High School Course Description Guide

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1 High School Course Description Guide Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 1 of 43

2 Table of Contents GENERAL INFORMATION...4 PRE-REGISTRATION...4 CLASS SCHEDULES...5 SCHEDULE CHANGES...5 COURSE CREDIT...5 PROMOTION AND RETENTION...5 GRADE LEVEL CLASSIFICATION...6 SPECIAL PROGRAMS...6 AMARILLO AREA CENTEER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING (AACAL)...6 DISTANCE LEARNING...7 CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE)...7 PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASSES AND P.E. SUBSTITUTIONS...7 UIL REQUIREMENTS...8 ADVANCED ACADEMIC COURSES...8 COLLEGE CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES...9 DUAL CREDIT COURSES CREDIT BY EXAM CREDIT RECOVERY CLASS RANK/TOP TEN PERCENT/HIGHEST RANKING STUDENT WEIGHTED GRADE AVERAGE SYSTEM SUPERINTENDENT SCHOLARS COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST AND AMERICAN COLLEGE TEST (SAT AND ACT) TEXAS SUCCESS INITIATIVE (TSI) ASSESSMENT COLLEGE PREPARATION TIMELINE STATE TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION TRANSFERS FROM OUT-OF-STATE OR NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS GRADUATION PLANS FOR SENIOR CLASSES OF 2016 AND GRADUATION PLANS FOR SENIOR CLASSES OF 2018 AND BEYOND Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 2 of 43

3 ENDORSEMENTS STEM ENDORSEMENT PATHWAYS BUSINESS & INDUSTRY ENDORSEMENT PATHWAYS ARTS & HUMANITIES ENDORSEMENT PATHWAYS PUBLIC SERVICE ENDORSEMENT PATHWAYS MULTIDISCIPLINARY ENDORSEMENT PATHWAYS HIGH SCHOOL ENDORSEMENT PERSONAL GRADUATION PLAN COURSE OFFERINGS ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS & READING MATHEMATICS SCIENCE SOCIAL STUDIES FINE ARTS LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH... Error! Bookmark not defined. HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION CTE AGRICULTURE, FOOD & NATURAL RESOURCES CTE ARTS, A/V TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION CTE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION CTE FINANCE CTE HUMAN SERVICES CTE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CTE HEALTH SCIENCE CAREER DEVELOPMENT Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 3 of 43

4 GENERAL INFORMATION Bushland High School is a state accredited high school that provides broad academic experiences for all students. Students and parents should read thoroughly the information provided in this guide in order to select the best possible courses according to students needs, abilities, and career plans. A note about this book: It is the intent of the Course Description Guide to provide entering students and their parents with essential information for educational and career planning. This guide is designed to be used to aid the student in preparing for the future. The school and its professional staff are an important support to the student in providing guidance, information, and resources. There are many factors to consider when selecting courses. Students should choose courses based on interest and ability, post-graduation educational plans, and future career goals. The ultimate responsibility for choices and decisions rests with the student and his/her parents. It is the responsibility of the school to assist in providing and interpreting all the appropriate and most recent information available. This information and assistance will enable the student to make the best and wisest decision commensurate with his abilities and interests. Students should read the Course Description Guide carefully before making any course selections. Guidance counseling staff are available to answer any questions concerning the information presented. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from the guidance counseling staff throughout their high school years for help in planning for graduation and beyond. Please feel free to call the Guidance & Counseling Office at Bushland High School at ext The guidance counseling staff will be glad to answer your questions. Bushland ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sex, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including vocational programs. PRE-REGISTRATION Pre-registration will take place in the spring semester of each school year. Although students will receive specific instructions during that time from high school personnel, the responsibility for appropriate graduation and career choices rests with students and parents. The counseling staff is available to assist in making decisions related to course selections. Pre-registration of students is one of the most critical functions performed by a school. Based upon preregistration information, courses are scheduled and teachers are employed for the next year. Therefore, it is important that course selections be given serious consideration. Once pre-registration forms have been submitted, students will be permitted only one change request. After school begins, changes will be made only to correct scheduling errors or to equalize class enrollments. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 4 of 43

