Running Start

Running Start is a program that allows concurrent enrollment in high school and college to seniors and some juniors. Students enrolled in Running Start take college-level courses, tuition-free, at one of the area community colleges. High school and community college or technical college credits may be earned through successful completion of courses. Students become eligible for Running Start through an assessment done at the community college.

General Information

1. All students participating in Running Start through Juanita High School, must reside in the Juanita attendance area. If you attend Juanita High School through a variance (boundary exception), you must access Running Start through your home school.

2. If you move out of the Juanita High School attendance area during the time you are enrolled in Running Start, you must transfer your Running Start registration to the high school in your new attendance area.

3. Procedures for Running Start vary depending on the community/technical college. Consult your counselor and the community college in which you wish to enroll for details about placement testing, registration, and enrollment.

4. As a Running Start student, you must maintain contact with JHS in order to stay informed of policies and practices that may affect you. Supply your counselor and your Graduation Seminar teacher with your e-mail address. Check the JHS website, attend graduation seminar and other meetings, read the Town Crier, and meet regularly with your high school counselor to stay informed. You are responsible for knowing information relevant to you.

5. If you attend both Juanita High School and the community college, note that Lake Washington School District is on a semester schedule (18 weeks per semester); the community colleges are on a quarter schedule (11 weeks per quarter). You will find the starting, ending, and vacation dates will be different at the two schools. Missing class at JHS because your community college is not in session will not be an excused absence.

6. If you attend both Juanita High School and the community college, you must plan classes at the community college so that they do not conflict with classes at JHS.

7. If you are a student with an IEP, you must inform your IEP provider that you are in the Running Start program. If you are scheduled for a support class at Juanita High School, you must continue to attend this class while you are in Running Start.

8. The other students enrolled in the community college courses are adults. The courses may require a higher level of self-discipline, ability, and outside study time than high school classes. For online courses you must have the ability to communicate in accord with expectations in a college setting.

9. The community college will treat the Running Start student as a college student and will follow FERPA guidelines. Information regarding attendance or academic performance will not be communicated to the parents without the student’s direct instruction.

High School Graduation Requirements

1. It is your responsibility to meet all state, district, and Juanita High School graduation requirements, including total number of credits, content requirements, Level 5 Standards, and Culminating Project.

2. Requests for course waivers from Running Start students will not be honored.

3. In Running Start, there is no guarantee that you will be able to register for the courses you want or need. Pay attention to registration dates and deadlines. The earlier you register, the better your chances of getting your desired courses. Do not leave graduation requirements to the last quarter of enrollment in the senior year. If you do not get the course(s) you need, you will jeopardize your graduation.

4. In order to address Level 5 Standards and Culminating Project requirements, all Running Start students must be enrolled in Graduation Seminar at JHS.

5. As a Running Start student, you must make an appointment with your counselor prior to each quarter you plan to enroll through Running Start. During this appointment, you and your counselor will review your credits toward graduation, your academic progress in Running Start, and the Quarterly Release Form that you will submit to the college. Call the Counseling Office at (425) 823-7610 at least 24 hours in advance to schedule your quarterly appointments. If you do not have an appointment with your counselor, you may not be able to be seen on a walk-in basis.

Placement Testing and Enrollment Level

1. All colleges require specific scores on a placement exam which they will administer. (Common placement exams used are the COMPASS Test and the ASSET Test.)

2. A student must place into English 101 or a higher level English in order to qualify for enrollment through Running Start.

3. Dual credit and free tuition can be given only for college level courses (numbered 100 or higher). Lower level courses are high school courses for which you will have to pay all expenses if you enroll in them at the community college.


  1. Some community colleges charge a fee (approximately $15-20) for the placement test.
  1. Most Running Start students are funded for up to 15 credits of 100 level or higher college credits per quarter.
  1. You may not be funded for more than 18 credits per quarter.
  1. The tuition for qualified courses taken through Running Start is covered by the program.

Costs for books, registration, placement testing, lab fees, parking, and transportation are the responsibility of the student. These costs can total $100 or more each quarter.


  1. You may enroll through Running Start for up to 3 quarters a year, beginning in a fall quarter. There is summer enrollment for registered Running Start students who have not graduated from high school. However, course work is not tuition-free, and the student must report grades to the high school.
  1. You are responsible for meeting all program deadlines. If you decide to drop a course after the deadline, you will receive an “F” grade for that course for that term.

Grades and Transcripts

  1. Grades received at the community college become a permanent part of your high school and college transcripts.
  1. You will be responsible for monitoring your own academic progress. It is possible to lose your Running Start status for poor academic performance.
  1. If you retake a college-level course, both attempts at the course, and both grades for the course, will appear on your transcript.
  1. You must take all community college courses for a letter grade.
  1. Juanita High School will determine how your college courses translate into credit and apply toward graduation requirements at JHS.
  1. Not all post-secondary institutions will accept Running Start courses for college credit. Check with the college or university to which you are applying to determine how your Running Start course credit will transfer.

Registration for Running Start

Most Juanita High School students who enroll in Running Start attend either Bellevue Community College (BCC) or Cascadia Community College, but enrollment at other area community colleges that participate in Running Start also is possible.

  1. Begin the Running Start enrollment process by meeting with your counselor for a graduation credit check. Your counselor will consult with you about your 4-year plan and advise you about which courses you may complete through Running Start.
Obtain a Running Start information packet from your counselor. These packets are produced by the community colleges and contain step-by-step registration procedures.