Navigating College and Career Pathways: Graduation via Safety Net Options to a Local Diploma

By Patrice Rachlin, Special Education Specialist

It’s that time of year again… graduation! For some students that means finals, prom, college/trade school acceptances, and parties.

For other students, the pathway is not crystal clear.

What are the graduation/diploma options available for IEP and 504 students? With NYS Education Department (NYSED) guidance and information linked below, you will be better equipped to navigate the multiple options for college and career pathways that lead to graduation.

There are safety net options available to students with disabilities, enabling them to graduate with a local diploma.

Students with a current IEP, 504, or declassified (in certain instances) are eligible to access the 55-64 Low Pass Safety Net Option, 55-64 Low Pass Safety Net Option with Appeal, and the Compensatory Safety Net Option.

Additionally, students with a current IEP can also utilize the Superintendent Determination Option (does not include 504 or declassified students).

The Regents Competency Test (RCT) Safety Net Option is available to those students who entered grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year and have a current IEP, 504 or are declassified (in certain instances).

For more detailed information and criteria, please check the following NYSED links: