Set Your Course


Overview

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.

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RISD Graduation Program

DLA Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA)
To complete the DLA, students must successfully complete:
• Requirements for the RISD FHSP                          • Total of four credits in mathematics, which must include Algebra II
• Requirements for at least one endorsement          • Total of four credits in science
DLA Foundation High School Program Plus Endorsements
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Students must complete the RISD FHSP plus additional courses to meet the requirements of one of the five endorsements.
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Foundation High School Program (FHSP)
Students must complete the following credits to meet the requirements of the RISD FHSP:
• English - 4                • Fine Arts - 1                                                  • Technology - 0.5
• Math - 3                   • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) - 2       • Electives - 3
• Science - 3               • Physical Education - 1
• Social Studies - 4      • Health - 0.5
            


Performance Acknowledgements

Students may earn Performance Acknowledgements at any level for:
• Outstanding performance in:
      o AP       o PSAT, ACT-Plan, SAT, or ACT       o Bilingualism and Biliteracy       o Dual Credit
• Earning a nationally or internationally recognized business or industry certification or license


Endorsement Options


STEM Arts and Humanities
Political science, languages other than English, cultural studies, English literature, history and fine arts


STEM Business and Industry
Database management, information technology, communications, accounting, finance, marketing, graphic design, architecture, construction, welding, logistics, automotive technology, agricultural science, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning

STEM Multidisciplinary
Allows students to select courses from the curriculum of each endorsement area and earn enough credits in a variety of advanced courses to complete the distinguished level of achievement.
STEM Public Services
Education and training, health science, law enforcement, culinary arts and hospitality


STEMScience, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Includes courses directly related to science, technology, engineering and advanced math


Students not choosing an endorsement will default to the Multidisciplinary Endorsement.

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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 meet with their counselors as part of their preregistration for 9th grade and develop their PGP. 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 seven periods a day each year for a total of 28 or more credits by the end of their senior year. In addition, some courses such as Algebra I, Languages Other than English, and Health and Technology are offered in junior high enabling students to gain credits during their 7th and 8th grade years. RISD 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. RISD encourages all students to take Algebra II as part of their preparation to go to college or join the work force; however, RISD offers a provision for students to opt out of Algebra II when appropriate.
Will Health continue to be required under the new Foundation High School Program? Health is not required under the State Foundation High School Program; however, Health will continue to be a requirement under the RISD Foundation High School Program.

Will Technology be required under the new Foundation High School Program? Technology is not required under the State Foundation High School Program; however, one-half Technology credit will be a requirement under the RISD Foundation High School Program.

Will students be required to take Speech?
No, Speech is not required under the State or RISD Foundation High School Program; however, RISD will continue to offer the course as an elective in both junior high and high school.

How can students opt out of certain requirements? Opt out may be allowed for multiple reasons including, but not limited to, the need to meet higher-level course requirements, Individualized Education Plan requirements, and endorsement requirements. Counselors, teachers, students, and parents will be involved in the process.

When can students opt out of courses?
The timing for each student will be individualized.

Will students' transcripts and diplomas reflect Endorsements, Performance Acknowledgements and Distinguished Level of Achievement? Yes, both transcripts and diplomas will reflect the graduation program, Endorsements, Distinguished Level of Achievement, and Performance Acknowledgements.

If students complete only the Foundation High School Program, can they apply to a four year college? Yes, students may apply to four-year colleges upon successful completion of the RISD FHSP; however, RISD encourages students to research college and university entrance criteria.

Who will be eligible for consideration in the Top 10% for automatic admission to a Texas Institution of Higher Education (Top 7% for UT Austin)? Only students who graduate with the Distinguished Level of Achievement will be eligible for consideration for this honor.

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Overview

Questions?
Contact your student's counselor, refer to the Program of Studies.

State of Texas Website
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/graduation.aspx

HB5 Presentation (Spanish)

Por favor llame al 469-593-0236 para información en español.
Xin vui lòng gọi 469-593-0236 để biết thông tin bằng tiếng Việt.
يرجى الاتصال 469-593-0236 للحصول على معلومات باللغة العربية.
Please contact 469-593-0236 for information in any other language.

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