Graduation FAQ

COVID-19 EDUCATION INFORMATION: Graduation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ addresses the immediate implications of the ordered school-building closure for students graduating before Sept. 30, 2020. This information accompanies previously released information entitled “Graduation Requirements in Light of Coronavirus-Related School-Building Closure.” Individuals should read it first, as it provides important information about graduation. The Ohio Department of Education acknowledges there are additional implications for students in future cohorts. We are engaged in discussions with stakeholders regarding future cohorts, and additional information will be released as it becomes available. Please send specific questions to gradrequirements@education.ohio.gov.

Graduation Frequently Asked Questions


Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

    1. If students were unable to take the required end-of-course tests due to the ordered school-building closure, are they still eligible to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year under this new flexibility?
    Yes. Students enrolled in 12th grade or on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year will not be required to complete any more end-of-course tests for graduation as long as it is determined the students have successfully completed their curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

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    2. If students in the class of 2020 were unable to complete their alternative pathways to graduation due to the ordered school-building closure, are they still eligible to graduate under this new flexibility?
    Yes. Students enrolled in 12th grade or deemed on track to graduate before Sept. 30, 2020, who were pursuing additional requirements or pathways to a diploma are no longer required to complete those additional requirements as outlined in Option 1 and Option 2 found here. These students need only successfully complete the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

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    3. What options are available to students who were pursuing industry-recognized credentials but are unable to do so because of the ordered school-building closure?
    As long as students were enrolled in 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year and have successfully completed the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs, they are eligible to graduate under the new flexibility. Districts and schools are encouraged to offer opportunities for students to complete the requirements to earn industry-recognized credentials as soon as it is deemed safe to reopen school buildings, even though students already may have been awarded a diploma.

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    4. Are transfer students eligible to graduate under this flexibility?
    Transfer students are eligible to graduate under the new flexibility if they were enrolled in 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year and have successfully completed the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

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    5. How will schools and districts monitor and track student learning activities during the ordered school-building closure?
    This is a local decision. Schools and districts should develop processes for monitoring and tracking student work that meet their local needs. Resources have been made available on the Ohio Department of Education website to support teachers and administrators in facilitating remote learning.

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    6. How should schools and districts calculate final course grades and grade-point averages (GPAs) for students during the ordered school-building closure?
    Final course grades and GPAs are determined locally. Schools and districts should ensure local decisions are fair and consistent among students. Schools can use pass/fail or pass/incomplete grading options if determined to be appropriate. For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.

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    7. What are the potential implications for students if schools choose to offer pass/fail/incomplete grades?

    When making a local decision as to whether to offer pass/fail/incomplete grades, schools should consider how pass/fail/incomplete grades may affect students in the following ways:


    For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.

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    8. In cases where the student attends a career center and an associated school (home school), who determines whether a student has earned a diploma?

    Under the emergency legislation, the decision to award a diploma is based on successful completion of curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in a student’s individualized education program. Determining whether curriculum requirements have been completed involves determining whether credit has been granted for individual courses. Decisions on whether to grant credit for a course should be made by the educating entity that is conducting the course.

    The principal of the school in the district that grants the diploma, in consultation with teachers and counselors, including teachers of career-technical education courses, makes the determination whether a student has successfully completed the curriculum. The district of residence should make the final decision but should review and document that decision with all relevant educators and administrators.

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    9. If a career center uses letter grades and the home district uses pass/fail/incomplete grades due to the ordered school-building closure, or vice versa, how should those grades be reconciled?
    The reporting of grades is a local decision. It is best if districts coordinate grading approaches with career centers. For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.

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    10. Does the graduation flexibility extend to students in the graduation cohorts of 2017 and prior who still need to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) in order to meet their graduation requirements?
    Under the emergency legislation, the temporary flexibility is available to students who were enrolled in the 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year, as determined by the school district or other public or chartered nonpublic school in which the students were enrolled. Whether this flexibility applies to a particular student is a local decision about whether the student is eligible as either enrolled in 12th grade or on track to graduate. This determination can be made on a case-by-case basis but should be consistently applied to similarly situated students.

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    11. Is there flexibility in meeting the requirements for an honors diplomas during the ordered school-building closure?
    No. House Bill 197 did not grant flexibility to the requirements for honors diplomas. However, schools and districts are encouraged to collaborate with students and families to identify creative means tailored to the current circumstances that enable students to complete the field experience and portfolio requirements for honors diplomas.

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    12. If eligible students were planning to use the Physical Education Waiver on a spring sport or activity to complete the physical education credit requirement, can students still earn credit?
    The decision of whether to award credit is a local decision. After reviewing the student’s progress toward completing the requirements of the waiver, the principal, in consultation with teachers and counselors, may allow students to use the waiver. If students use the waiver, they still will need to complete the additional half credit of elective coursework required by Ohio Revised Code section 3313.603 (L).

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    13. Is it still a requirement to complete a Summary of Performance and Prior Written Notice for students ending special education services due to graduation during the ordered school-building closure period?
    Yes. Districts and schools still must complete a Summary of Performance and provide Prior Written Notice. The Summary of Performance can be completed virtually at this time if it cannot be completed in person.

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Last Modified: 4/24/2020 12:06:41 PM