5 CLASS SCHEDULES Students are expected to attend school for the entire school day and maintain a class/course schedule to fulfill each period of the day. Exceptions are made for 11 th and 12 th grade students who meet specific criteria and receive parental consent to enroll in less than a full-day s schedule. These students may have a schedule with either the first or last period off but not both. Students will select electives of choice during the preceding semester and the district will fill in core courses. The student is placed into classes according to class size and placement requests. The schedules will be available to students no later than one week before the start of school. Changes are made only if classes are available. SCHEDULE CHANGES A student may add or drop courses WHICH ARE NOT Advanced Academic courses the week before school starts in the fall semester. For changes to Advanced Academic courses, see section regarding Advanced Academic Courses. Spring schedules are delivered to the students before the end of the first semester, and a brief window of 2 days is given for any adjustments before the start of the second term. A student will be permitted one schedule change request. All schedule changes require administrative approval once school starts. COURSE CREDIT A student in grades 9 12 will earn credit for a course only if the final grade for each semester is 70 or above. The student must pass both semesters to receive a credit for that course. For a two-semester (1 credit) course, the student s grades for both semesters shall be a 70 or above. Should the student s grade be less than 70 for a semester, the student will be required to retake the semester in which he or she failed. If a student s semester test grade causes them to fail, the student will have the opportunity to retake the semester test. PROMOTION AND RETENTION A student will be promoted only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency in the subject matter of the course or grade level, the recommendation of the student s teacher, the score received on any criterion-referenced or state-mandated assessment, and any other necessary academic information as determined by the district. To earn credit in a course, a student must receive a grade of at least 70 based on course-level or grade-level standards. A student in grades 9 12 will be advanced a grade level based on the number of course credits earned. Students will also have multiple opportunities to retake EOC assessments. Certain students some with disabilities and some with limited English proficiency may be eligible for exemptions, accommodations, or deferred testing. For more information, see the principal, counselor, or special education director. A Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) will be prepared for any student at the middle school level who did not perform satisfactorily on a state-mandated assessment or is determined by the district as not likely to earn a high school diploma before the fifth school year following enrollment in grade 9. The PGP will be designed and implemented by the counselor, teacher, or other staff member designated by the principal. The plan will, among other items, identify the student s educational goals, address the parent s educational expectations for the student, and Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 5 of 43

6 outline an intensive instruction program for the student. For a student receiving special education services, the student s IEP may serve as the student s PGP and would therefore be developed by the student s ARD committee. GRADE LEVEL CLASSIFICATION After the ninth grade, students are classified according to the number of credits earned toward graduation. Credits Earned Classification 5 Grade 10 (Sophomore) 10 Grade 11 (Junior) 15 Grade 12 (Senior) SPECIAL PROGRAMS The district provides special programs for gifted and talented students, homeless students, bilingual students, migrant students, students with limited English proficiency or who are English language learners, students diagnosed with dyslexia, and students with disabilities. The coordinator of each program can answer questions about eligibility requirements, as well as programs and services offered in the district or by other organizations. A student or parent with questions about these programs should contact the campus principal. AMARILLO AREA CENTEER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING (AACAL) Bushland High School partners with the Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL) to offer Bushland students a challenging and competitive college preparatory program to academically talented, technicallyoriented students. All specialty programs at AACAL incorporate a strong math-science focus. Each of the specialty programs at AACAL has been established under the guidance of many college, university and business partners. Courses in each specialty program follow a coherent sequence of study for each grade level. First and second year courses are focused on exploration and investigation in the career fields related to each specialty program. To be eligible for these courses, students must have passed his or her core subject courses in the fall semester with skill levels demonstrating readiness for combined academic and technical instruction. It is usually not appropriate to place a student who is not ready for this type of instruction in AACAL classes when his or her significant need is to complete basic skills instruction at their home campus. Students who decide to continue their four year coherent sequence of courses beyond the sophomore year will apply for admission in the spring semester to the Specialty Program of their choice. Admission to the junior and senior level Specialty Programs is on a competitive basis. Opportunities will be available for all students to participate in real-world application of their science skills. Many local science and math industries have provided guest speakers, job shadowing experiences, mentorships and internships for AACAL students. Students who are accepted to AACAL may also enroll in other courses we offer at Bushland; however, the student will be charged tuition for courses taken at AACAL. Bushland ISD ONLY pays student tuition for courses taken in Specialty Programs at AACAL, i.e. Engineering. Transportation is not provided by Bushland ISD and students must arrange for their own transportation to and from AACAL. For more information about enrolling at AACAL, contact the counseling staff at Bushland High School. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 6 of 43

