WSR 07-13-035

PERMANENT RULES

SUPERINTENDENT OF

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

[ Filed June 13, 2007, 11:38 a.m. , effective July 22, 2007 ]


Effective Date of Rule: July 22, 2007.

Purpose: The purpose of the rules is to provide the guidelines, eligibility criteria, procedures, and other information related to the Washington assessment of student learning needed to: (1) Utilize the objective alternative assessments authorized in RCW 28A.655.065 and 28A.655.061; (2) apply for waivers for transfer students; and (3) apply for appeals for students with special, unavoidable circumstances.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28A.655.061 and 28A.655.065.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-03-131 on January 23, 2007.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Changes were made to reflect amendments to the authorizing statutes made by the 2007 legislature in ESSB 6023 (e.g., # of times required to take the WASL, additional SAT, ACT and AP options, 3.2 GPA eligibility for WASL/grades option, phase-out of the PSAT-math option in August 2008). In addition, the following changes were made: Eligibility/decision criteria for special, unavoidable circumstances were made more flexible; out-of-state transfer students were allowed access to the alternative assessments without having to take the WASL and allowed to use scores from exit examinations; the requirement that students must be in "Level 2" on the WASL was removed; and language was added that allows appeals under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Brief description of differences between the proposed rules and adopted rules as required by RCW 34.05.340.

In January 2007, the superintendent of public instruction proposed rules for the certificate of academic achievement options (CAA options), waivers for transfer students, and appeals for students with special, unavoidable circumstances. A public hearing was held on February 27, 2007. A total of thirteen oral or written comments were received.

Based on the comments, further analysis of the rules, and changes in the authorizing legislation that were made by the 2007 legislature, the following nonediting changes were made to the rules prior to being adopted.

(1) Legislative changes:

Changes resulting from legislative action. The most significant changes resulted from the adoption of ESSB 6023, which was approved by the legislature between the time the rules were proposed and adopted.

These changes included:

(1) Allowing students to access the certificate of academic achievement options after taking the Washington assessment of student learning once;
(2) The addition of reading, English, and writing scores on the ACT and SAT;
(3) The addition of advanced placement examination scores;
(4) The phase-out of PSAT mathematics scores after August 31, 2008; and
(5) Requiring students to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher to access the WASL/grades comparison option.
(2) WASL/grades comparison option:

Changing the WASL/grades eligibility criteria. The WASL/grades eligibility requirements in the proposed rules that students be in Level 2 on the WASL was removed.

Rationale: With the addition of the requirement that students have a 3.2 or higher cumulative GPA, it was concluded it was not necessary to require students to also be in Level 2 on the WASL. In addition, if a student has significant issues with taking on-demand standardized tests, requiring students to be in Level 2 on the WASL may unintentionally exclude students in which the option was intended. This change was requested by the Columbia Legal Services.

Using the student's "most recent" courses. In the proposed rules, a student's "highest-level" courses were to be used in identifying the student's cohorts. In the adopted rule, this was changed to the "most recent" courses.

Rationale: Educators who are serving on a group to implement this option indicated that it would be difficult to determine the "highest-level" courses. In their view, identifying the "most recent" mathematics and English language arts classes taken by a student would be easier to identify for individuals compiling the cohort and result in more consistent results.

(3) PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP test scores:

Temporarily removing the mathematics scores from the adopted rules. The proposed scores for the mathematics components of the PSAT, SAT, and ACT in the proposed rules were removed. The legislature expanded the list of tests that could be used, and required the state board to set additional cut scores for the ACT and SAT in reading and writing by December 1, 2007. Once the scores are approved, all of the scores will be posted on the office of superintendent of public instruction (OSPI) web site.

Rationale: At this point in time, the cut scores for the additional tests in ESSB 6023 have not been approved by the state board of education.

(4) Transfer students:

Use of exit exams in other states for transfer students. The proposed rules only allowed assessments that were approved by the federal government for purposes on the "No Child Left Behind" Act. In the adopted rules, transfer students from other states will be able to use scores from exit exams in other states.

Rationale: During the review period, it was brought to the attention of the agency that some states use different tests for exit exam and for federal NCLB accountability purposes. In addition, some states (e.g., Massachusetts) use a lower cut score for purposes of the state's graduation requirement compared to the score used for proficiency for NCLB accountability.

