includes a proposed plan for first-year high school courses aligned with graduation requirements and secondary and postsecondary goals.

By ninth grade, each student who has not earned a score of level 3 or 4 on the middle school mathematics assessment identified in RCW 28A.655.070 must have the high school and beyond plan updated to ensure the student takes a mathematics course in both the ninth and tenth grades. These courses may include career and technical education equivalencies in mathematics adopted pursuant to 28A.230.097 and district policy.

With staff support, students must update their high school and beyond plan annually, at a minimum, to review academic progress and inform future course taking. The high school and beyond plan must be updated in tenth grade to reflect high school assessment results in RCW 28A.655.061, ensure student access to advanced course options per the district’s academic acceleration policy, assess progress toward identified goals, and revised as necessary for changing interests, goals, and needs.

Students who have not met the standard on state assessments or who are behind in completion of credits or graduation pathway options will be given the opportunity to access interventions and academic supports, courses, or both, designed to enable students to meet all high school graduation requirements. The parents or legal guardians shall be notified about these opportunities as included in the student’s high school and beyond plan, preferably through a student-led conference that includes the parents or legal guardians, at least annually until the student is on track to graduate.

For students with an individualized education program, the high school and beyond plan must be developed and updated in alignment with their school to postschool transition plan. The high school and beyond plan must be developed and updated in a similar manner and with similar school personnel as for all other students.

The district will involve parents and legal guardians to the greatest extent feasible in the process of developing and updating the high school and beyond plan. The plan will be provided to the student and student’s parents or legal guardians in a language the student and student’s parents or guardians understand and in accordance with the district’s language access policy and procedures, which may require language assistance for students and parents or legal guardians with limited English proficiency.

Beginning in the sixth grade, the district will annually provide students in grades six through twelve and their parents or legal guardians with comprehensive information about the graduation pathway options offered by the district. The district will provide this information in accordance with the district’s language access policy and procedures.

The district may partner with student-serving, community-based organizations that support career and college exploration and preparation for postsecondary and career pathways. Partnerships may include high school and beyond plan coordination and planning, data sharing agreements, and safe and secure access to individual student’s high school and beyond plans.

Components of the High School and Beyond Plan

All FPS high school and beyond plans must, at a minimum, include the following elements:

  1. Identification of career goals and interests, aided by a skills and interest assessment;
  2. Identification of secondary and postsecondary education and training goals;
  3. An academic plan for course taking that:
    1. Informs students about course options for satisfying state and local graduation requirements;
    2. Satisfies state and local graduation requirements;
    3. Aligns with the student’s secondary goals, which can include education, training, and career preparation;
    4. Identifies available advanced course sequences per the district’s academic acceleration policy, that include dual credit courses or other programs and are aligned with the student’s postsecondary goals;
    5. Informs students about the potential impact of their course selections on postsecondary opportunities;
    6. Identifies available career and technical education equivalency courses that can satisfy core subject area graduation requirements under RCW 28A.230.097;
    7. If applicable, identifies career and technical education and work-site learning opportunities that can lead to technical college certifications and apprenticeships;
    8. If applicable, identifies opportunities for credit recovery and acceleration, including partial and mastery-based credit accrual to eliminate barriers for on-time grade level progression and graduation per RCW 28A.320.192;
    9. Evidence that the student has received the following information on federal and state financial aid programs that help pay for the costs of a postsecondary program;
    10. The college bound scholarship program established in chapter 28B.118 RCW, the Washington college grant created in RCW 28B.92.200, and other scholarship opportunities;
    11. The documentation necessary for completing state and federal financial aid applications; application timelines and submission deadlines; and importance of submitting applications early;
    12. Information specific to students who are or have been the subject of dependency proceeding pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW, who are or are at risk of being homeless, and whose family member or legal guardian will be required to provide financial and tax information necessary to complete applications;
    13. Opportunities to participate in advising days and seminars that assist students and, when necessary, their parents or legal guardians, with filling out financial aid applications in accordance with RCW 28A.300.815; and
    14. A sample financial aid letter and a link to the financial aid calculator created in RCW 28B.77.280.
  4. Completion of 30 community service hours (proportionally by years in district for transfer students);
  5. A current resume or activity log that provides a written compilation of the student’s education, any work experience, extracurricular activities, and community service; and
  6. A culminating exit interview or presentation through which the student highlights and reflects upon their education, work experience, extracurricular activities, and community service as they relate to postsecondary goals and interests.