7 DISTANCE LEARNING Distance learning and correspondence courses include courses that encompass the state-required essential knowledge and skills but are taught through multiple technologies and alternative methodologies such as mail, satellite, Internet, video-conferencing, and instructional television. The Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) has been established as one method of distance learning. A student has the option, with certain limitations, to enroll in a course offered through the TxVSN to earn course credit for graduation. Depending on the TxVSN course in which a student enrolls, the course may be subject to the UIL no pass, no play rules. In addition, for a student who enrolls in a TxVSN course for which an end-of-course (EOC) assessment is required, the student must still take the corresponding EOC assessment. If you have questions or wish to make a request that your child be enrolled in a TxVSN course, please contact the counselor. Unless an exception is made by the principal, a student will not be allowed to enroll in a TxVSN course if the school offers the same or a similar course. If a student wishes to enroll in a correspondence course or a distance learning course that is not provided through the TxVSN in order to earn credit in a course or subject, the student must receive permission from the principal prior to enrolling in the course or subject. If the student does not receive prior approval, the district may not recognize and apply the course or subject toward graduation requirements or subject mastery. CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) Bushland High School is proud to offer a wide variety of Career and Technical Education courses. Some of the CTE courses available have the opportunity to take a certification test at the conclusion of the course that would enable the student to become certified in a related field. Certification could be beneficial in future employment opportunities, prospective college degree plans or both. Such course descriptions state that Certification tests are available at the conclusion of this course. PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASSES AND P.E. SUBSTITUTIONS One credit of Physical Education is required for graduation by the State of Texas. Students may satisfy the one credit of P.E. by taking any combination of TEKS-based P.E. courses and/or P.E. substitutions. P.E. substitutions include Athletics, Marching Band, and Cheerleading. Credit may not be earned for any TEKS-based P.E. course more than once. Only one state credit may be earned through Marching Band and Cheerleading. No more than four credits may be earned through any combination of P.E. courses and allowable substitutions. Band 1, 2, 3, and 4 are Fine Arts Credits. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 7 of 43

8 UIL REQUIREMENTS Eligibility for all extracurricular participants after the first six weeks of the school year: A student who receives, at the end of any grading period (after the first six weeks of the school year), a grade below 70 in any academic class (other than an identified Advanced Academic class), or a student with disabilities who fails to meet the standards in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) may not participate in extracurricular activities for at least three school weeks. An ineligible student may practice or rehearse, however. The student regains eligibility when the principal and teachers determine that he or she has: (1) earned a passing grade (70 or above) in all academic classes other than those that are Advanced Academic classes, and (2) completed the three school weeks of ineligibility. For more information, consult ADVANCED ACADEMIC COURSES The open enrollment policy for Bushland High School allows any student, who has an interest in a more challenging approach designed to prepare students for college, to enroll in a Pre-Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement, or Honors level course. Students must have successfully completed the proper prerequisite course and meet the admission criteria unless a parent has requested the admission criteria be waived (see section below on Entering, Maintaining, and Exiting Advanced Academic Courses). Advanced Academic courses are designed for self-disciplined, highly motivated students. Excellent class attendance and good organizational skills are preferable to predict success. The AP curriculum is outlined by the College Board and reflects the appropriate college-level material required for success on the College Board AP Exams. Opportunities for creative, productive thinking are provided with stress on cognitive concepts and processes. Students must assume responsibility for considerable out-of-class reading/homework assignments and have welldeveloped reading, writing, and/or math skills. Many classes require summer reading on which students are tested when school begins. Gifted and Talented students are served through Advanced Academic courses. These students need to enroll in at least one of the courses or be furloughed for a year. Entering, Maintaining, and Exiting Advanced Academic Courses: In an effort to place students in appropriate level classes, admission criteria have been established for Advanced Academic courses: A student must have achieved a final course grade of 75 or higher in the prerequisite Advanced Academic course OR a final course grade of 80 or higher in the prerequisite regular course. A student must also have earned a Level II performance on the state assessment (STAAR/EOC). If a student does not meet these requirements, a parent may request that admission criteria be waived. This will involve a committee process that will include an administrator, a counselor, the teacher, the parent and the students. Students in Advanced Academic courses must maintain certain academic standards while enrolled in the course. If a student fails to meet these standards, he/she may be exited from the course and placed in a regular level course based on a committee decision made up of an administrator, a counselor, the teacher, the parent and the student. These steps will be followed during the first semester: A student whose grade falls below a 75 after the 3 rd week of the grading period will be put on an intervention plan. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 8 of 43

9 A student who has a grade of 75 or above after the 3 rd week of the grading period but their grade falls below a 75 after the last week of the grading period will be put on an intervention plan. If a student s grade falls below a 75 after the last week of the grading period after being placed on an intervention plan, then a conference will be held including an administrator, a counselor, the teacher, the parent and the student to determine if he/she will be removed from the Advanced Academic course and placed into the corresponding regular course. Students may change from an Advanced Academic class to the regular version AFTER staying in Advanced Academic class for a minimum of two weeks. The process to drop from an Advanced Academic course to a regular course will involve a committee process that will include an administrator, a counselor, the teacher of the course the student is wanting to leave, the parent and the student. Students may not go from a regular version to an advanced version after the first three weeks of the school year. Students who move from an Advanced Academic course to a regular course may be held responsible for making up all topics covered in the regular course prior to the move if it occurs before the end of the semester. Advanced Academic courses are on a 5.0 weighted scale average and are included in the calculation of class rank. COLLEGE CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES Students in grades 9 12 have opportunities to earn college credit through the following methods: Certain courses taught at the high school campus, which may include courses termed dual credit or Advanced Placement (AP); Enrollment in an AP or dual credit course through the Texas Virtual School Network; Enrollment in courses taught in conjunction and in partnership with Amarillo College, which may be offered on or off campus; and Certain CTE courses. Note that if a student wishes to enroll in a community college course that also results in the award of high school course credit at a college that does not include the high school within its service area, the student is limited by state law to enroll in no more than three courses at that particular college. All of these methods have eligibility requirements and must be approved prior to enrollment in the course. Please see the counselor for more information. Depending on the student s grade level and the course, a state-mandated end-of-course assessment may be required for graduation. It is important to keep in mind that not all colleges and universities accept credit earned in all dual credit or AP courses taken in high school for college credit. Students and parents should check with the prospective college or university to determine if a particular course will count toward the student s desired degree plan. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 9 of 43

