Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2013, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R277. Education, Administration.
Rule R277-705. Secondary School Completion and Diplomas.
As in effect on October 1, 2013
Table of Contents
- R277-705-1. Definitions.
- R277-705-2. Authority and Purpose.
- R277-705-3. Required LEA Policy Explaining Student Credit.
- R277-705-4. Diplomas and Certificates of Completion.
- R277-705-5. Students with Disabilities.
- R277-705-6. Adult Education Students.
- R277-705-7. Utah Basic Skills Competency Testing Requirements and Procedures (Suspended Through at Least the 2011-2012 School Year Consistent with Section 53A-1-611(6)(b)).
- R277-705-8. Security and Accountability.
- R277-705-9. Differentiated Diplomas and Certificates of Completion.
- R277-705-10. Student Rights and Responsibilities Related to Graduation, Transcripts and Receipt of Diplomas.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
A. "Accredited" means evaluated and approved under the Standards for Accreditation of the Northwest Accreditation Commission or the accreditation standards of the Board, available from the Utah State Office of Education Accreditation Specialist.
B. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.
C. "Cut score" means the minimum score a student must attain for each subtest to pass the UBSCT.
D. "Demonstrated competence" means subject mastery as determined by LEA standards and review. LEA review may include such methods and documentation as: tests, interviews, peer evaluations, writing samples, reports or portfolios.
E. "Diploma" means an official document awarded by an LEA consistent with state and LEA graduation requirements and the provisions of this rule.
F. "Individualized Education Program (IEP)" means a written statement for a student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with the Utah Special Education Rules and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
G. "LEA" means a local education agency, including local school boards/public school districts and schools, and charter schools.
H. "Military child or children" means a K-12 public education student whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) satisfies the definition of Section 53A-11-1401.
I. "Secondary school" means grades 7-12 in whatever kind of school the grade levels exist.
J. "Section 504 Plan" means a written statement of reasonable accommodations for a student with a qualifying disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
K. "Special purpose schools" means schools designated by regional accrediting agencies, such as the Northwest Accreditation Commission. These schools typically serve a specific population such as students with disabilities, youth in custody, or schools with specific curricular emphasis. Their courses and curricula are designed to serve their specific populations and may be modified from traditional programs.
L. "Supplemental education provider" means a private school or educational service provider which may or may not be accredited, that provides courses or services similar to public school courses/classes.
M. "Transcript" means an official document or record(s) generated by one or several schools which includes, at a minimum: the courses in which a secondary student was enrolled, grades and units of credit earned, UBSCT scores and dates of testing, if applicable, citizenship and attendance records. The transcript is usually one part of the student's permanent or cumulative file which also may include birth certificate, immunization records and other information as determined by the school in possession of the record.
N. "Unit of credit" means credit awarded for courses taken consistent with this rule or upon LEA authorization or for mastery demonstrated by approved methods.
O. "Utah Basic Skills Competency Test (UBSCT)" means a test to be administered to Utah students beginning in the tenth grade (suspended through at least the 2011-2012 school year) to include at a minimum components on English, language arts, reading and mathematics. Utah students shall satisfy the requirements of the UBSCT in addition to state and LEA graduation requirements prior to receiving a high school diploma indicating a passing score on all UBSCT subtests, for applicable school years (UBSCT requirements are suspended through at least the 2011-2012 school year).
P. "UBSCT Advisory Committee" means a committee that is advisory to the Board with membership appointed by the Board, including appropriate representation of special populations from the following:
(2) high school principal(s);
(3) high school teacher(s);
(4) school district superintendent(s);
(5) Coalition of Minorities Advisory Committee;
(6) Utah State Office of Education staff;
(7) local school board(s);
(8) higher education.
(UBSCT requirements are suspended through at least the 2011-2012 school year.)
A. This rule is authorized by Article X, Section 3 of the Utah Constitution, which places general control and supervision of the public schools under the Board; Section 53A-1-402(1)(b) and (c) which direct the Board to make rules regarding competency levels, graduation requirements, curriculum, and instruction requirements; and Section 53A- 1-401(3) which allows the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.
B. The purpose of this rule is to provide consistent definitions, provide alternative methods for students to earn and schools to award credit, and to provide rules and procedures for the assessment of all students as required by law.
A. All Utah LEAs shall have a policy, approved in an open meeting by the governing board, explaining the process and standards for acceptance and reciprocity of credits earned by students in accordance with Utah state law. Policies shall provide for specific and adequate notice to students and parents of all policy requirements and limitations.
B. LEAs shall adhere to the following standards for credits or coursework from schools, supplemental education providers accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission, and accredited distance learning schools:
(1) Public schools shall accept credits and grades awarded to students from schools or providers accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission or approved by the Board without alteration.
(2) LEA policies may establish reasonable timelines and may require adequate and timely documentation of authenticity for credits and grades submitted.
