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New Rule Allows AZ Schools To Issue Academic Credits, Diplomas To Seniors During Statewide Closures

Arizona State Board of Education
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and Louis Narducci, president of the Arizona Board of Education, at a meeting in 2019.

The Arizona State Board of Education unanimously passed on Tuesday an emergency rule that will allow the state's estimated 86,000 high school seniors to receive a diploma or academic credit despite school closures through the end of the school year.

“(Local education agencies) will retain discretion as to if the student should receive a high school diploma or academic credit but loss of instruction time due to school closure is not permissible as the sole reason to not issue a diploma or academic credit,” the rule draft reads.

Schools can also factor students’ completion of educational opportunities offered during the closures into their decision. The rule requires schools that are not offering distance learning at this time to issue credits or diplomas if the student was on track to receive those prior to the closure. 

The new rules complies with the recently passed bill by the Arizona Legislature asking the board to give schools flexibility during this time.  

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the board held its March meeting telephonically. 

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.