10 DUAL CREDIT COURSES Eligibility Requirements Dual Credit is regulated by both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Amarillo College policies. To be eligible for dual credit a student must: Comply with Texas Success Initiative testing requirements; Meet established entrance requirements at Amarillo College as well as appropriate prerequisites for any course; Complete the Amarillo College Application for Admission; and Pay the cost associated with taking a college dual credit course as established by contractual agreement. Amarillo College charges $50 per college hour. A three hour class costs $150. Dual Credit Courses Offered at Bushland High School Bushland High School Course AC Course ID AC Course Name Biology DC 1 st Semester Biology DC 2 nd Semester BIOL 1408 BIOL 1409 Biology/Non-Science Majors I Biology/Non-Science Majors II Economics DC ECON 2301 Principles of Macroeconomics Practicum in Health Science EMSP 1501 EMSP 1163 Emergency Medical Tech Basic Clinical Emergency Medical Tech English IV DC 1 st Semester English IV DC 2 nd Semester ENGL 1301 ENGL 1302 English Composition I English Composition II US Government DC GOVT 2305 US Government US History DC 1 st Semester US History DC 2 nd Semester HIST 1301 HIST 1302 US History I US History II Precalculus DC 1 st Semester Precalculus DC 2 nd Semester MATH 1414 MATH 1316 College Algebra STEM Majors Trigonometry Psychology DC PSYC 2301 General Psychology ASL IV DC 1 st Semester ASL IV DC 2 nd Semester SGNL 1301 SGNL 1302 Beginning ASL I Beginning ASL II Sociology DC SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology Spanish IV DC 1 st Semester Spanish IV DC 2 nd Semester SPAN 1411 SPAN 1412 Beginning Spanish I Beginning Spanish II Professional Communications DC SPCH 1315 Public Speaking CREDIT BY EXAM If a Student Has Taken the Course: A student who has previously taken a course or subject but did not receive credit or a final grade for it may, in circumstances determined by the principal or attendance committee, be permitted to earn credit by passing an exam approved by the district s board of trustees on the essential knowledge and skills defined for that course or subject. Prior instruction may include, for example, incomplete coursework due to a failed course or excessive absences, homeschooling, or coursework by a student transferring from a non-accredited school. The opportunity to take an examination to earn credit for a course or to be awarded a final grade in a subject after the student has had prior instruction is sometimes referred to as credit recovery. The counselor or principal would determine if the student could take an exam for this purpose. If approval is granted, the student must score at least 70 on the exam to receive credit for the course or subject. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 10 of 43

11 The attendance review committee may also offer a student with excessive absences an opportunity to earn credit for a course by passing an exam. If a Student Has Not Taken the Course: A student will be permitted to take an exam to earn credit for an academic course or subject area for which the student has had no prior instruction, i.e., for advancement, or to accelerate to the next grade level. The exams offered by the district are approved by the district s board of trustees, and state law requires the use of certain exams, such as College Board Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, when applicable. See the counselor for dates when exams are scheduled. A student may take an exam to earn high school course credit no more than twice. If a student fails to achieve the designated score (80 on the exam or a score designated by the state for an exam that has alternate scoring standards) on the applicable exam before the beginning of the school year in which the student would need to enroll in the course according to the school s high school course sequence, the student must complete the course. If a student plans to take an exam, the student (or parent) must register with the counselor no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled testing date. The student is responsible for the cost of the exam. CREDIT RECOVERY Credit recovery is a computer based program that allows a student to regain credit for a course in the four core subjects that was failed. This may be done during summer school or during the school year if the student s schedule permits. There is a fee to take this class when taken during summer school. Not all classes are available through this program and enrollment is limited. CLASS RANK/TOP TEN PERCENT/HIGHEST RANKING STUDENT The Valedictorian and Salutatorian shall be the eligible students with highest and second highest ranking, respectively. To be eligible for such recognition, a student must have been continuously enrolled in the district for the two school years preceding graduation. Students who request to graduate early shall not be eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian honors. All students whose weighted scale averages are 90 or higher shall be recognized as Honor Graduates. Semester grades earned in grades 9 12 in core classes and foreign language classes and Algebra I taken in grade 8 for graduation credit are used for class rank. Grades through the fifth six-weeks grading period shall be used in calculating the weighted scale average to be used for class ranking at the graduation ceremony. Final class ranking for purposes of the final official transcripts shall be calculated after the graduation ceremony. This final calculation shall include the grades from the sixth six-weeks grading period. For two school years following their graduation, district graduates who rank in the top ten percent of their graduating class are eligible for automatic admission into four-year public universities and colleges in Texas. Students and parents should contact the counselor for further information about the application process and deadlines. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 11 of 43

