High School

1302 North Street
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 596-7000
Attendance: (360) 596-7003
Fax: (360) 596-7001

Current graduation requirements from high school can be found on the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website.   


College/University admissions include additional requirements and preparation but are not required to graduate from high school.  These requirements can be found on the Washington Student Achievement Council website.  




The purpose of this page is to assist students, staff, parents, community members, and others involved in students’ lives to understand what is expected prior to graduation in the Olympia School District. Washington State graduation requirements continuously evolve and, as a result, so will those for students in Olympia.



ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT (WalkPolicy): “In order to participate in the commencement ceremony in June, seniors must be enrolled in the proper number and type of courses by April 1 of their senior year, and must maintain satisfactory progress in classes and other mandated activities (HSPE, Culminating Project, High School & Beyond Plan), which will satisfy all graduation requirements. Summer school credits for seniors may not be planned to establish a student's eligibility to walk in the  raduation ceremony.”


OHS issued Academic Honor Cords may be worn at the commencement ceremony.  There are three levels representing GPA ranges.  Gold cords are for students with a GPA of 3.75 - 4.00.  Silver cords are for students with a GPA of 3.5 - 3.749.  Bronze cords are for students with a GPA of 3.00 - 3.499.  GPA is based on the 7th semester transcript.  The cords can be purchased in the Career Center starting in late May.  


Beginning with the Class of 1995, the Olympia High School diploma issued to each student will reflect the school year in which the student completed all requirements for
graduation.  For example, a student receiving a 2012 OHS diploma must complete all course work by September 1, 2012.  Credits completed after September 1, 2012, would result in a 2013 diploma.


At the beginning of the senior year, students in grade 12 receive a Senior Status Letter.  It must be signed and returned to the Counseling Center by late October.  This
notification fulfills two functions: confirms the student’s graduation status, including possible credit deficiencies, for student & parent and indicates correct spelling of student’s name for diploma.


Annually each student will be given an academic history report indicating progress student is making toward meeting high school graduation requirements as a part of the High School and Beyond Plan.


Students may request official transcripts at a cost of $5.00 (good for 10 transcripts), payable in the ASB office.


A senior needing less than one semester's worth of credit (i.e. usually 3.0 credits) to graduate, but who must transfer to another school, may still receive an OHS diploma provided all remaining requirements are met at the new school.

How will graduation requirements be fulfilled in Olympia?

•     High School and Beyond Plan

The Counselors will be meeting in computer labs with all students 3-4 times throughout the year, within different classes at each grade level.   During these lab sessions, students will be given access to the Career Cruising website and complete activities to fulfill the High School and Beyond plan requirements.   Students will have the opportunity to self-asses their interest, skills and learning styles, and explore the relationship of these traits to different post-high school options. All activities and elements of their High School and Beyond plan will be saved to an electronic portfolio on the Career Cruising website.

All students' post-high school plans will be discussed annually with freshmen, sophomores and juniors (beginning with the Class of 2013) and their parents during Student-Led Conferences in the spring.  Students can enhance the benefit and experience of their SLC by including a discussion of the following:

Annual goals

Assessments (Career Matchmaker = Interests; Skill Inventory; Learning Styles, etc.)


Best works (optional)

Achievements both in and out of school

Other items that reflect upon current progress and future plans

•     Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA)

This certificate will be earned through successful completion of the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) in Reading and Writing, and meeting standard on the Math HSPE or End-of-Course exam (EOC), or an approved alternative.

For the Class of 2012, students who do not pass the Math HSPE/EOC will be asked to continue developing math proficiency and meet standard by doing one of the following:

1.  Take and pass two credits of math beyond the sophomore year, if exam is not passed.  Students can choose to take the Math HSPE/EOC each year until either the math HSPE/EOC standard is met or the student graduates with the additional two credits of math.

2.  Pass another standardized test (see explanation below).

What are the alternatives to passing the Certificate of Academic Achievement (state-approved alternatives to the HSPE)?

Students who have the skills but are unable to pass the HSPE may use the Certificate of Academic Achievement Options. Students may access the options after taking the HSPE or End of Course (EOC) math exam(s) once.

Certificate of Academic Achievement Options

Students who have the skills and knowledge but can’t demonstrate those skills on state tests can use state-approved alternatives to meet
graduation requirements in reading, writing and math. The alternatives involve making at least ONE attempt at the HSPE in Reading & Writing and HSPE/EOC in math, and successfully complete ONE of the following
requirements per subject area:

  • Collection of Evidence:

samples in reading or writing with the help of teachers. Samples must meet state guidelines and state panel review, and demonstrate
proficiency in that topic comparable to the proficiency tested on the HSPE/EOC. Scores are released 60 days after submittal deadlines, which are early February and June in 2010. (Seniors who submit in June will not be eligible to graduate in June.)

Note: This option for math was eliminated by the Legislature in spring 2009. The math COE will return in 2012-2013 school year when math becomes a graduation requirement for the Class of 2013, IF funding is provided by the Legislature.

  • A Grades Comparison (must be in 12th grade):                                                                        

To be eligible for this alternative, 12th grade students must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher. A student’s grades in math courses and/or English courses are compared with the grades of students who took the same courses AND passed the WASL/HSPE/EOC. This option is not considered an assessment.

  • Passing scores on one or more of the comparable national tests. Minimum acceptable scores are:

Reading SAT: 350 ACT: 13
Writing SAT: 380 ACT: 15
Math SAT: 470 ACT: 19

  • A score of 3 or higher on Advanced Placement tests:

Those tests are: Reading: English Literature and Composition, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, U.S History, World History, U.S. Government and Politics, Comparative Government and Politics, Writing: English Language and Composition, Math: Calculus or Statistics.

Students may use the WASL/HSPE/EOC or any alternative to meet graduation requirements for each content area – reading, writing and math – and earn their Certificate of Academic Achievement and their high school diploma. Example: A student can use a successful WASL/HSPE in reading, a successful and approved Collection of Evidence in writing, and an AP test in math.

Students who transferred into Washington schools having already passed the previous state’s graduation tests and requirements do not have to fulfill Washington testing requirements. To learn more, visit: http://www.k12.wa.us/assessment/WaiverAppeals/TransferWaiver.aspx.  

How will students be supported as they complete the additional graduation requirements?

Part of the purpose of having the Counselors deliver the High School and Beyond Plan lessons is to provide students with another adult mentor here at school.  The Student Led Conferences (SLC) each spring are also an important component of the effort to support students.   Each SLC will provide encouragement and support for students as they share accomplishments, interests, challenges and goals with their Homeroom Teacher and parents or other adult mentor.

Other support structures are in place to ensure students have every opportunity to be successful in completing these requirements, including the availability of optional weekly tutoring.  There is also a Learning Opportunity Center, which is an academic student support program that can be accessed through teacher and/or counselor referral.

How will students benefit from these new requirements?

Completing the High School and Beyond plan and yearly Student-Led Conferences will help students to

• Set academic and/or personal goals.
• Make plans for the future, both in and out of high school.
• Focus on their education and life plans.
• Identify their own areas of strength and interest.
• Self-reflect on their work.
• Document and connect learning experiences.
• Connect planning in high school to coursework and selected activities and experiences.
• Lead conferences with parents regarding strengths, areas of opportunity, and plans.
• Use elements of the portfolio outside of school for further education and employment opportunities.
• Seek out and effectively communicate with adults outside the home and/or school system.