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting one or more of the pathway options or any combination of at least one English language arts option and at least one mathematics option as long as the option(s) chosen is in alignment with the student’s high school and beyond plan.

The district will provide annual notice, in accordance with the district’s language access policy and procedures, to students in grades eight through twelve and their parents or legal guardians with comprehensive information about the graduation pathway options offered by the district.

At least annually, the district will examine data on student groups participating in and completing each graduation pathway option that the district offers. At a minimum, the data on graduation pathway participation and completion will be disaggregated by the student groups described in RCW 28A.300.042 (1) and (3), and by:

  • Gender;
  • Students who are the subject of a dependency proceeding pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW;
  • Students who are experiencing homelessness as defined in RCW 28A.300.542 (4); and
  • Multilingual/English learners.

If the results of the analysis required under the statute show disproportionate participation and completion rates by student groups, then the school district will identify reasons for the observed disproportionality and implement strategies as appropriate to ensure the graduation pathway options are equitably available to all students in the school district.

Statewide High School Assessment

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting or exceeding the graduation standard established by the State Board of Education on the statewide high school assessments in English language arts and mathematics.

Dual Credit Courses

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by completing and qualifying for college credit in dual credit courses in English language arts and mathematics.

“Dual credit course” means a course in which a student is eligible for both high school credit and college credit at the level of 100 or higher upon successfully completing the course. Examples of such courses include Running Start, college in the high school courses, and career and technical education dual credit courses.

High School Transition Courses

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by earning high school credit in a high school transition course in English language arts and mathematics. A high school transition course is a course offered in high school where successful completion by a high school student ensures the student college-level placement at participating institutions of higher education as defined in RCW 28B.10.016. High school transition courses must satisfy core or elective credit graduation requirements established by the State Board of Education.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and International Baccalaureate Programs

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting the requirement of either A or B below in AP, international baccalaureate, and Cambridge international courses in English language arts or mathematics that the State Board of Education designates as eligible to be used to meet this standard::

  1. Earning high school credit with a grade of C+ or higher in each term in eligible Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge international courses in English language arts and mathematics.
  2. Earning at least the minimum score of three on advanced placement exams, four on standard-level and higher-level international baccalaureate exams, or scores of E(e) or higher on A and AS level Cambridge international exams for the corresponding courses.
SAT or ACT Scores

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting or exceeding the scores established by the State Board of Education for the mathematics portion and the reading, English, or writing portion of the SAT or ACT.

Performance-Based Learning Experience

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by completing a performance-based learning experience through which the student demonstrates knowledge and skills in a real-world context, providing evidence that the student meets or exceeds state learning standards in English language arts and mathematics. The performance-based learning experience may take a variety of forms, such as a project, practicum, work-related experience, community service, or cultural activity, and may result in a variety of products that can be evaluated, such as a performance, presentation, portfolio, report, film, or exhibit. The performance-based learning experience must conform to the graduation proficiency targets and associated rubrics established by the State Board of Education.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by meeting standard in the armed services vocational aptitude battery by scoring at least the minimum established by the military for eligibility to serve in a branch of the armed services at the time the student takes the assessment, as published by the State Board of Education.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Courses

A student may demonstrate career and college readiness by completing a sequence of career and technical education courses that are relevant to a student’s postsecondary pathway that meet the minimum criteria identified in WAC 180-51-230(h) and RCW 28A.700.030 for preparatory career and technical education programs that provide CTE dual credit or an Industry Recognized Credential, including Core Plus.