12 WEIGHTED GRADE AVERAGE SYSTEM A weighted grade average system is used for all students. The objectives of this system are to provide a method of rewarding academic success; to select valedictorian, salutatorian and honor graduates; to determine class rank; and to reward students for achieving in core subject Advanced Academic classes and foreign language classes. Students who move from an Advanced Academic course to a regular course after the first six weeks of a semester will be awarded level 2 grade points. This system is divided into three levels: LEVEL 3 would be all designated core subject Advanced Academic courses and foreign language courses. LEVEL 2 would be all regular courses. LEVEL 1 would be all modified courses. The following chart will show how many grade points are earned for any grade for any course. The tens digit of the semester numerical grade will determine the whole number grade points earned and the ones digit will determine the decimal value of grade points earned. A grade 69 or below in any level will be figured with a grade point of 0. A grade of 77 in a level 3 course would be 2.7 points. A grade of 77 in a level 2 course would be 1.7 points. A grade of 77 in a level 1 course would be 0.7 points Level Level Level SUPERINTENDENT SCHOLARS Recognition will be given each semester at a special awards ceremony. This program is unique to Bushland High School and is designed to recognize academic achievement by semester while the student is enrolled at Bushland High School. To be recognized as a Superintendent Scholar upon graduation, a student shall have enrolled in at least four of the qualifying courses per semester for eight semesters while earning credits for graduation and earned at least a 95 average in each qualifying course or a 90 average in Pre-AP, AP, honors, or dual credit courses. If a student is enrolled in more than four qualifying courses, he/she must be eligible in only four of the courses. The qualifying courses include the core subject and foreign language courses. COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS For two school years following his or her graduation, a district student who graduates in the top ten percent and, in some cases, the top 25 percent, of his or her class is eligible for automatic admission into four-year public universities and colleges in Texas if the student: Completes the Recommended or Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Program*; or Satisfies the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks or earns at least a 1500 out of 2400 on the SAT. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 12 of 43

13 *Beginning with ninth graders in the school year, to be eligible for automatic admission to a Texas fouryear college or university, a student must be on track to graduate with the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation Graduation Program. This means that a student must graduate with at least one endorsement and must have taken Algebra II as one of the four required math courses. In addition, the student must submit a completed application for admission in accordance with the deadline established by the college or university. The student is ultimately responsible for ensuring that he or she meets the admission requirements of the university or college to which the student submits an application. The University of Texas at Austin may limit the number of students automatically admitted to 75 percent of the University s enrollment capacity for incoming resident freshmen. For students who are eligible to enroll in the University of Texas at Austin during the summer or fall term, the University will be admitting the top seven percent of the high school s graduating class who meet the above requirements. Additional applicants will be considered by the University through a holistic review process. Should a college or university adopt an admissions policy that automatically accepts the top 25 percent of a graduating class, the provisions above will also apply to a student ranked in the top 25 percent of his or her class. Students and parents should contact the counselor for further information about automatic admissions, the application process, and deadlines. SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST AND AMERICAN COLLEGE TEST (SAT AND ACT) Many colleges require either the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for admission. Students are encouraged to talk with the counselor early during their junior year to determine the appropriate exam to take; these exams are usually taken at the end of the junior year. The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) and ACT- Aspire are the corresponding preparatory and readiness assessments for the SAT and ACT. Note that participation in these assessments may qualify a student to receive a performance acknowledgment on his or her diploma and transcript under the Foundation Graduation Program and may qualify as a substitute for an end-of-course testing requirement in certain circumstances. TEXAS SUCCESS INITIATIVE (TSI) ASSESSMENT Prior to enrollment in a Texas public college or university, most students must take a standardized test called the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment. The purpose of the TSI assessment is to assess the reading, mathematics, and writing skills that entering freshmen-level students should have if they are to perform effectively in undergraduate certificate or degree programs in Texas public colleges and universities. This assessment may be required before a student enrolls in a dual-credit course offered through the district as well. Achieving certain benchmark scores on this assessment for college readiness may also waive certain end-of-course assessment requirements in limited circumstances. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 13 of 43

