• Essential Skills

    It is a graduation requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency in three Essential Skills: Reading, Writing and Mathematics.  The primary manner to demonstrate any Essential Skill is to meet, in the specified area, on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  If students are not able to meet through this option, then they can demonstrate their proficiency for an Essential Skill by completing an alternative assessment.   All schools support students in the use of work samples as an alternative option for demonstrating Essential Skills.   For additional information on work samples, please select the specific Essential Skill in the sidebar.

    For additional information regarding the Oregon requirements for Essential Skills, please visit the ODE Essential Skills website.

    Native Language Work Sample

    In an effort to better serve our Emergent Bilingual students who deserve the opportunity to complete their work sample attempts in their native language, the Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment department can support students with Native Language Work Samples.  Please refer to the NLWS Protocol for more information regarding the following:  

    • Determination of Eligibility
    • Languages Currently Supported
    • NLWS for 12th Grade Students
    • Administering and Scoring NLWS

    Modified Diploma

    In an effort to better serve our Special Education students on track for a Modified Diploma who deserve the opportunity to complete their work sample attempts at an appropriate level, the Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment department can support students with Modified Work Samples.  Please refer to the Modified Work Sample Protocol for more information regarding the following:  

    • Determination of Eligibility
    • Work Sample Modification Options
    • Administering and Scoring Modified Work Samples

    Request to Add Evidence  

    For students who completed a requirement in another school district, Portland Public Schools may not have the data necessary to show this requirement as complete on the student’s transcript. To ensure students receive proper credit for work completed, a school counselor or administrator should complete and submit a request to add evidence. The form can be found here.

    Essential Skills Appeals Process

    If a student is denied a high school diploma solely based on not meeting the Essential Skills graduation requirement, the student may appeal the most recent work sample scores that were used to determine that the student was not proficient in that Essential Skill. The appeal must be filed within six months of the student being denied the diploma. Appeals are filed by filling out the PPS Essential Skills Appeals Form and submitting it to the student's high school counselor. It is important to note that students have the opportunity to revise and complete additional samples in summer school. For more information on the appeals process, talk to your high school counselor.

     Essential Skills Appeals Process