Access to the alternative assessment by transfer students. The proposed rules would have required transfer students to take the WASL before accessing the alternative assessments. In the adopted rules, transfer students who arrive in their junior or senior years are allowed to access the alternative assessments without first taking the WASL.

Rationale: This change was in response to comments from several individuals who recommended that transfer students be able to use PSAT, SAT, and ACT scores without having to take the WASL. This will allow these students to use the alternatives without having to wait to take the WASL and to receive their results late in their high school career. In addition, these tests will be more accessible for students in community college high school completion programs because these tests are administered throughout the year and, in most cases, on Saturdays. Taking these tests on Saturdays will not require students in high school completion programs to miss classes.

Use of approved assessments used in Department of Defense schools. The proposed rules allowed students who transferred from a school operated by the Department of Defense or other federal agency to use scores from assessments approved under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This provision was removed.

Rationale: Upon further research, it was determined that Department of Defense schools are not required to comply with the accountability provisions of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As a result, these students do not take comparable standards-based assessments that identify if students are proficient in reading, writing, and mathematics. However, many of these students take the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT. Under the adopted rules, transfer students will be able to access the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP comparison option alternative assessment without having to first take the WASL, which will help address the needs of transfer students in military families.

(5) Special, unavoidable circumstances:

Modifying the definition of a "special, unavoidable circumstance." The definition of a special, unavoidable circumstances was expanded in three different ways by adding language that allows: (1) other unavoidable events of a similar compelling magnitude; (2) the failure of a student in the transitional bilingual education program to receive an accommodation that was scheduled to be provided; and (3) students who transfer into the state after March 1 in their senior year.

Rationale: The first two additions were made in response to comments received from the Columbia Legal Services requesting that the definition of a special, unavoidable circumstance to be expanded to include other unforeseen situations and the failure of a school district to provide appropriate accommodations to students who are English language learners. The third addition was made for students who arrive so late in their senior year that they do not have an opportunity to take the WASL or complete an alternative assessment prior to their scheduled graduation date.

Modifying the approval criteria for granting a special, unavoidable circumstance waiver. The proposed rules required that the high school graduation certificate review board and the OSPI find that the student has "a high probability" of having the skills and knowledge required to achieve the standards. The adopted rules modified this threshold and require that the student "more likely than not possesses the skills and knowledge" required to meet the state standard.

Rationale: Upon further analysis, it was concluded that the proposed standard of requiring a "high probability" of having the needed skills and knowledge would be too difficult to ascertain given the information (e.g., GPA, other assessment results) that will be available to the review board and the OSPI. The "more likely than not" standard was deemed more appropriate given the additional criteria set forth in the rule that will be used to evaluate a student's application.

(6) Review of decisions:

Judicial review of the superintendent's decision. New sections were added to each of the alternative assessments, appeals, and waivers that state that decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction may be reviewed as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) as provided in RCW 34.05.514.

Rationale: This was done in response to comments received from Columbia Legal Services to ensure that parents, students, and others will be aware of the right to appeal decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction as provided in the APA.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 25, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: June 8, 2007.

Dr. Terry Bergeson

Superintendent of

Public Instruction

OTS-9517.4

Chapter 392-501 WAC

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT


NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-001   Authority.   The authority for this chapter is RCW 28A.655.065 and 28A.655.061, which direct the superintendent of public instruction to:

(1) Develop and implement eligibility requirements and guidelines for objective alternative assessments for students to demonstrate achievement of state standards in content areas in which the student has not yet met the standard on the high school Washington assessment of student learning (WASL); and

(2) Develop guidelines and appeal processes for waiving specific requirements in RCW 28A.655.061 pertaining to the certificate of academic achievement and to the certificate of individual achievement for students who:

(a) Transfer to a Washington public school in their junior or senior year with the intent of obtaining a public high school diploma; and

(b) Have special, unavoidable circumstances.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-002   Purpose.   The purpose of this chapter is to provide the guidelines, eligibility criteria, procedures, and other information needed to:

(1) Utilize the objective alternative assessments authorized in RCW 28A.655.065 and 28A.655.061;

(2) Apply for waivers for transfer students; and

(3) Apply for appeals for students with special, unavoidable circumstances.

