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Newport-Mesa USD |  BP  6146.4  Instruction

Differential Graduation And Competency Standards For Students With Disabilities   

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The Governing Board recognizes that students with disabilities are entitled to a course of study that provides them with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and that modifications to the district's regular course may be needed on an individualized basis to provide FAPE. The Individualized Education program (IEP) team shall determine the appropriate standards and assessments, as well as the accommodations, that may be required for students with disabilities.

(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

(cf. 6159.1 - Procedural Safeguards and Complaints for Special Education)

(cf. 6162.51 - Standardized Testing and Reporting Program)

(cf. - High School Exit Examination)

(cf. 6164.4 - Identification and Evaluation of Individuals for Special Education)

No student shall be classified as eligible for differential standards of proficiency for the purpose of circumventing the legal requirement to maintain academic eligibility for extracurricular or cocurricular activities. (Education Code 35160.5)

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)

High School Diploma and Certificate of Educational Achievement or Completion

Beginning in 2005-2006, a student with disabilities may be awarded a high school diploma upon satisfactory completion of the course of study specified in his/her IEP and upon completion of the high school exit exam. The high school exit exam shall be administered in accordance with requirements and accommodations as specified in the student's IEP.

(cf. 6162.5 - Student Assessment)

All students subject to the requirements of the high school exit exam shall receive "adequate notice" as specified in law and Board policy. (Education Code 48980, 60850)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)

Instead of a high school diploma, a student with disabilities may be awarded a certificate or document of educational achievement or completion if the student has met one of the following requirements: (Education Code 56390)

1. Satisfactorily completed a prescribed alternative course of study approved by the board of the district in which the student attended school or the district with jurisdiction over the student as identified in his/her IEP

2. Satisfactorily met his/her IEP goals and objectives during high school as determined by the IEP team

3. Satisfactorily attended high school, participated in the instruction as prescribed in his/her IEP, and met the objectives of the statement of transition services

(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)

A student with disabilities who meets any of the criteria specified above shall be eligible to participate in any graduation ceremony and any school activity related to graduation in which a graduating student of similar age without disabilities would be eligible to participate. (Education Code 56391)

(cf. 5127 - Graduation Ceremonies and Activities)

Legal Reference:


56341 Individualized education program team

56345 Elements of the IEP

56390-56392 Certificate of completion, special education

60850-60859 High school exit examination


3070 Graduation


1400-1482 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


300.1-300.818 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, especially:

300.320 Definition of IEP

Management Resources:


California Department of Education:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:


adopted: February 23, 2010 Costa Mesa, California