14 COLLEGE PREPARATION TIMELINE 8 th Grade Year 1. Attend the parent high school orientation session with your parent(s). 2. Meet with your counselor or high school advisor to plan course selections for the high school years. 3. Thoroughly read the course selection book and carefully choose courses for high school. Complete a fouryear high school academic plan. Freshman Year 1. Re-evaluate goals and objectives that were chosen in the eighth grade. 2. Take challenging classes. 3. Review your four-year graduation plan. 4. Choose courses that will best prepare you for your future. 5. Pursue your interests in extracurricular activities. Promote community service it can make a difference in scholarship consideration later. 6. Use your computer to explore careers and job opportunities in those careers. 7. Start to attend events on college campuses, such as camps, sporting events, etc. 8. Consider summer opportunities which can help broaden your horizons: camps, summer study, travel, work, community service. 9. Begin keeping a portfolio that includes report cards, test scores, honors, school activities, community activities, and work experience. You may also want to keep samples of your major school projects, papers, etc. 10. Study to make your grades reflective of your ability. Remember that all four years of high school are evaluated for college admission. Sophomore Year 1. Review and update the four-year graduation plan. 2. Review college catalogs and publications which give college profiles. 3. Take the PSAT as practice for the PSAT/NMSQT that juniors take for scholarship consideration. Analyze the PSAT results and establish personal goals in January. Take the ACT Aspire. 4. Use your computer and the internet to start looking at colleges through their websites. 5. Continue to review college publications. 6. Ask older friends and family members about their college experiences to help you determine which schools you might explore. 7. Begin to visit colleges in the summer, especially if you are interested in a highly selective college. 8. Begin to review financial resources and possible sources for financial aid. 9. Begin saving money for college. 10. Continue adding to your portfolio. 11. Study to make your grades representative of your abilities. Remember that all four years of high school are evaluated for college admission. Junior Year 1. Review your graduation plan and narrow college choices. 2. Study college admission requirements. 3. Attend college fairs. 4. Confer with parent(s) and the counselor to decide on courses for the senior year and to discuss postgraduation plans. 5. Take the PSAT to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program and to practice for the SAT. Apply for any scholarships that your parents employers may provide and any scholarships that are available to junior competition. Take the ACT Aspire. 6. Attend the ACT Boot Camp at BHS. 7. Be aware of daily announcements for important scholarship, service, financial aid and test preparation information available to juniors. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 14 of 43

15 8. Take the SAT and/or ACT in the spring. 9. Continue to research personal career choices. 10. Contact admission offices to schedule campus visits in the spring or summer. 11. Send for college information and applications. 12. Continue adding to your portfolio. 13. Make grades representative of your ability. Keep in mind that college applications are based on your record through your junior year. Senior Year 1. Confer with your counselor in early fall about post-graduation plans. 2. Attend college fairs. 3. Check the Guidance Office for information about the college(s) you may be interested in. 4. Contact admission offices to schedule campus visits in the fall. Finalize college choices and send letters/applications to the colleges of your choice. 5. Send regular decision applications in the fall semester. 6. Become familiar with the State of Texas Common Application for Admission to Texas Public Universities available online or in the Guidance Office. 7. Send in housing applications in early fall, especially to colleges that are highly competitive for dorm space. 8. Apply for any scholarships for which you may qualify. 9. Apply for university scholarships in the fall. 10. Fill out a Transcript Request Form available in the Guidance Office requesting that your official transcript be sent with college and/or scholarship applications. 11. Take the SAT and/or ACT in September, October or November. 12. Take the assessment instrument (TSI) required by the college of your choice no later than spring. Check with your counselor to see if you are exempt. 13. Analyze SAT and ACT test results in December. 14. Send the Financial Aid (FAFSA) applications in late January. 15. Apply for local scholarships in March or April. 16. Be aware of daily announcements for important scholarship, service, financial aid, and college investigation opportunities available to seniors. 17. Use your computer to search for the latest college information and scholarships. 18. Continue adding to your portfolio. 19. Make grades representative of your ability. The senior year is often considered in scholarship applications and college admission reviews. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 15 of 43