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PSAT, SAT, ACT, AND AP COMPARISON OPTION
NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-102   General description.   The PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP comparison option is an objective alternative assessment authorized in RCW 28A.655.061 (10)(b) that allows a student to use a score from the following tests to demonstrate that the student has met or exceeded the state standard for reading, writing, or mathematics on:

(1) The mathematics component of the PSAT;

(2) The reading or English, writing, or mathematics component of the SAT or ACT; or

(3) Advanced placement examinations listed in WAC 392-501-104(2).

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-103   Eligibility.   (1) A student is eligible for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP comparison option if the student has taken the applicable component of the Washington assessment of student learning (WASL) at least once and has not met the standard for which the student is applying to use this option. To meet these criteria, a student must have sat for and generated a scale score during the administration of the WASL.

(2) To be eligible for the PSAT mathematics option, the student must have taken the PSAT prior to September 1, 2008.

(3) A student may use a score earned on the PSAT, SAT, ACT or an advanced placement examination prior to or after taking the WASL once.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-104   Required scores.   (1) As required in RCW 28A.655.061 (10)(b), the state board of education shall identify the score students must achieve on the mathematics portion of the PSAT and the reading or English, writing, and mathematics components of the SAT and ACT.

(2) A student who scores at least a three on the grading scale of one to five on the following advanced placement examinations shall meet the applicable high school standard:

(a) For meeting the mathematics standard, the calculus or statistics advanced placement examination;

(b) For meeting the writing standard, the English language and composition advanced placement examination; or

(c) For meeting the reading standard, the English literature and composition, macroeconomics, microeconomics, psychology, United States history, world history, United States government and politics, or comparative government and politics advanced placement examination.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-105   Application process.   (1) The superintendent of public instruction shall develop and make available to students and school district personnel a PSAT, SAT, and ACT mathematics comparison application for documenting that a student has met the eligibility requirements in WAC 392-501-103 and achieved the scores required in WAC 392-501-104.

(2) If the student is eligible, the student shall complete an application and submit the application to the school principal or designee.

(3) If the school principal or designee agrees that the eligibility criteria have been met, the principal or designee shall transmit a facsimile or mail a copy of the application and the copy of the student's official PSAT, SAT, ACT, or AP score report that was sent to the school and to the office of superintendent of public instruction (OSPI).

(4) After the superintendent, or his or her designee, has received and verified the application to be complete and consistent with the requirements of this chapter, staff from the office of superintendent of public instruction shall notify the school principal or designee and the school district assessment coordinator once the application is verified. The school principal or designee shall notify the student of the verification. OSPI staff shall document in the student's state assessment record that the student met the applicable high school standard.

(5) The superintendent of public instruction shall act upon the student's application within thirty days of receiving the application.

(6) School staff shall include a copy of the application, the student's score report, and the verification in the student's cumulative folder.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-106   Notification requirements.   The school principal or a designee shall notify students and their parents or guardians when students are in the eleventh and twelfth grade years of the availability of the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP comparison option.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-108   Appeal of the superintendent's decision.   Decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction under WAC 392-501-105 may be appealed as provided for in RCW 34.05.514.

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WASL/GRADES COMPARISON OPTION
NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-200   General description.   The WASL/grades comparison option is an objective alternative assessment authorized in RCW 28A.655.065 (3) and (4) that compares the applicant's grades in applicable courses with the grades of students who took the same courses and met or exceeded the standard. This option may be used for meeting the high school reading, writing, and/or mathematics standard.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-201   Eligibility.   A student is eligible for the WASL/grades comparison option if the student meets the following conditions:

(1) The student has taken the applicable component of the Washington assessment of student learning (WASL) at least once and has not met the standard for which the student is applying to use this option. To meet these criteria, a student must have sat for and generated a valid scale score during the administration of the WASL.

(2) The student has met any applicable attendance and remediation or supplemental instruction requirements contained in the student's student learning plan developed under RCW 28A.655.061. The principal of the student's school may waive the attendance and/or remediation criteria for special, unavoidable circumstances.

(3) The student is in the twelfth grade.

(4) The student has a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher when the application is filed.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-202   Process for determining the comparison cohort and calculating the GPAs.   (1) For the purpose of this section, "applicant" means an eligible student applying for the WASL/grades comparison option.

(2) A school district representative or designee shall determine the comparison cohort and complete the calculation in this subsection for all eligible students who apply to use this option.

