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JHS Graduation Program

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.

JISD GRADUATION PROGRAM

DISTINGUISHED LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT (DLA)
To complete the DLA, students must successfully complete:
  • Requirements for the JISD FHSP
  • Total of four credits in mathematics, which must include Algebra II
  • Requirements for at least one endorsement
  • Total of four credits in science

FOUNDATION HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM PLUS ENDORSEMENTS


Students must complete the JISD FHSP plus additional courses to meet the requirements of one of the five endorsements.



FOUNDATION HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM (FHSP)

Students must complete the following credits to meet the requirements of the JISD 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
  • Professional Communications - 0.5

PERFORMANCE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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

ENDORSEMENT OPTIONS

Arts and Humanities
Languages other than English and fine arts

Business and Industry
Database management, information technology, communications, accounting, finance, marketing, graphic design, hospitality and tourism, culinary arts, welding, agricultural science, and animal and environmental sciences.

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

Public Services
Health Sciences

Science, 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.




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?

  • 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. JISD 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, JISD 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 JISD 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 JISD Foundation High School Program.
  • Will students be required to take Speech?
    No, Speech is not required under the State or JISD 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 reflect Endorsements, Performance Acknowledgements and Distinguished Level of Achievement?
    Yes, students' transcripts 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 JISD FHSP; however, JISD 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.

Questions?
Contact your student's counselor.

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