Countdown to 2014-2015: What’s new in HISD #7 – New high school programs

This is the fourth in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.

On the first day of school, Houston ISD will welcome students at two new Middle College High Schools, a new Futures Academy, and at the district’s first AP-focused school.

Both Middle College High Schools are on Houston Community College campuses – one at Gulfton in southwest Houston, and the other at Fraga just east of downtown Houston. The schools are designed for students who are disengaged in a traditional high school environment. They will offer personalized instruction through one-on-one support and small classes – averaging 15 students per teacher – that will lead to a diploma while providing opportunities for college credits and workforce certifications simultaneously through HCC. A total of 150 students will be enrolled at each campus.

Jones High School is now home to the district’s newest Futures Academy, which will specialize in health science and construction technology. The Futures Academy program allows students to meet graduation requirements while simultaneously earning industry certifications, college credits, and an associate of applied science degree by August after their senior year. This preparation will make it easier for students to move directly into the workforce after graduation or to continue their education at a college or university.

Westbury High School has been named the district’s first school to focus heavily on AP curriculum. Students in all grade levels will be urged to enroll in at least one pre-AP or AP course. Students who receive a 3 or higher grade on AP course exams are eligible to receive college credit. At the ninth-grade level, students may now enroll in two pre-AP courses. Tenth-graders may enroll in pre-AP classes as well as an AP class. Students in grades 11-12 may enroll in two AP courses.

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