(3) To complete the WASL/grades comparison option for eligible students, the school district representative or designee shall complete the following steps:

(a) Identify the group of students in the same school as the applicant who took the same mathematics or English high school courses, which ever is applicable, in the same school year as the applicant. This group includes all of the students in the school who took courses with the same course title and course number (e.g., Algebra 1, Sophomore English) as the applicant, in the same school year, regardless of the grade level of the student. When selecting courses to be used, the following guidelines shall be followed:

(i) The credits generated by the courses must equal two annual high school credits and must include the most recent courses taken in which a comparison cohort of six or more students can be identified.

(ii) In order for applicants using the cohort comparison to meet the mathematics standard, the courses must be eligible for a mathematics graduation credit.

(iii) In order for applicants using the cohort comparison to meet the reading or writing standard, the courses must be eligible for an English/Language Arts graduation credit.

(b) From the group of students identified in (a) of this subsection, the school district representative or designee shall identify the "comparison cohort," which includes all students who met or slightly exceeded the state standard on the WASL. For purposes of determining "who met or slightly exceeded the state standard," scores in Level 3 shall be used:

(i) Mathematics: 400 - 433;

(ii) Reading: 400 - 426; and

(iii) Writing: 17 - 20.

(c) If there are fewer than six students in the comparison cohort, the cohort may be expanded to also include students in Level 4. If there are still fewer than six students in the comparison cohort, the applicant is not eligible to use the WASL/grades comparison option.

(d) The school district representative or designee shall compute the grade point average for the selected courses for the applicant and for each student in the comparison cohort. The following grade - number conversions shall be used:


A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2.0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0
E or F = 0.0
Credit/No Credit May not be used
Pass/Fail May not be used

(e) The school district representative or designee shall then calculate the mean comparison cohort grade point average of all the students in the comparison cohort.

(f) The school district representative or designee shall then compare the applicant's grade point average in the relevant high school courses to the mean comparison cohort grade point average of the students in the comparison cohort.

(g) If the applicant's grade point average is below the mean comparison cohort grade point average, the student is not eligible to file the application and no further action is required.

(h) If the applicant's grade point average is equal to or higher than the mean comparison cohort grade point average, the principal or a designee shall transmit the application with the results of the calculation to the office of the superintendent of public instruction for approval.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-204   Application timeline and approval criteria.   (1) The superintendent of public instruction shall approve the application if:

(a) The student eligibility requirements are met;

(b) The process for identifying the comparison cohort and for calculating the grade point averages and the mean grade point average was followed; and

(c) The applicant's grade point average is equal to or greater than the mean grade point average of the comparison cohort.

(2) If the application is approved, the applicant will be deemed to have met the applicable content standard for purposes of obtaining a certificate of academic achievement or individual achievement.

(3) The superintendent of public instruction must act upon the student's application and notify the applicant's school principal or designee and the school district assessment coordinator whether the application was approved or denied within thirty days of receiving the application. The school principal or designee shall notify the student.

(4) School staff shall include a copy of the application and approval notification in the student's cumulative folder.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-206   Notification requirements.   The school principal or a designee shall notify students and their parents or guardians when students are in the eleventh and twelfth grade years of the availability of the WASL/grades comparison option.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-208   Appeal of the superintendent's decision.   Decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction under WAC 392-501-204 may be appealed as provided for in RCW 34.05.514.

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WAIVERS FOR STUDENTS WHO TRANSFER INTO A WASHINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOL
NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-500   General description.   RCW 28A.655.065 directs the superintendent of public instruction to develop guidelines and appeal processes for waiving specific requirements pertaining to the certificate of academic achievement and to the certificate of individual achievement for students who transfer to a Washington public school in their junior or senior year with the intent of obtaining a public high school diploma.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-502   Waivers for transfer students from other states who enroll in eleventh or twelfth grade.   (1) The requirement that a student obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement to graduate shall be waived for students who transfer to a Washington public school from another state in the eleventh or twelfth grade year if the student provides documentation that he or she has met standards in another state on a high school assessment or for students eligible to receive special education services, on an alternate assessment. The assessment in the other state must be used for purposes of the high school assessment required in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act or be used for purposes of a high school graduation exit examination. Waivers shall be granted as follows:

(a) If the student met standards on both the mathematics and reading or English language arts assessments in the other state, the applicable certificate shall be waived.

(b) If a student did not meet the standard on the mathematics assessment in the other state, then the student must meet the standard on the applicable Washington assessment for the certificate to be waived.

