This is the first in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
For some students, high school planning used to involve plotting a college path, and for others a vocational path. Starting this August, under a package of state legislation known as House Bill 5, all ninth-grade students will be charting a personalized course that will combine academic rigor with potential career choices.
Ninth-graders — working with their parents and counselors — will be required to pursue a 26-credit Distinguished Level of Achievement basic graduation plan, including Algebra II. HISD opted for the more challenging plan because it makes students eligible for automatic admission into state universities, if they graduate in the top 10 percent of their class, and prepares them more fully for higher education or workforce training. Continue reading →
It features breakdowns of which school offers each of the five endorsements – or areas of focus – that have been created under recent state legislation that is reinventing high school to emphasize both college and career readiness:
• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
• Business and Industry
• Arts and Humanities
• Public Services
The new, personalized learning system requires next year’s entering ninth-graders – the class of 2018 – to work with their families and counselors to create a Personal Graduation Plan and customize it with endorsements and a pathway that will reflect their career interests and goals for additional education or training beyond high school.
When it comes to endorsements, HISD students have plenty of high school choices. Of the 43 campuses required to operate under the new plan, 26 are offering all five endorsements, and 12 are offering four.
With all the big changes coming to high school this fall, HISD is working diligently to make sure parents and students have the latest information in the most easy-to-navigate means possible.
That’s why we’ve streamlined our “Plan Your Path: House Bill 5 and You” website that gives you critical facts and tells you where to go to learn even more details about things such as graduation plans, course and school selection, college readiness, and shares frequently asked questions.
Reagan, Washington HB 5 sessions show what’s in store for next year’s ninth-graders
High school is changing in a big way for next year’s ninth-grade students, and dozens of HISD families got a jump on finding out how at two community meetings Monday night at Reagan and Washington high schools.
The changes are coming as a result of state legislation known as House Bill 5 – and HISD has rebranded the process for its students and their families as “Plan Your Path.”
“Plan Your Path” is all about guiding students to “dream big,” explained Alejandro Morua, HISD’s general manager of Family and Community Engagement, by combining career awareness and selection with a rigorous academic curriculum from pre-K through graduation.
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.
Ten community sessions will introduce families to new requirements, resources
Houston ISD will launch a series of 10 community “Plan Your Path: House Bill 5 and You” meetings Monday, March 10, to introduce eighth-graders and their families to major changes in high school planning that will blend academics with higher education and careers.
One session is set for each trustee’s district, with one at the HISD headquarters at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. Families may attend any of the meetings, and all HISD students and parents are invited to get a first look at this new model for learning.
HISD trustees heard a detailed update Thursday of dozens of new laws from the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, but the focus was on one new measure – House Bill 5 – that will make huge changes in Texas graduation requirements beginning with current ninth- and 10th-graders.
The session was presented by HISD counsel David Thompson, who serves as one of the district’s legislative liaisons.
HB 5 reduces the number of STAAR end-of-course exams that must be passed for graduation from 15 to 5 and requires students to select a personal graduation plan between a basic “foundation” course of study and a more rigorous “distinguished” diploma that increases their chances for admission to four-year Texas public universities and state grants.