Parents of eighth-graders to get preview of high school under HB 5

Community meetings begin Monday; high school counselors and registrars will be on hand to answer questions about new graduation requirements 

What is an “endorsement”? How can my child be eligible for Top 10 percent admissions to college? What does my child do to “supersize” his or her diploma to be more attractive to colleges and employers? Parents of current eighth-graders – who will be the first to graduate under revised state requirements – will face an array of new choices and decisions at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

In an effort to prepare families for this vastly different high school experience, the Houston Independent School District is hosting a series of community meetings, starting Monday, March 10, that will connect parents with high school counselors and other experts on House Bill 5.

In its last session, the Texas Legislature passed a package of new requirements for school districts that changed STAAR end-of-course requirements, established tight attendance guidelines, and set forth criteria for personal graduation planning that includes a career component. The regulations do allow some latitude for school districts – and whenever possible, HISD has opted for a rigorous academic pathway as a minimum requirement for students and has chosen to offer the maximum number of career options.

The planning requirements start with this year’s eighth-graders – the class of 2018 –  who will commit to and start their personal pathways next school year.

“Some districts have viewed HB 5 with trepidation,” said Lupita Hinojosa, school services officer. “HISD sees this as an opportunity to help our students understand and plan how everything they’re learning will fit in to their goals for higher education and careers.”

Monday’s meetings will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Booker T. Washington High School and Reagan High School. Middle school parents from trustee districts I and II have been invited to attend, but all parents are welcome.

Following is the complete schedule:

Monday, March 10

Tuesday, March 25

Thursday, March 27

Monday, April 7

Tuesday, April 8

  • Worthing High School, 9215 Scott St. 77051
  • Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St., 77092

*All meetings are 6 to 7:30 p.m.