(c) If the student did not meet the standard on the reading assessment or English language arts assessment, then the student must meet the reading standard on the applicable Washington assessment for the certificate to be waived.

(d) If the student did not meet the standard on the writing or English language arts assessment, then the student must meet the writing standard on the applicable Washington assessment for the certificate to be waived.

(e) If the other state did not have a writing assessment, then the student must have met the standard on the English language arts assessment or other assessment used to meet the English/language arts assessment or other assessment used to meet the English/language arts requirement in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the certificate to be waived.

(2) The student must document passage of the assessment by one of the following options:

(a) The out-of-state school from which the student transferred must transmit directly to the student's school a score report from the school or school district where the student took the high school assessment or alternate assessment. The score report must contain the student's assessment results by content area and whether or not the student met the state required standards. If the score report does not include whether or not the student met the standards, then the former school or school district must provide information documenting that the standards were met. If the out-of-state school directly transmitted the score report when the student enrolled in the Washington school system, then the student need not provide the report again; or

(b) The out-of-state school from which the student transferred must transmit directly to the student's school, if it has not done so already, the student's transcript documenting the student's assessment results. The transcript must contain the student's assessment results by content area and whether or not the student met the state required standards. If the transcript does not include whether or not the student met the standards, then the former school or school district must provide information documenting that the standards were met.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-504   Application and approval process.   (1) To obtain a waiver, the student or the student's parent or guardian must complete and submit to the student's principal or designee a waiver application developed by the superintendent of public instruction. The principal of the school or designee shall review the information and transmit the application and a copy of the student's assessment score report or transcript to the superintendent of public instruction for approval.

(2) Applications must be received by the superintendent of public instruction by April 1 of the student's twelfth grade year to provide time for processing prior to graduation.

(3) The superintendent of public instruction must act upon the student's application and notify the applicant's school principal or designee, and the school district assessment coordinator whether the application was approved or denied within thirty days of receiving the application. The school principal or designee shall notify the student.

(4) If approved, the student's transcript shall indicate that the applicable certificate was waived.

(5) School staff shall include a copy of the application, the student's score report or transcript, and the approval notification in the student's cumulative folder.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-506   Notification requirements.   The principal or a designee shall inform students and parents or guardians who transferred from another state in their eleventh or twelfth grade year of the availability of obtaining a waiver of the certificate requirements.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-508   Appeal of the superintendent's decision.   Decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction under WAC 392-501-504 may be appealed as provided for in RCW 34.05.514.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-510   Access to alternative assessment.   Students who transfer into a public school from out-of-state or from out-of-country in the eleventh or twelfth grade year may utilize an objective alternative assessment for purposes of meeting the high school standards as provided in RCW 28A.655.061 and 28A.655.065 without taking the Washington assessment of student learning.

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APPEAL PROCESS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL, UNAVOIDABLE CIRCUMSTANCES
NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-600   General description.   RCW 28A.655.065 directs the superintendent of public instruction to develop guidelines and appeal processes for waiving specific requirements in RCW 28A.655.061 pertaining to the certificate of academic achievement and to the certificate of individual achievement for students who have special, unavoidable circumstances.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-601   Eligibility and application requirements.   (1) A student, or a student's parent or guardian may file an appeal to the superintendent of public instruction if the student has special, unavoidable circumstances that prevented the student, during the student's twelfth grade year, from successfully demonstrating his or her skills and knowledge on the Washington assessment of student learning (WASL), on an objective alternative assessment authorized in RCW 28A.655.061 or 28A.655.065, or on a Washington alternate assessment available to students eligible for special education services.

(2) Special, unavoidable circumstances shall include the following:

(a) Not being able to take or complete an assessment because of:

(i) The death of a parent, guardian, sibling or grandparent;

(ii) An unexpected and severe medical condition. The condition must be documented by a medical professional and included with the application; or

(iii) Another unavoidable event of a similarly compelling magnitude that reasonably prevented the student from sitting for or completing the assessment.

(b) A major irregularity in the administration of the assessment;

(c) Loss of the assessment material;

(d) Failure to receive an accommodation during administration of the assessment that was documented in the student's individualized education program that is required in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or in a plan required in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

(e) For students enrolled in the state transitional bilingual instructional program, failure to receive an accommodation during the administration of the assessment that was scheduled to be provided by the school district; or

(f) Students who transfer from an out-of-state or out-of-country school to a Washington public school in the twelfth grade year after March 1.

