The Hoquiam School District has changed policy so that a handful of kids can take part in graduation ceremonies this year after uncertainty in the state legislature.

Superintendent Mike Parker read from the school’s bylaws during the board meeting last week, “Only seniors who have met local and state requirement for graduation will participate in graduation ceremonies.” Parker added, “So by our procedures, it says that they must meet local and state requirements.”High School Principal Brock Maxfield explained that he has a couple of students waiting on results for state tests. Passing those tests is currently a requirement to graduate. The district is concerned that the tests themselves might not be a graduation requirement after this legislative session.

High School Principal Brock Maxfield explained that he has a couple of students waiting on results for state tests. Passing those tests is currently a requirement to graduate. The district is concerned that the tests themselves might not be a graduation requirement after this legislative session.

Superintendent Parker added, “There is a bill that’s been supported by the house in Olympia to de-link all state assessments from graduation.” House Bill 1046 passed in the House, with 89 yes votes, and 4 no votes, it seeks to decouple state tests and graduation requirements.

The last minute scramble to take part in graduation ceremonies is nothing new. Maxfield says in the past it was clear that if you didn’t fulfill requirements you didn’t walk, “You hate to say no to a family and then come late June ‘Oh hey, we delinked it.’ Well, they could have walked then because it’s no longer a state requirement – and we have not had that issue before.”

Student Representative Katie Mudd is graduating this year but she understands. She told the board, “I have a friend as he’s not graduating this year. And he has come to terms with it because he knows that he messed up.” Parker asked her opinion noting concern that students might feel they had to earn something that was given to others.

The board voted to allow the class of 2017 students that met all other requirements to take part in graduation ceremonies. The change does not affect graduation requirements.