Out of State Waiver

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All students who wish to receive a diploma from Washington State must meet Washington State graduation requirements. If a transfer student is eligible for an Out of State (OOS) Waiver, and has met the designated numerical cut score on an approved OOS test, then they may apply to receive a waiver in a given content area.

Every student enrolled in WA state schools during the federal accountability administration of the Mathematics and/or ELA Smarter Balanced assessment, (or, if applicable, WA-AIM), are expected to participate in those assessments. This ALSO applies to transfer students. If a student enters WA state schools in the 10th grade with passing OOS test scores, that student must still participate in the 10th grade Mathematics and ELA Smarter Balanced assessment federal accountability administrations to utilize the out-of-state scores.


The OOS Waiver, like all assessment graduation alternatives, requires a student to be eligible prior to submission. NOT ALL transfer students are eligible for this waiver. Any student wishing to apply passing scores from an approved OOS test must first meet the same Eligibility Criteria that apply to other graduation pathways.

Depending upon when a student transfers into Washington State schools for the first time, they may be immediately eligible for the Out of State Waiver.

  • Only students through the graduating class of 2019 are eligible.
  • A student who transfers into a Washington public school in the 11th or 12th grade from out of state, out of country or from an in-state non-public school setting (private or home school) is eligible to access the graduation pathways in all content areas without taking a state exam first.
  • Only those students who transfer into Washington public school so late in 10th grade that they miss the spring accountability testing administration will be granted eligibility to submit graduation pathways without taking the state assessment first.
  • Otherwise, a student who transfers into a Washington public school in the 10th grade from out of state, out of country or from an in-state non-public school setting must participate in the accountability testing in spring of 10th grade.

Expanded OOS Waiver For transfer students with IEPs

Eligible transfer students who also receive special education services have additional means for applying for an OOS waiver. They may pursue an Expanded OOS waiver if:

  • They enroll in a WA school with another state's approved assessment (eligible for use in accountability or exit exam purposes), having met or exceeded that state's comparable performance level to Washington's CIA cut score
  • They enroll in a WA school having met or exceeded the CIA cut score set by Washington on a common assessment (Smarter Balanced assessment in ELA or Math)
  • *For students with significant cognitive challenges* they met standard in another state's Alternate Assessment used for that state's federal accountability assessment

OOS Tests Approved by OSPI

Out of State tests are not simply approved based upon their role or validity in the student’s former state of residence; they are approved based upon evaluation and comparison with the skills and knowledge currently required to earn a diploma in the state of Washington.

OOS tests are reviewed by a panel that evaluates each test for its level of similarity, in content and rigor, to Washington State’s current graduation-level tests: The English Language Arts Smarter Balanced assessment, Mathematics Smarter Balanced assessment, Algebra 1 EOC, and Geometry EOC. You can check which OOS tests have been approved by OSPI by viewing the “OOS Test List” in the Graduation Alternatives Application (on EDS).

Adding a Test to the OOS Test List (incl. Expanded OOS Waiver)

  • Expanded OOS Waiver: If you believe a test meets the criteria for the Expanded OOS Waiver, or is an Alternate Assessment from another state used as their federal accountability assessment, please follow the OOS Assessment Review Process to request the assessment be approved for use.
  • All other tests: If you have a score report for an assessment that is not listed in the OOS Test List, and want it added, it must be evaluated and approved by a panel at OSPI. Approval of OOS tests is based upon that test meeting similar standards in content and rigor to Washington’s current graduation-level tests (ELA Smarter Balanced assessment and Mathematics Smarter Balanced assessment). If you believe that this is the case with a specific OOS test, please follow the OOS Assessment Review process to submit the test for research and approval.
    This process can be lengthy, as it requires conducting research on the test and which standards it addresses. This research is compiled and submitted as an informational packet for the panel to review. If you have information that helps establish a test as a comparable assessment to those listed above, please include it in your OOS Assessment Review request.

Required Documentation

To submit an OOS waiver using scores on an approved test, documentation is required to verify the scores entered into the digital OOS Waiver form in Graduation Alternatives Application. This documentation must also be uploaded in the Graduation Alternatives Application.
Documentation MUST clearly display the following information:

  1. Student name
  2. Test name
  3. Date of testing
  4. Exact (numerical) student test score (designations of “met standard,” “passed,” etc. are not acceptable)

Types of applicable documents (which must include the above information) include:

  • Student test score report (actual copy of individual test score report)
  • Test score history report (list of all tests, test dates, and scores of the student while in a given school, district, or state)
  • Student transcript that includes test information (an academic transcript from a previous out of state school which includes the above required information)

Submitting the Assessment Graduation Alternative

This assessment graduation alternative is submitted in the Graduation Alternatives Application in EDS.

To submit, the student must:

  • Be enrolled in 11th or 12th grade (as determined by the student's graduation requirement year in CEDARS)**
  • Meet or exceed the cut score indicated for an approved Out of State test for the respective content area, as indicated in the Graduation Alternatives Application Out of State Waiver form
  • Provide acceptable documentation for the approved out of state test(s) and score to their counselor to be uploaded within the Graduation Alternatives Application