(3) To file an appeal, the student or the student's parent or guardian, with appropriate assistance from school staff, must complete and submit to the principal of the student's school an appeal application on a form developed by the superintendent of public instruction. The application shall require that the following be submitted: All available score reports from prior standardized assessments taken by the student, the medical condition report (if applicable), and the student's transcript. The principal of the school shall review the application and accompanying material and certify that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the information in the application is accurate and complete.

(4) Once the principal certifies that the application and accompanying material is accurate and complete, the principal shall transmit the application to the state superintendent of public instruction.

(5) Applications must be received by the superintendent of public instruction on or before May 1 or August 1. The May 1 deadline is intended primarily for students who were not able to participate in the spring assessment, while the August deadline is intended primarily for students who decide to file an appeal after receiving their scores in June.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-602   High school graduation certificate appeals review board and approval criteria.   (1) The high school graduation certificate appeals review board shall be created to review and make recommendations to the superintendent of public instruction on special, unavoidable circumstance appeal applications.

(2) The superintendent of public instruction shall appoint five members to the board. The board shall be chaired by a current or former high school principal and shall consist of current or former teachers, department heads, and/or school district assessment directors with experience and expertise in the Washington essential academic learning requirements. Each member shall be appointed for a three-year term, provided that the initial terms may be staggered as the superintendent deems appropriate.

(3) The high school graduation certificate appeals review board shall review special, unavoidable circumstance appeal applications submitted to it by the superintendent of public instruction. The board shall:

(a) Review the written information submitted to the superintendent to determine whether sufficient evidence was presented that the student has the required knowledge and skills; and

(b) Make a recommendation to the superintendent, based on the criteria in subsection (6) of this section, regarding whether or not the appeal should be granted.

(4) Staff from the office of the superintendent of public instruction (OSPI) shall coordinate and assist the work of the board. In this capacity, staff from the OSPI shall prepare a preliminary analysis of each application and accompanying information that evaluates the extent in which the criteria in subsection (6) of this section have been met.

(5) If the board determines that additional information on a particular student is needed in order to fulfill its duties, the chair of the board shall contact the OSPI staff to request the information.

(6) The board shall recommend to the superintendent of public instruction that the appeal be granted if it finds that:

(a) The student, due to special, unavoidable circumstances as defined in WAC 392-501-601(2), was not able to successfully demonstrate his or her skills on the WASL, on an objective alternative assessment, or on a Washington alternate assessment available to students eligible for special education services;

(b) No other recourse or remedy exists to address the special, unavoidable circumstance prior to the student's expected graduation date;

(c) The student has met, or is on track to meet, all other state and local graduation requirements; and

(d) After considering the criteria below, in the board's best judgment, the student more likely than not possesses the skills and knowledge required to meet the state standard. The board shall consider the following criteria:

(i) Trends indicated by prior WASL or alternate assessment results;

(ii) How near the student has been in achieving the standard;

(iii) Scores on other assessments, as available;

(iv) Participation and successful completion of remediation courses and other academic assistance opportunities;

(v) Cumulative grade point average;

(vi) Whether the student has taken advanced placement, honors, or other higher-level courses; and

(vii) Other available information deemed relevant by the board.

(7) Based upon the recommendation of the high school graduation appeals board and any other information that the superintendent deems relevant, the superintendent of public instruction shall decide, based on the criteria established in subsection (6) of this section, whether to:

(a) Grant the appeal and waive the requirement that a student earn a certificate to graduate;

(b) Deny the appeal and not waive the certificate; or

(c) Remand the appeal back to the appeals board for further information or deliberation.

(8) The superintendent of public instruction shall act upon the student's application and notify the student, the student's school principal or designee, and the school district assessment coordinator whether the application was approved or denied within thirty days of the deadline for receiving the recommendation from the certificate appeals review board. This deadline for acting on the application may be extended if additional information is required from the student or the school district.

(9) If approved, the student's transcript shall indicate that the applicable certificate was waived.

(10) School staff shall include a copy of the application, supporting information, and the superintendent's decision in the student's cumulative folder.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-604   Notification requirements.   The school principal or a designee shall notify students in their eleventh and twelfth grade years of the availability of special, unavoidable circumstance appeals.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 392-501-606   Appeal of the superintendent's decision.   Decisions made by the superintendent of public instruction under WAC 392-501-602 may be appealed as provided for in RCW 34.05.514.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office