Class of 2020 FAQs
Answers to Seniors' Frequently Asked Questions
Kent School District (KSD) has answered some of the seniors’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs).
If you missed the live event in late April, watch a recording your high school's Virtual Senior Class Meeting.
Is there an update on graduation?
Updated, May 22, 2020, Answered May 20, 2020:
Seniors and families have chosen to have individualized graduation ceremonies at each school for the class of 2020. On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 KSD principals reached out to all KSD seniors and their parents/guardians asking them to vote between two essential options that are currently available per Department of Health Guidelines for graduation given the COVID-19 pandemic.
This option (Option 2) honors graduation candidates by providing an opportunity to walk across a stage, with four family members watching KSD students receive their diploma cover while wearing their cap and gown.
Each KSD senior will be recorded and inserted into the virtual graduation ceremony as well. The date will be determined as soon as Governor Inslee transitions King County into Phase 2.
“I want to thank our community members for their patience as we continue to respond to this unprecedented situation,” shared Dr. Calvin J. Watts, Superintendent. “We are excited to celebrate our seniors in a graduation ceremony that is safe and honors their accomplishment.”
Details and information about the upcoming individualized graduation ceremonies at each school will come in the following days and weeks.
Based on the announcement from Governor Inslee that our Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in place through Sunday, May 31, 2020, and the May 14, 2020 Washington State Department of Health Guidance for Graduation Ceremonies during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is just not possible to hold any kind of in-person ceremony in June for our Class of 2020.Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts, District Leaders and High School and Academy Principals have been working together in collaboration to make a final decision on KSD’s graduation plan as recently as May 15, 2020. On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Principals reached out to seniors and their parents/guardians to engage them directly and asked them to vote between the two options that are available per DOH Guidelines.
This survey is confidential and is only available to KSD Seniors and their parents/guardians:
- The poll will close on Friday, May 22 at 12 pm.
- Results will be shared with our community by May 26, 2020.
- The option with the highest percentage of votes will be the celebration model for all KSD graduations for the Class of 2020.
In the meantime, we will look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 on social media and through other means to help ensure our seniors have the proper sendoff. You should be very proud of this accomplishment, as I know we are #KSDProud of all of our Class of 2020 seniors.
Is my graduation ceremony canceled?
Answered April 24, 2020: At this point, with all school buildings in the state being closed through the end of the school year and knowing our graduations tend to fill the venue, graduation ceremonies at the accesso ShoWare Center are unlikely to be held in June due to the continued spread of the coronavirus. We are looking at alternative options.
We are currently looking into other scenarios including virtual for all, virtual with seniors together and being shared digitally with others, and other ideas. We will be working with other schools across the state to share ideas and come up with something that is memorable.
Will the students that have done Running Start and earned their AA get acknowledged somehow?
Answered May 1, 2020. Yes, Green River College has announced their 2020 Commencement is moving to a Virtual Ceremony. Additionally, our celebration of seniors will also recognize your accomplishments. We are proud of every member of the Class of 2020!
How are we going to get our cap and gowns?
Updated May 21, 2020: Kent-Meridian, Kentlake, Kentridge, and Kentwood families who missed Jostens cap and gown distribution at their schools on May 18 or 19 have another opportunity to pick up their order on Friday, May 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the KSD Administration Center (12033 SE 256th Street, Kent).
Senior Celebrations & Events
Is prom canceled?
Answered April 6, 2020: At this time, all events for the duration of the school year have been canceled, including graduation ceremonies and proms. We are extremely concerned about all our students, especially our seniors, who we know we're looking forward to celebrating their kindergarten through 12th-grade accomplishments. It is our hope that we will be able to offer them the opportunity to experience prom and graduation at a later date or in an alternative way.
What will happen to all the money parents put towards their Seniors (Grad Night, Grad Ceremony, etc)?
Answered May 1, 2020. Refunds need to be processed in our school offices where the paperwork is, this can soon be done by office managers and staff in schools under social distancing guidelines. Until all schools were thoroughly disinfected, school access has been very limited to essential staff to this point. Please look for more information in the coming weeks from your principal.
Graduation Requirements & State Testing
Will we still have diplomas mailed to us?
Answered May 1, 2020. Yes. You once you have met your graduation requirements you will get your diplomas, this one thing that does not change even through this pandemic.
If I failed a class and need to retake it for graduation, what are my options during the school closures?
Answered April 24, 2020: We are working to create options for students who need credit recovery, including online courses. Please reach out to your school counselor directly to learn more. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
Is state testing canceled?
Answered April 24, 2020: Yes, state testing has been canceled due to the school closure.
I am taking Bridge to College (BtC) so that I can meet my math/ELA pathway requirement for graduation. Am I still going to be able to earn credit in this course?
Answered April 24, 2020: Washington state board of education issued an emergency ruling which allows districts to apply credit waivers to student’s records that removes the need for the credits in order to earn the diploma.
Although the waiver removes the need for credits, it still requires students to complete a graduation pathway and the high school and beyond plan. Staff will continue to work one-one with the class of 2020 or earlier students to complete these requirements.
What are my options if I still need the math and/or the ELA Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) state testing requirement for graduation?
Answered April 24, 2020: The state has granted some additional flexibility in meeting these requirements for the Class of 2020. Counselors and school administrators are examining which students could meet the requirements under the new expectations. If testing is required for you, a school administrator will reach out to you to schedule an examination time. Any testing conducted this spring would be limited to current seniors.
Although the closures impacted state testing, the SBA requirement for graduation is only one of the available Graduation Pathway options. Staff will continue to work with the Class of 2020 or earlier to determine the best way for students to fulfill this graduation requirement.