16 STATE TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION As a prerequisite to a high school diploma, students in Texas public high schools must demonstrate satisfactory performance on statewide assessments. Students must meet state requirements on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness End-of-Course (STAAR EOC) exams to be eligible to receive a diploma from a Texas public high school. Performance standards determined for these exams must be met in each of the four core academic areas English, mathematics, science, and social studies. These standards are set to measure in-depth instruction, broad and deep ideas, as well as student success in the current grade, preparedness for the next grade or course, and college and career readiness. Current legislation requires that end-of-course exams be taken in the following courses: English I, II Algebra I Biology US History There are three testing windows during the year in which a student may take an EOC assessment, which will occur during the fall, spring, and summer months. If a student does not meet satisfactory performance, the student will have additional opportunities to retake the assessment. STAAR Alternate, for students receiving special education services who meet certain criteria established by the state, will be available for eligible students, as determined by the student s ARD committee. A student s ARD committee will determine whether successful performance on the EOC assessments will be required for graduation within the parameters identified in state rules and the student s personal graduation plan. STAAR-L, which is a linguistically accommodated assessment, will be available for students who have been determined to be limited English proficient (LEP) and who require this type of testing accommodation. More information for STAAR and end-of-course (EOC) exams may be obtained from the Texas Education Agency web site ( TRANSFERS FROM OUT-OF-STATE OR NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS Out-of-state or out-of-country transfer students (including foreign exchange students) and transfer students from Texas nonpublic schools are eligible to receive a Texas diploma but shall complete all high school graduation requirements according to Bushland ISD Board Policy in addition to requirements under 19 TAC or 74.41, as applicable, to satisfy state graduation requirements. Any course credits required for graduation that are not completed prior to enrolling in the District may be satisfied by credit by examination, correspondence courses, or completing the course. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 16 of 43

17 GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS GRADUATION PLAN FOR SENIOR CLASS OF 2017 Per state requirements, students are required to complete the Recommended High School Program (RHSP) or the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP). Students opting for the Minimum High School Program (MHSP) will need permission from their parent and the school principal. Minimum High School Program To be on the MHSP, students must have the following: The student must be at least 16 years old. The student must have completed at least two credits required for graduation in each subject of the foundation curriculum under the Texas Education Code (TEC), (a)(1). The student must have failed to be promoted to grade 10 one or more times as determined by the school district. It is also important to note that students on the MHSP are not eligible to attend a four-year university. Also, the campus principal must approve a student s change to the MHSP. The principal does not have to approve this move. Recommended High School Program Benefits of graduating under the RHSP include: College Readiness o Many colleges and universities minimally require the RHSP for admission. In addition, students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class are eligible for automatic admission to most Texas public universities if they are at least on the RHSP. Recognition o The RHSP seal will be affixed to the Academic Achievement Record (AAR), or transcript, of students graduating on the RHSP. Test Results o Research suggests that students who take additional English, math, social studies, and science course make higher scores on the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. The RHSP requires four credits in each of these core courses. Distinguished Achievement Program The DAP requires high performance beyond that usually expected of students in high school and recognizes students who demonstrate levels of performance at the college and/or professional level. Specific requirements include the following: 1. Complete the requirements of the RHSP. 2. Include three credits in foreign language consisting of Level I, Level II, and Level III of the same language. 3. Complete any combination of the following four advanced measures: Original research project that is judged by a panel of professionals in the field that is the focus of the project; or is conducted under the direction of mentor(s) and reported to an appropriate audience; and related to the required curriculum based on TEKS. Test data where a student receives a score of 3 or above on a College Board Advanced Placement exam and/or a score on the PSAT that qualifies a student for recognition as a Commended Scholar or higher by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (PSAT score may count as only one advanced measure). College courses (dual credit and/or articulated courses) in which a student receives a grade of 3.0 (B) or higher. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 17 of 43

18 These requirements are set forth by the Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and Bushland ISD. RECOMMENDED DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT Credit Courses Credit Courses 1 English I 1 English I 1 English II 1 English II 1 English III 1 English III 1 English IV 1 English IV 1 Algebra I 1 Algebra I 1 Geometry 1 Geometry 1 Algebra II 1 Algebra II 1 4 th Math course from the following: Math Models (must be taken prior to Algebra II), Pre-AP Precalculus, Precalculus Dual Credit, AP Calculus 1 4 th Math course from the following: Math Models (must be taken prior to Algebra II), Pre- AP Precalculus, Precalculus Dual Credit, AP Calculus 1 Biology 1 Biology 1 Chemistry 1 Chemistry 1 Physics 1 Physics 1 4 th Science course from the following: IPC (must be taken prior to Chemistry & Physics), Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, Biology Dual Credit, AP Physics 1 4 th Science course from the following: IPC (must be taken prior to Chemistry & Physics), Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, Biology Dual Credit, AP Physics 1 World Geography 1 World Geography 1 World History 1 World History 1 US History 1 US History 0.5 Government 0.5 Government 0.5 Economics 0.5 Economics 2 required in same language 3 required in same language 1 I Spanish, ASL 1 I Spanish, ASL 1 II Spanish, ASL 1 II Spanish, ASL 1 III Spanish, ASL 1 PE or PE substitution 1 PE or PE substitution 0.5 Professional Communications (Speech) 0.5 Professional Communications (Speech) 1 Technology Applications 1 Technology Applications 1 Fine Art 1 Fine Art 5.5 Elective Courses (state-approved) 4.5 Elective Courses (state approved) Student must complete 4 of any combination of Advanced Measures: AP exam with a score of 3 or higher, a grade of 3.0 or higher on college courses or in CTE articulated college courses, PSAT scholar award, an Original Research Project. Total 27 Total 27 Students shall enroll in the courses necessary to complete the curriculum requirements for the RHSP or the DAP unless the student, the student s parent or guardian, and the counselor or principal agree that the student should be permitted to take courses under the Minimum High School Program. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 18 of 43

