Option Pathway - West Virginia Department of Education

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West Virginia State Department of Education
Office of Special Education * 1-800-642-8541 * http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/
Option Pathway
What is the Option Pathway?
The Option Pathway is an alternative means for at-risk
students to stay in school and earn a high school
diploma. The Option Pathway is designed for the student
who has credit deficiencies at least one year behind their
9th grade cohort and/or who is at high risk of dropping
out due to personal issues or because they are ageinappropriate for their current grade level. Students must
be at least 16 years of age and in the 9th, 10th, 11th or
12th grade. A student who is age-inappropriate for the
eighth grade may also be considered.
The Option Pathway consists of a blend of Career
Technical Education (CTE) courses and the high school
equivalency assessment (HSEA). The Option Pathway
allows approved students to participate in the HSEA at
approved locations without being withdrawn from an
accredited high school. The Option Pathway student
may receive a high school diploma according to the
completion level of the program. Option Pathway
students would no longer be considered under the
graduation requirements of Policy 2510: Assuring
Quality of Education: Regulations for Education
Programs but would be under the requirements of Policy
2444.4: Issuance of the State of West Virginia High
School Equivalency Diploma
What Options are available?
There are three options available to students. Counties
must have been approved for Option Pathway and have
Option 1 in place before they can offer Options 2 or 3.
Option 1 (Core) is the core of the Option Pathway
program and consists of a blend of CTE courses as well
as HSEA preparation classes. It allows at-risk students
to stay in school, complete a CTE concentration, pass
the high school equivalency assessment (HSEA) and
receive a high school diploma. To qualify for the Option
1 Pathway, students must be at least 16 years of age
and in the 9th, 10, 11th or 12th grades as well as be at
high risk of dropping out and/or have credit deficiencies
of at least one year behind their 9th grade cohort.
A student in the second semester 11th grade or a
student in the 12th grade must already be enrolled in
and passing a concentration related to the student’s
career interest per Policy 2510 guidance or must be
enrolled in a CTE concentration that requires only one
year to complete.
Fact
Sheet
Option 2 (Credit Recovery) is designed for high
school seniors who have failed one core course and are
in jeopardy of not being able to graduate with their
cohort. This Option allows seniors to take one content
area of the WVDE approved high school equivalency
assessment (HSEA) in order to recover credit
deficiencies in the one content area.
Option 3 (High School Equivalency Diploma)
allows students dropping out of school to take the WVDE
approved HSEA prior to dropping out of school. Students
enrolling in Option 3 should understand that they will not
receive a high school diploma. However, if they
successfully complete the HSEA, they will receive the
State of West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma.
In order for a student to be considered an Option 3
student, he/she must take the entire HSEA prior to
dropping out of school.
Note: Options 2 and 3 are supplemental programs that
may be implemented once a county is approved to offer
the Option Pathway program.
What is the criteria for placement of students in
the Option Pathway?
Placement in the Option Pathway is a very life-changing
decision for the student. Therefore, careful consideration
should be given prior to placing a student in the Option
Pathway.
Participation in Option 1 (Core) will be restricted to
students who are at least 16 years of age and meet the
following criteria:
 Students must:
o have credit deficiencies (a total of one year’s
credits behind their 9th grade cohort group)
and/or are at risk of dropping out due to
inappropriate age; or
o be at high risk of dropping out of school due to
personal issues.
 Prospective students must take and receive the
recommended Test of Adult Basic Education
(TABE) test scores of 8th grade reading level and
7th grade math level (This test helps to
demonstrate the ability to perform math skills and to
read independently in English at a level sufficient to
successfully complete the high school equivalency
instruction and testing).
 If a history of behavioral problems has existed,
documentation must be in the student file that the
behavioral issues have significantly improved.
West Virginia State Department of Education
Office of Special Education * 1-800-642-8541 * http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/
Option Pathway
Students with extreme behavior issues should not be
permitted in the Option Pathway.
In order for a student to qualify for Option 2 (Credit
Recovery), the student must:
 be a high school senior;
 have credit deficiencies in one core area; and
 be in jeopardy of not being able to graduate with
their cohort.
Note: Option 2 may be used to recover credits in only
one major core content area.
Option 3 (HSE Diploma) is designed for the student
who has decided to drop out of school. In order to qualify
as an Option 3 student, the student must:
 have made the decision to drop out of school;
 take and pass a WVDE approved practice test
TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education); and
 take the entire HSEA before dropping out of school.
How can students enroll in the Option
Pathway?
In order for a student to enroll in the Option Pathway,
he/she must be recommended by a teacher, counselor
or school administrator. The county’s Option Team will
then meet to determine if Option Pathway is an
appropriate placement for the student. Since this
program is voluntary, written consent must be obtained
from both the student and the parent prior to the
student’s placement in the Option Pathway.
What is the enrollment process?
Enrollment in the Option Pathway is voluntary and
requires both student and parent/guardian permission.
