Graduation Plans and Policies for Identifying Students At Risk of Not Graduating

The Ohio General Assembly enacted a requirement for each board of education of a school district and governing authority of a chartered nonpublic school to adopt a policy regarding students who are at risk of not qualifying for a high school diploma.[1] To assist districts and schools, the Department prepared this summary of the requirements under the new law.

Graduation Planning:

In accordance with Ohio law, each student, beginning in grade 9 and continuing on through high school graduation, is required to develop and maintain a graduation plan.

The graduation plan:

  1. must be developed by the student and a representative of the district or school and updated each school year in which the student is enrolled in the district or school until the student qualifies for the high school diploma. The district or school must invite the student’s parent, guardian or custodian to assist in the development and updating of the graduation plan.
  2. must address the student's academic pathway to meet the curriculum requirements specified by the district or school and satisfy graduation conditions.
  3. documents the student’s progress and/or deficiency in meeting the terms of a graduation plan.
  4. must be used as both a criterion and a procedure for identifying at-risk students in the district or school’s policy on identifying students at-risk of not qualifying for a high school diploma (outlined below).
  5. supplements and enhances a school district’s policy on Career Advising.
  6. may be a student’s individualized education program (IEP) in lieu of a separate graduation plan under the above criteria, if the individualized education program contains academic goals substantively similar to a graduation plan.

Graduation Planning Template

The Department, in collaboration with many school counselors and administrators throughout the state, has developed a draft Graduation Plan for the use in Ohio high schools. This template can be used by school counselors, administrators, students and their parents to ensure they are on track to graduate and they have had every option available presented to them to do so. The goal of this template is to create a resource for schools, but it is in no way required that schools use this template. Schools are welcome to edit this template to meet their own needs.

If you have suggestions for improvement of this document, or thoughts on its use, please feel free to contact Graham Wood at This document will continually be updated as more feedback and input are gathered. Please note the modification date to ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version.


Policy on Identifying Students At-Risk of Not Qualifying for a High School Diploma

In accordance with Ohio law, each school board and governing authority must adopt a policy regarding students who are at risk of not qualifying for a high school diploma, no later than June 30, 2020. Policies must require a district or school to:

  1. Develop a graduation plan for each student enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in the district or school.
  2. Develop criteria for identifying at-risk students.
  3. Develop procedures to identify students who are at-risk of not qualifying for a high school diploma starting in grade 9 and proceeding each year through grade 12.
    1. Procedures must include a method for determining if a student is not making adequate progress in meeting the terms of their graduation plan.
  4. Develop a notification process in which the district or school will notify an at-risk student’s parent, guardian or caregiver in each year that the student has been identified.
    1. The notification process must include written notification that includes the following criteria:
      1. A statement that the student is at risk of not qualifying for a high school diploma;
      2. A description of the district's or school's curriculum requirements, or the student's individualized education program, and, as appropriate, the student’s graduation pathway options;
      3. A description of any additional instructional or support services available to the at-risk student through the district or school.
  5. Assist at-risk students with additional instructional or support services to help students in meeting graduation requirements and plan for those supports within their required Student Success Plan. Instructional and support services may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Mentoring programs (consider using the OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal as a framework);
    2. Tutoring programs;
    3. High school credit through demonstrations of subject area competency (for example, credit flexibility);
    4. Adjusted curriculum options;
    5. Career-technical programs;
    6. Mental health services;
    7. Physical health care services;
    8. Family engagement and support services.
For more information, please direct questions to
[1] Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.617

Last Modified: 5/24/2024 1:23:14 PM