C. LEA policies shall provide various methods for students to earn credit from non-accredited sources, course work or education providers. Methods, as designated by the LEA may include:
(1) Satisfaction of coursework by demonstrated competency, as evaluated at the LEA level;
(2) Assessment as proctored and determined at the school or school level;
(3) Review of student work or projects by LEA administrators; and
(4) Satisfaction of electronic or correspondence coursework, as approved at the LEA level.
D. LEAs may require documentation of compliance with Section 53A-11-102 prior to reviewing student home school or competency work, assessment or materials.
E. LEA policies for participation in extracurricular activities, awards, recognitions, and enhanced diplomas may be determined locally consistent with the law and this rule.
F. An LEA has the final decision-making authority for the awarding of credit and grades from non- accredited sources consistent with state law, due process, and this rule.
A. LEAs shall award diplomas and certificates of completion.
B. Differentiated diplomas that reference the UBSCT before the 2010-2011 school year and after the 2012-2013 school year shall include:
(1) a high school diploma indicating on the diploma that a student successfully completed all state and LEA course requirements for graduation and passed all subtests of the UBSCT.
(2) a high school diploma indicating on the diploma that a student did not receive a passing score on all UBSCT subtests; the student shall have:
(a) met all state and LEA course requirements for graduation; and
(b) beginning with the graduating class of 2007, participated in UBSCT remediation consistent with LEA policies and opportunities; and
(c) provided documentation of at least three attempts to take and pass all subtests of the UBSCT unless the student took all subtests of the UBSCT offered while the student was enrolled in Utah schools (UBSCT requirements are suspended through at least the 2011-2012 school year).
C. LEAs shall establish criteria for students to earn a certificate of completion that may be awarded to students who have completed their senior year, are exiting the school system, and have not met all state or LEA requirements for a diploma.
A. A student with disabilities served by special education programs shall satisfy high school completion or graduation criteria, consistent with state and federal law and the student's IEP.
B. A student may be awarded a certificate of completion or a differentiated diploma, consistent with state and federal law and the student's IEP or Section 504 Plan.
A. Students who are officially enrolled in a school district as adult education students shall not be required to have attempted or passed the UBSCT in order to qualify for an adult education diploma.
B. Adult education students are eligible only for an adult education secondary diploma.
C. An adult education diplomas cannot be upgraded or changed to traditional, high school-specific diplomas.
D. School districts shall establish policies:
(1) allowing or disallowing adult education student participation in graduation activities or ceremonies.
(2) establishing timelines and criteria for satisfying adult education graduation/diploma requirements.
R277-705-7. Utah Basic Skills Competency Testing Requirements and Procedures (Suspended Through at Least the 2011-2012 School Year Consistent with Section 53A-1-611(6)(b)).
A. All Utah public school students shall participate in Utah Basic Skills Competency testing, unless exempted consistent with R277-705-11, and unless alternate assessment is designated in accordance with federal law or regulations or state law.
(1) Beginning with students in the graduating class of 2006, UBSCT requirements shall apply.
(2) No student may take any subtest of the UBSCT before the tenth grade year.
(3) Tenth graders should first take the test in the second half of their tenth grade year.
(4) Exceptions may be made to this timeline with documentation of compelling circumstances and upon review by the school principal and Utah State Office of Education assessment staff.
C. UBSCT components, scoring and consequences:
(1) UBSCT consists of subtests in reading, writing and mathematics.
(2) Students who reach the established cut score for any subtest in any administration of the assessment have passed that subtest.
(3) Students shall pass all subtests to qualify for a high school diploma indicating a passing score on all UBSCT subtests unless they qualify under one of the exceptions of state law or this rule such as R277-705-7D.
(4) Students who do not reach the established cut score for any subtest shall have multiple additional opportunities to retake the subtest.
(5) Students who have not passed all subtests of the UBSCT by the end of their senior year may receive a diploma indicating that a student did not receive a passing score on all UBSCT subtests or a certificate of completion.
(6) Specific testing dates shall be calendared and published at least two years in advance by the Board.
D. Reciprocity and new seniors:
(1) Students who transfer from out of state to a Utah high school after the tenth grade year may be granted reciprocity for high school graduation exams taken and passed in other states or countries based on criteria set by the Board and applied by the local board.
(2) Students for whom reciprocity is not granted and students from other states or countries that do not have high school graduation exams shall be required to pass the UBSCT before receiving a high school diploma indicating a passing score on all UBSCT subtests if they enter the system before the final administration of the test in the student's senior year.
(3) The UBSCT Advisory Committee following review of applicable documentation shall recommend to the Board the type of diploma that a student entering a Utah high school in the student's senior year after the final administration of the UBSCT may receive.
E. Testing eligibility:
(1) Building principals shall certify that all students taking the test in any administration are qualified to be tested.
