Boulder Valley School District

Starting in 2021, students will face increased graduation requirements

Randy Barber

New graduation requirements from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) require students to demonstrate proficiency in English and math starting with the Class of 2021. As a result, the Boulder Valley Board of Education updated its policies. It is important for students to know what will be required for them to graduate in three years from now and beyond.

READ MORE: Board Policy IKF Graduation Requirements (Applicable Beginning with the Class of 2021)

In many cases, BVSD students will fulfill the new requirements by meeting specific thresholds on college or career preparatory tests like the SAT, ACT or ASVAB or by completing concurrent enrollment or Capstone or by taking an IB or Advanced Placement (AP) course.

A full menu of options is available on the CDE’s website at

Another option offered by BVSD is a Capstone project. Outside of New Vista, which already incorporates a capstone into its graduation requirements, students at other high schools will have the opportunity to use the projects initially to demonstrate their proficiency in English and math.

A “Capstone” is a project that demonstrates the “transfer and application of knowledge and skills across unique settings according to established desired outcomes.”

Capstone work done by schools and students will include:

  • a portfolio of work or a public demonstration of learning;

  • a reflection activity in which the student clearly describes what s/he learned through the capstone process and how the learning applies to future plans

Students will register for one of the Graduation Proficiency courses for ENGLISH and one for MATH during the registration process for their JUNIOR year. The course selection will appear on their junior schedule. To track when proficiency is complete, the course grade will be moved to “P” (for “pass”) which will appear on the student’s transcript.

Learn more from the following resources or speak to your school counselor.

Capstone Guidelines
Capstone Rubric
Implementation Recommendations


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