Students cannot be placed in the Option Pathway
without this permission.
Since the high school equivalency assessment (HSEA)
is very rigorous, careful consideration should be given
prior to placing a student in the Option Pathway.
In order to enroll a student in the Option 1 (Core)
Pathway, the following guidelines should be followed:
 Teacher/counselor/administrator identifies at-risk
student:
o One (1) year or more behind ninth grade
cohort; and/or
o High risk of dropping out of school due to
personal issues; and/or
Fact
Sheet
o Age-inappropriate according to grade level
 Student is referred to the Option Pathway teacher
for TABE testing (Students with IEPs should be
tested using allowable accommodations).
Note: Although not mandatory, it is highly
recommended that, in addition to the TABE test, a HSEA
practice test be administered to students with IEPs
(using accommodations) to see if it is possible for the
student to pass the HSEA in a timely manner.
 Option Pathway teacher administers the TABE
Reading and Math subject area tests (must have
written permission from parent/guardian before
testing).
o Parental permission to administer TABE test
must be obtained prior to testing.
o Student recommended scores are 8th grade
Reading level and 7th grade Math level.
 The Option Team (including teacher and counselor)
meets to determine if the Option Pathway is the
best placement for the student.
 If student is approved for Option Pathway, a
meeting is held with the student and
parent/guardian.
o Option Team member goes over the Option
Pathway program requirements and
expectations (i.e., behavior, attendance,
participation in required testing, etc.) as
outlined on the Student/Parent Application and
Contract.
o Option Team member ensures that student and
parent/guardian both understand that the
student may have to return to the grade level
he/she was in when he/she entered the Option
Pathway if he/she returns to regular classes or
moves to a county/state where Option Pathway
is not offered.
 Parent/guardian and student sign Student/Parent
Application and Contract (required before student is
allowed to enter the Option Pathway).
 Copy of Contract is given to student and
parent/guardian (Original must be kept in student’s
permanent file).
 Counselor (or other designated staff person) codes
the student in WVEIS on the Web (WOW) using the
appropriate Option Pathway attribute. (See the
Alternative Means to Earn High School Credit,
Appendix 10).
West Virginia State Department of Education
Office of Special Education * 1-800-642-8541 * http://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/
Option Pathway
Guidelines for enrolling students in Option 2 are as
follows:
 Teacher/counselor/administrator identifies at-risk
student:
o Senior with credit deficiencies in one core
content area
 Counselor contacts Option Pathway teacher to
arrange for student to take HSEA practice test
 Option teacher:
o Administers WVDE approved HSEA practice
test
o Assists student in self-registering for HSEA
o Ensures student has current photo ID
 Counselor (or other designated staff person) codes
the student in WOW using the appropriate Option
Pathway attribute.
 After testing, the home school counselor is
responsible for sending test scores for Option 2
students to the Option Pathway teacher.
Guidelines for enrolling Option 3 students:
 Teacher/counselor/administrator identifies at-risk
student who has declared his/her intention to drop
out of school.
 Counselor contacts Option Pathway teacher to
arrange for student to take HSEA practice test
 Option teacher:
o Administers WVDE approved HSEA practice
test
o Assists student in self-registering for HSEA
o Ensures student has current photo ID
concentration approved by the County Board of
Education consisting of four related courses
correlating to the student’s Personalized Education
Plan (PEP).
Option 2 students will receive a high school diploma
upon successful completion of all Option Pathway
requirements:
 Must pass the HSEA subject area test for the major
core area in which he/she has credit deficiencies.
Note: If the credit deficiencies are in English, student
must pass both the Reading and Writing subtests of the
HSEA.
 Must continue attending and maintaining passing
grades in all other classes as required by Policy
2510.
Option 3 students will receive the State of West Virginia
High School Equivalency Diploma upon successful
completion of the HSEA.
 If student passes the entire HSEA prior to dropping
out of school, the student is marked as a completer
in WVEIS.
 If student does not pass the entire HSEA prior to
dropping out of school, the student is marked as a
drop out. If the student passes the HSEA prior to
the October report, the student is changed from a
drop out to a completer in WOW.
This information was developed from the
following resources:

What are the guidelines for completing the
Option Pathway?
Option Pathway (Option 1) students will receive a high
school diploma upon successful completion of all Option
Pathway requirements:
 Attends HSEA preparation classes;
 Adheres to county attendance and behavioral
policies;
 Participates in state-required testing for his/her
grade level;
 Passes a WVDE approved HSEA practice test;
 Completes the Test Assessing Secondary
Completion (TASC) test (by passing all 5 subject
area tests); and
 Completes the four (4) courses of an approved
State Department Career Technical Education
(CTE) program of study or completes a local
Fact
Sheet





Test Assessing Secondary Completion
http://wvde.state.wv.us/tasc/option-1pathway.html
GED/Option Pathway
http://wvde.state.wv.us/riseup/resources.php
Alternative Means to Earn High School Credit
http://careertech.k12.wv.us/docs/altmeans_hscr
edit_manual.pdf
State Policy 2444.4: Issuance of the State of
West Virginia High School Equivalency Diploma
https://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/
State Policy 2510: Assuring Quality of
Education: Regulations for Education Programs
https://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/
Alternative Means to Earn High School Credit
Manual
http://wvde.state.wv.us/tasc/option-1pathway.html
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