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Gene J. Evans, (503) 947-5737

October 16, 2008

Class of 2009: Transition from 2009 to 2010 Graduation Requirements

SUMMARY: Students who do not complete the 2008-2009 school year credit requirements by July 1, 2009 will have to meet additional English (4) and mathematics (3) credits to graduate.

NOTE: ODE and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) are working on a legislative fix for this issue during the 2009 session.

The 2005 legislature adopted state law (ORS 329.451) increasing the number of credits in English from 3 to 4 credits and in mathematics from 2 to 3 credits. This state law applies to students who receive a high school diploma on or after July 1, 2009.

Therefore, students who do not complete the 2008-2009 school year credit requirements by July 1, 2009 will have to meet the additional English (4) and mathematics (3) credits to graduate. It is important to note that during this transition year, summer school programs completed after June 30, 2009 will not be an option for this year’s seniors to make up deficient 2008-2009 credits to graduate in 2009.


· Districts should make sure that all high school seniors are on track for meeting the 2008-2009 requirements early in the school year. We know that many districts are already working to identify students who may be lacking credits, in particular mathematics and English, and provide appropriate guidance and counseling (including opportunities to make up credits) prior to July 1, 2009.

Since many districts provide seniors with credit completion opportunities during the summer time, and with the new diploma requirements starting July 1, 2009, it will be necessary for districts to consider moving these opportunities to June 2009. Here is an example why this is necessary: You have a senior who has completed two credits of math but still needs .5 credit of language arts. If this student completes the .5 language arts prior to July 1, 2009, they have earned their diploma. However, if this student completes a summer program that ends after July 1, 2009, they have not earned their diploma and are now responsible for a 3rd year of math under the new diploma requirements.

· Inform students and parents that students will be held to the new increased credit requirements if they do not complete the 2008-2009 requirements before July 1, 2009.

· Consider interventions and student supports such as after school opportunities, tutoring or other focused interventions and activities. See Oregon’s “Celebrating Student Success” schools and best practices online: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=187

· Consider credit for proficiency options for students to meet the credit requirements. Examples from the credit for proficiency pilot districts, including planned course statements, supporting forms and documentation, district and school support structures, processes for earning credit, board policies, and community connections are available online: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=1195


ODE has issued two Numbered Memos on the change in graduation requirements:

1. Memorandum No. 015-2005-06 (http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=1716)
January 5, 2006
To: All District Superintendents, ESD Superintendents, and Principals
Re: Change in Diploma Requirements
House Bill 3129, signed into law by Governor Kulongoski, raises the high school diploma credit requirements for students graduating after June 30, 2009 (8th graders in 2005-06) and later. The new law raises the minimum unit of credit requirement for the high school diploma to 24 units and requires that each student complete 4 units of credit in English/language arts and 3 units of credit in Mathematics during grades 9 through 12. These changes take effect for all students receiving a diploma after June 30, 2009.

2. Memorandum No. 001-2008-09
August 7, 2008
To: District Superintendents, ESD Superintendents, Principals, District and School Staff
Re: New Oregon Diploma Requirements Approved by State Board
In May and June, the State Board of Education gave final approval to three Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs), changing the state’s longstanding high school graduation requirements. The new rules make changes to high school credit requirements and the modified diploma and set out requirements for the assessment of essential skills. The new diploma requirements take effect with the class of 2012 and 2014.


Salam Noor, Assistant Superintendent
Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation
(503) 947-5649

Theresa Levy, Education Specialist, Diploma Project Coordinator
Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation
(503) 947-5736

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Gene Evans, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5737

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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