19 GRADUATION PLANS FOR SENIOR CLASSES OF 2018 AND BEYOND House Bill 5 was signed into law in the summer of 2013 and one of its provisions was to change high school graduation plans for all students who enter high school during the school year and thereafter. The bill provides more flexibility for high school students to pursue either higher education or a career. Generally speaking, 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 area, in writing, by the beginning of their 9th grade year. Students will be able to change their endorsement at any time. An endorsement is basically an opportunity for students to select a major during their high school career. An endorsement can be earned by taking additional courses in Career and Technical Education (CTE) or by taking additional non-cte courses specified within the endorsement requirements. The endorsement areas are: Arts & Humanities Business & Industry Multidisciplinary Public Service Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) NOTE: To earn the STEM endorsement students MUST take Algebra II, Chemistry & Physics in concert with other Foundation + Endorsement Program requirements BISD offers courses to meet endorsements in all areas. There are specific course requirements in the foundation curriculum based on the Endorsement selected. A student may elect to graduate without an endorsement under the high school foundation plan with school administrator approval after the student s sophomore year. The student and the student s parent or guardian must be advised by the school counselor of the benefits of graduating with one or more endorsements and the student s parent or guardian must file written permission with the high school allowing the student to graduate without an endorsement. Foundation High School Plan This option is the minimum graduation plan available and replaces the current Minimum High School Program. However, it is not available until after the completion of the sophomore year. Changing to this graduation plan will require parent and administrative approval in writing. Parents and students need to understand graduating on this plan may not meet college or university entrance requirements. Foundation + Endorsement Plan This graduation plan replaces the previous Recommended High School Program. Distinguished Level of Achievement Plan The Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLA) replaces the current Distinguished Achievement Plan as the highest graduation plan in the state of Texas for students entering high school in In order to be considered for Top Ten Percent Automatic Admission in Texas Public Universities, graduates MUST earn a Distinguished Level of Achievement diploma. The curriculum requirements for the Foundation Plan + Endorsement and the Distinguished Level of Achievement Plan require a student to meet and exceed the Foundation Plan and successfully complete the following: The curriculum requirements for one or more Endorsement(s) to include a coherent sequence of courses that are content specific to the chosen endorsement Additional coursework to include: o Four credits in mathematics o Four credits in approved science courses The primary difference between the Foundation + Endorsement Program and the DLA is the requirement that Algebra II must be one of the four credits in mathematics. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 19 of 43

20 These requirements are set forth by the Texas Legislature, State Board of Education, and Bushland ISD. Foundation + Endorsement DISTINGUISHED LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT Credit Courses Credit Courses 1 English I 1 English I 1 English II 1 English II 1 English III 1 English III 1 Advanced English Course 1 Advanced English Course 1 Algebra I 1 Algebra I 1 Geometry 1 Geometry 1 Advanced Math Course 1 Algebra II 1 Advanced Math Course 1 Advanced Math Course 1 Biology 1 Biology 1 IPC or Advanced Science Course 1 IPC or Advanced Science Course 1 Advanced Science Course 1 Advanced Science Course 1 Advanced Science Course 1 Advanced Science Course 1 World History or Geography 1 World History or Geography 1 US History 1 US History 0.5 Government 0.5 Government 0.5 Economics 0.5 Economics 2 required in same language 2 required in same language 1 I Spanish, ASL 1 I Spanish, ASL 1 II Spanish, ASL 1 II Spanish, ASL 1 PE or PE substitution 1 PE or PE substitution 0.5 Professional Communications (Speech) 0.5 Professional Communications (Speech) 1 Fine Art 1 Fine Art 6.5 Elective Courses (state-approved) 6.5 Elective Courses (state approved) Total 26 (4 credits must be in a coherent sequence and content specific to an Endorsement area.) Total 26 (4 credits must be in a coherent sequence and content specific to an Endorsement area.) Students shall enroll in the courses necessary to complete the curriculum requirements for the Foundation Plan + Endorsement or the Distinguished Level of Achievement Plan unless the student, the student s parent or guardian, and the counselor or principal agree that the student should be permitted to take courses under the Foundation Program without an Endorsement. Last updated 3/25/2016 Page 20 of 43

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