Consistent with WAC 180-51-115, a student with an individualized education program must be provided needed accommodations to progress in the general curriculum toward meeting state and local graduation requirements. In limited circumstances, when determined necessary by the individualized education program team due to the unique needs resulting from the student’s disability, a graduation credit and subject area requirement may be substituted with comparable content course work, as identified in the individualized education program team course of study and aligned to the student’s IEP Transition Plan and high school and beyond plan.

The student may remain in school up to and including the school year in which the student reaches twenty-one years of age as an extension of time to meet graduation requirements.


To be awarded the Washington Seal of Biliteracy, graduating high school students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in English by (1) meeting statewide minimum graduation requirements in English as established by the Washington State Board of Education; and (2) meeting state standards on the reading and writing or English language arts assessment; and
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in one or more world language. For the purposes of this section, “world language” is defined as a language other than English, including American Sign Language, Latin, Native American, or other indigenous languages or dialects. Proficiency may be demonstrated by:
    1. Passing a world language Advanced Placement exam with a score of 3 or higher;
    2. Passing an International Baccalaureate world language exam with a score of 4 or higher;
    3. Demonstrating intermediate-mid level or higher proficiency on the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) guidelines using assessments approved by OSPI for competency-based credits, and demonstrating proficiency using reading assessments approved by OSPI (when developed);
    4. Qualifying for four competency-based credits by demonstrating proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading the world language at intermediate-mid level or higher on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines according to FPS Policy 2409: Credit for Competency/Proficiency; or
    5. Demonstrating proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading the world language through other national or international assessments approved by OSPI or through the tribal language proficiency system in place between OSPI and the federally recognized Tribes in Washington.

If students fulfill graduation requirements by the end of the last term of their senior year, they may participate in graduation ceremonies. Each student will be awarded a diploma after satisfactorily completing local and state requirements. Upon request, each graduating student will receive a final transcript. Each student will be notified of this opportunity at least one month prior to the close of the school term.

Any student receiving services under an IEP who will continue to receive such services between the ages of 18 and 21 will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies and activities after four years of high school attendance with their age-appropriate peers and receive a certificate of attendance.

The district will support students who are members of a federally recognized tribe to wear traditional tribal regalia or objects of Native American cultural significance along with or attached to a gown at the graduation ceremony or related school event. Additionally, the district will not require such students to wear a cap if it is incompatible with the regalia or significant object they have chosen to wear.

Graduation ceremonies will be conducted in the following manner: 

  1. Each participating student must participate in the graduation ceremony rehearsal. Each student who participates will purchase or rent the proper cap and gown as designated by the school administration and the class advisor and officers.
  2. Caps and gowns will be worn in the proper manner, as designated by the school administration and class advisor, with the noted tribal exceptions above.
  3. Students who participate will use good taste in their choice of accessories for their attire.
  4. Each student who participates will cooperate with the class advisor and participate in all parts of the graduation ceremonies.
  5. Failure to comply with the above requirements may forfeit a student’s privilege to participate in the graduation ceremonies.
Awarding Diplomas Posthumously

At the request of a parent, guardian, or custodian, the district may issue a high school diploma to a deceased student if the student:

  • Was enrolled in a public school in the district at the time of death;
  • Was deemed on-track to graduation before the time of death; and
  • Died after matriculating into high school.

The high school diploma will bear the inscription “honoris causa” and may not be issued before the graduation date of the class in which the student was enrolled. The district may retroactively issue high school diplomas posthumously at its discretion.


The district may withhold a student’s diploma based on the student’s damage to property in accordance with FPS Policy 3520: Students, Fees, Fines, Charges.

The district may deny the student’s participation in graduation ceremonies as a form of discipline for violation of school rules in accordance with FPS Policy 3241: Student Discipline. Such exclusion from graduation ceremonies is regarded as a school suspension. In such instances, the district will grant the diploma.

Date: 11/19/84
Revised: 1/27/86; 9/9/08; 2/8/11; 6/19/12; 8/26/14; 1/16/18; 3/13/18; 6/19/18; 4/14/20; 8/17/21; 4/02/24