I was going to take the World Language Credit by Proficiency exam in March/April. Will this be rescheduled?
Answered April 24, 2020: Seniors who have already taken the written portion of the ALTA and are interested in completing the speaking portion of the test for credit will be allowed to do so. More information will be shared soon.
Remote Learning, Grading & Transcripts
I do not have access to the internet at home, how can I get a hot spot?
Answered April 24, 2020: Unfortunately, we have limited hot spots available at this time. We are working to order more, but they are in low supply. Free and low-cost internet options are available for families in need.
Who do I contact if I am having technical issues?
Answered April 24, 2020: For issues and support with technology, please email CustomerSupportCenter@kent.k12.wa.us.
I started an online course before the school closure. Can I finish it?
Answered April 24, 2020: Yes, please continue to take all online courses that you started before the school closure. This includes courses through Edgenuity.
What should I do if I have not yet connected with one or more of my classes?
Answered April 24, 2020: If you have yet to connect with one or more of your classes remotely, please do so immediately. Feel free to email the teacher if you are unsure how to access the learning opportunities and/or are unsure of the class meeting times. If you are challenged connecting with the teacher, feel free to reach out to your counselor and/or building administrator. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
Who do I talk to if I am struggling in a class right now?
Answered April 24, 2020: The first step is to reach out to your teacher. Teachers recognize the current situation is unique and has involved significant change and they remain available to support you in improving your grade and/or enhancing your understanding of the learning and/or key concepts. Should additional support be necessary, please reach out to your counselor and/or a building administrator. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
Will KSD send seniors third-quarter progress reports? If so, when? Also, what will the grading system be for the remainder of the year?
Answered April 24, 2020: Final decisions about the grading and credit for the remainder of the year are not yet determined. You can expect to receive more information in the very near future. Continue to monitor the district’s website for updates to this FAQ. KSD is working closely with the Kent Education Association (KEA), the teachers’ union, on finalizing specifics.
What impact will this long-term closure have on my transcript? Will pass/fail be an option for seniors? Are senior Grade Point Averages (GPA) being considered when making spring grading decisions?
Answered April 24, 2020: All students who meet the required learning components for the course will receive the same high school credit, as if we were building-based teaching and learning. KSD has not yet finalized grading and credit for the remainder of the yet. You can expect more information in the very near future. In either case, colleges are publicly acknowledging students will not be penalized in current and/or future acceptances if they have credits without grades attached.
College & Career Readiness
What if I am still deciding what I want to do after graduating?
Answered April 24, 2020: You have options, please reach out to your School Counselor or your College and Career Access Specialist to set up a time to talk. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
I have received financial aid award letters from the colleges I have been accepted to. Is there someone that can help me review these?
Answered April 24, 2020: Contact your school’s college and career access specialist and/or counselor. These staff members can help with financial aid and FAFSA/WASFA questions, award letter review, and scholarship essay review. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
Advanced Placement (AP) & International Baccalaureate (IB)
What’s happening with AP testing?
Answered April 24, 2020: AP testing will be remotely administered by CollegeBoard. Additional information and the schedule can be found their website.on
- Exams will be given from May 11–22.
- Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1–5.
- Students can take exams at home or in schools. (Remote access)
- Each subject's exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
What’s happening with IB testing?
Answered April 14, 2020: The International Baccalaureate (IB) organization canceled the May 2020 exam session. Students will still be able to earn scores for their IB coursework. Students in IB classes still need to complete their Internal Assessments by April 20, 2020.
Taken directly from the IB Organization website on April 14, 2020: “We will be using vast historical assessment data to ensure that we follow a rigorous process of due diligence in what is a truly unprecedented situation. We will be undertaking significant data analysis from previous exam sessions, individual school data, subject data as well as comparative data of schools who have already completed uploading requirements and those who have not. We will require schools to submit the coursework for all candidates. We will externally mark work that is usually marked by teachers, instead of taking samples and applying moderation.”
Will I still be able to earn my International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma? If so, how?
Answered April 14, 2020: Students will be able to earn an IB Diploma.
Taken directly from the IB Organization website on April 14, 2020: “We will award each student a grade for each of their registered subjects using a calculation that takes into account their coursework marks and their predicted grade, as submitted to the IB by their school. For most components we will externally mark work that is usually marked by teachers, instead of taking samples and applying moderation.”
Will IB students be awarded a Diploma, numerical grade for each subject, the core and overall?
Directly from the IB Organization website on April 14, 2020: “We will be awarding Diplomas and Certificates for the May 2020 session. At a subject level, students will be awarded a grade on the normal IB 1-7 scale. Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay and the Career-Related Programme Reflective Project will be awarded a grade on the normal IB A-E scale. The DP core will be awarded on the normal IB 0-3 scale. A total points score will be awarded for the Diploma, out of 45 as normal.”
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Who do I contact if I need to talk with someone and am feeling sad or depressed? What resources are being provided for students and staff to aid in taking care of their mental and physical health during this time?
Answered April 24, 2020: If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Please reach out to your counselor or a teacher you know well. Send him/her an email and they will respond as soon as they can. Please put urgent in the subject line of your email. Find contact information on each school’s staff directory (Our School > Meet Our Team).
If you do not feel comfortable emailing school staff, please call:
- Teen link (24-hour crisis line): 866-427-4747
- Check your insurance and call the help line offered by your insurance company.
Additional resources are also available:
- Crisistextline.org: text “HOME” to 741741 for free counseling 24/7 in the US
- CALM App can be very helpful to reduce anxiety
- Guide to Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (PDF)
- Anxiety in Youth