(2) Students are qualified if they:
(a) are enrolled in tenth grade, eleventh, or twelfth grade (or equivalent designation in adult education) in a Utah public school program; or
(b) are enrolled in a Utah private/parochial school (with documentation) and are least 15 years old or enrolled at the appropriate grade level; or
(c) are home schooled (with documentation required under Section 53A-11-102) and are at least 15 years old; and
(3) Students eligible for accommodations, assistive devices, or other special conditions during testing shall submit appropriate documentation at the test site.
F. Testing procedures:
(1) Three subtests make up the UBSCT: reading, writing, and mathematics. Each subtest may be given on a separate day.
(2) The same subtest shall be given to all students on the same day, as established by the Board.
(3) All sections of a subtest shall be completed in a single day.
(4) Subtests are not timed. Students shall be given the time necessary within the designated test day to attempt to answer every question on each section of the subtest.
(5) Makeup opportunities shall be provided to students for the UBSCT according to the following:
(a) Students shall be allowed to participate in makeup tests if they were not present for the entire UBSCT or subtest(s) of the UBSCT.
(b) LEAs shall determine acceptable reasons for student makeup eligibility which may include absence due to illness, absence due to family emergency, or absence due to death of family member or close friend.
(c) LEAs shall provide a makeup window not to exceed five school days immediately following the last day of each administration of the UBSCT.
(d) LEAs shall determine and notify parents in an appropriate and timely manner of dates, times, and sites of makeup opportunities for the UBSCT.
(6) Arrangements for extraordinary circumstances or exceptions to R277-705-5 shall be reviewed and decided by the UBSCT Advisory Committee on a case-by-case basis consistent with the purposes of this rule and enabling legislation.
(7) LEAs shall allow appropriate exams to substitute for UBSCT attempts or successful completion of UBSCT for military children consistent with Section 53A-11-1404(2).
(8) The graduating classes of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 shall be exempt from the UBSCT requirement of Sections 53A-1-603(1)(b) and 53A-11-1404.
A. Building principals shall be responsible to secure and return completed tests consistent with Utah State Office of Education timelines.
B. LEAs testing directors shall account for all materials used, unused and returned.
C. Results shall be returned to students and parents/guardians no later than eight weeks following the administration of each test.
D. Appeals for failure to pass the UBSCT due to extraordinary circumstances:
(1) If a student or parent has good reason to believe, including documentation, that a testing irregularity or inaccuracy in scoring prevented a student from passing the UBSCT, the student or parent may appeal to the local board within 60 days of receipt of the test results.
(2) The local board shall consider the appeal and render a decision in a timely manner.
(3) The parent or student may appeal the local board's decision through the UBSCT Advisory Committee, under rules adopted by the Board.
(4) Appeals under this section are limited to the criteria of R277-705-8D(1).
A. Local boards of education and local charter boards may issue differentiated diplomas.
B. The requirement for differentiated diplomas under the UBSCT shall be suspended through at least the 2011-2012 school year.
C. As provided under Section 53A-1-611(2)(d), LEAs shall designate in express language at least the following types of diplomas or certificates:
(1) High School Diploma indicating a passing score on all UBSCT subtests.
(2) High School Diploma indicating that a student did not receive a passing score on all UBSCT subtests.
(3) Certificate of Completion.
(4) High school diploma indicating student achievement on assessments for LEAs exempted from UBSCT consistent with R277-705-11.
D. The designation of a differentiated diploma may be made on the face of the diploma or certificate of completion provided to students.
R277-705-10. Student Rights and Responsibilities Related to Graduation, Transcripts and Receipt of Diplomas.
A. LEAs shall supervise the granting of credit and awarding of diplomas, but may delegate the responsibility to schools within the LEA.
B. An LEA may determine criteria for a student's participation in graduation activities, honors, and exercises, independent of a student's receipt of a diploma or certificate of completion.
C. Diplomas or certificates, credit or unofficial transcripts may not be withheld from students for nonpayment of school fees.
D. LEAs shall establish consistent timelines for all students for completion of graduation requirements. Timelines shall be consistent with state law and this rule.
E. LEAs shall work with enrolled military children to evaluate the students' coursework or to assist students in completing coursework to allow military children to graduate with the students' age-appropriate graduating class consistent with Section 53A-11-1404.
F. Consistent with Section 53A-11-1404(3), if a Utah school is unable to facilitate a military child's receipt of diploma by evaluating coursework in Utah schools and previous schools attended, the Utah school shall contact the military child's previous local education agency and aid, to the extent possible, the receipt of a diploma.
G. Graduation requirements are not retroactive.
August 8, 2011
September 13, 2013
Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-402(1)(b); 53A-1-603 through 53A-1-611; 53A-1-401(3)
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R277, please contact the promulgating agency (Education, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.