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School board to review graduation policy

The Sunnyside School District's ethics committee is recommending to allow high school seniors who have met all graduation requirements be eligible to participate in graduation if the only thing holding a student back is proving proficiency in an area failed on the WASL test.

According to Superintendent Rick Cole, if a senior fails the WASL, or a portion of the test, there are nine different ways in the state of Washington to prove proficiency.

Examples include sending ACT or SAT scores for review to the state superintendent, or sending what is called a collection of evidence.

The potential problem, Cole said, has to do with timing. Graduation for Sunnyside High School seniors this year is slated for May 30. The state superintendent's office has said it will begin notifying high schools by April, and as late as May 27, as to whether or not a student has proved proficiency.

That's problematic for the students, Cole said. Graduation practice begins May 23. Getting results back that late wouldn't allow a student to appeal in time for graduation.

Cole said high school seniors still have to meet standards, like earning respective credits, working on a senior project, etc.

"It's not letting kids through the ceremony who don't meet standard," he said.

School Board directors will discuss the issue at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Jan. 31.

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