When the 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 5 into law, high school graduation plans changed for all students who will be freshmen during the 2014-15 school year and thereafter. The bill provides more flexibility for high school students to pursue either higher education or a career.
House Bill 5 established a single graduation plan, the Foundation High School Program (FHSP). Students will also have the opportunity to build on the FHSP by earning Endorsements, Performance Acknowledgements, and a Distinguished Level of Achievement.
Students will need to declare their preferred endorsement areas, in writing, by the beginning of their 9th grade year. Students will be able to change their endorsement at any time.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is affected by the new graduation plan? Students who are current 8th graders in 2013-2014 and all students thereafter will graduate under the new plan.
Do students have to declare an endorsement? Yes, students must declare their preferred endorsement areas, in writing, by the beginning of their 9th grade year.
Can students change their endorsement? Yes, students will be able to change their endorsement(s) at any time with parent notification.
Will students be able to take courses under different endorsement area? Yes, the Multidisciplinary Endorsement will allow students to take courses from each endorsement area.
Can students be undecided as to which endorsement they want to pursue? No, every student will choose an endorsement. Students will be assigned to the Multidisciplinary Endorsement by default until they make their choice.
How will students know what courses to take? Counselors will be meeting with students to plan their Personal Graduation Plans (PGP). During these one-on-one meetings, counselors and students will discuss the order that a student must successfully complete specific classes to meet requirements for the Foundation High School Program, the Foundation High School Program plus Endorsements, and the Distinguished Level of Achievement.
Will all students have a PGP? Yes, all students will develop a PGP during their 7th grade year.
The PGP will be revisited each year with a school counselor. Parents will be required to sign the PGP to ensure that they are aware of the choices made by their children.
Can students complete all requirements for endorsements and DLA and still participate in athletics/fine arts? Yes, students entering 9th grade in 2014-2015 must take eight periods a day each year for a total of 32 or more credits by the end of their senior year. In addition, some courses such as Algebra I, Spanish I, Speech and Health and Technology are offered in junior high enabling students to gain credits during their 8th grade year. MWISD encourages students to be well-rounded individuals.
Are students required to take Algebra II? Algebra II is a requirement for students who choose to graduate with a Distinguished Level of Achievement. It may also be required under a specific endorsement. MWISD encourages all students to take Algebra II as part of their preparation to go to college or join the work force.
Will Health continue to be required under the new Foundation High School Program? Health is not required under the State Foundation High School Program. MWISD encourages all students to take Health as a part of a well-rounded program. MWISD will continue to offer the course as an elective in both junior high and high school.