- Requirements for a diploma
- Testing requirements for graduation
- Foundation Graduation Program
- Credits Required
- Available Endorsements
- Personal Graduation Plans
- Available Course Options for All Graduation Programs
- Certificates of Coursework Completion
- Early Graduation
A student must meet the following requirements to receive a high school diploma from the district:
- Achieve passing scores on certain end-of-course (EOC) assessments or approved substitute assessments, unless specifically waived as permitted by state law;
- Complete the required number of credits established by the state and any additional credits required by the district; • Complete any locally required courses in addition to the courses mandated by the state;
- Demonstrate proficiency, as determined by the district, in the specific communication skills required by the State Board of Education (SBOE); and
- Complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA).
Students are required, with limited exceptions and regardless of graduation program, to perform satisfactorily on EOC assessments in:
- English I
- English II
- Algebra I
- U.S. History
A student who does not achieve a sufficient score will have opportunities to retake an assessment. State law allows a student to meet EOC requirements by substituting satisfactory performance on approved national standardized assessments or on the state-developed assessment used for entrance into Texas public universities. [See the school counselor for more information on the state testing requirements for graduation.]
If a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an EOC assessment, the district will provide remediation in the applicable content area. This may require the student’s participation outside normal school operating times. In limited circumstances, a student who fails to demonstrate proficiency on two or fewer of the required assessments may still be eligible to graduate if an individual graduation committee, formed in accordance with state law, unanimously determines that the student is eligible to graduate. [See Standardized Testing for more information.]
Every Texas public school student will graduate under the foundation graduation program. The foundation graduation program features endorsements, which are paths of interest that include:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM);
- Business and Industry;
- Public Service;
- Arts and Humanities; and
- Multidisciplinary Studies.
Endorsements earned by a student will be noted on the student’s transcript. A student can complete the foundation graduation program with a “distinguished level of achievement,” which reflects the completion of at least one endorsement and Algebra II as one of the required advanced mathematics credits.
A Personal Graduation Plan will be completed for each high school student. State law prohibits a student from graduating solely under the foundation graduation program without an endorsement unless, after the student’s sophomore year, the student and student’s parent are advised of the specific benefits of graduating with an endorsement and submit written permission to the school counselor for the student to graduate without an endorsement.
A student who wishes to attend a four-year university or college after graduation must carefully consider whether graduation under the foundation program without an endorsement will satisfy the admission requirements of the student’s desired college or university. A student graduating under the foundation graduation program can also earn performance acknowledgments on their transcript. Performance acknowledgments are available for outstanding performance in bilingualism and biliteracy, in a dual credit course, on an AP or IB examination, on certain national college preparatory and readiness or college entrance examinations, or for earning a license or certificate recognized at the state, national, or international level. The school counselor can provide more information about these acknowledgments.
A student is not required to complete an Algebra II course to graduate under the foundation graduation program, and the district will annually notify a student’s parent of this fact. However, not taking Algebra II will make a student ineligible for automatic admission to four-year public universities and colleges in Texas and certain financial aid and grants while attending those institutions. A school district will permit a student to satisfy the curriculum requirements for graduation under the foundation program with the distinguished level of achievement, including an endorsement, by successfully completing courses in the core curriculum of a public Texas institution of higher education. Please see your counselor for more information.
Additional considerations apply in some course areas, including:
To obtain the distinguished level of achievement under the foundation graduation program, a student must complete an endorsement and take Algebra II as one of the 4 mathematics credits. A student’s completion of the distinguished level of achievement is a requirement to be considered for automatic admission to a Texas four-year college or university and will be included on a student’s transcript.
• Physical education.
A student who is unable to participate in physical activity due to a disability or illness may be able to substitute a course in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, or another locally determined credit-bearing course for the required credit of physical education. This determination will be made by the student’s ARD committee, Section 504 committee, or other campus committee, as applicable.
• Languages other than English.
Students are required to earn 2 credits in the same language other than English to graduate. Any student may substitute computer programming languages for these credits.
o A student may satisfy one of the two required credits by successfully completing in elementary school a dual language immersion program or a course in American Sign Language.
o In limited circumstances, a student may be able to substitute this requirement with other courses, as determined by a district committee authorized by law to make these decisions for the student.
The foundation graduation program requires completion of the following credits:
|Course Area||Number of Credits: Foundation Graduation Program||Number of Credits: Foundation Graduation Program with an Endorsement|
|Social Studies including Economics||3||4|
|Languages other than English||2||2|
A student must specify upon entering grade 9 which endorsement they wish to pursue. FAFSA or TASFA Before graduating from high school, each student must complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA). Counselors will provide support to students to assist them in the completion of the financial aid documents.
A student is not required to complete and submit a FAFSA or TASFA if:
- The student’s parent submits a form provided by the district indicating that the parent authorizes the student to opt-out;
- A student who is 18 years of age or older or a legally independent minor submits a form provided by the district indicating that the student opts out; or
- A school counselor authorizes the student to opt-out for good cause. Please contact the school counselor for more information.
A personal graduation plan will be developed for each high school student. The district encourages all students to pursue a personal graduation plan that includes completing at least one endorsement and graduating with a distinguished level of achievement. Attainment of the distinguished level of achievement entitles a student to be considered for automatic admission to a public four-year college or university in Texas, depending on their rank in class.
The school will review personal graduation plan options with each student entering grade 9 and their parent. Before the end of grade 9, a student and their parent will be required to sign off on a personal graduation plan that promotes college and workforce readiness, promotes career placement and advancement, and facilitates the transition from secondary to postsecondary education. The student’s personal graduation plan will outline an appropriate course sequence based on the student’s choice of endorsement.
Please review TEA's Graduation Toolkit A student may, with parental permission, amend their personal graduation plan after the initial confirmation.
Each spring, the district will update students on the courses required or offered in each curriculum area so students can enroll for the upcoming school year. Note: The district may require the completion of certain courses for graduation even if these courses are not required by the state for graduation. Not all courses are offered at every secondary campus in the district. A student who wants to take a course not offered at their regular campus should contact the school counselor about a transfer or other alternatives. If the parents of at least 22 students request a transfer for a course in the required curriculum other than fine arts or 51 career and technical education (CTE), the district will offer the course the following year either by teleconference or at the school from which the transfers were requested.
In order to participate in graduation ceremonies and be included in the class ranking of the current Senior Class, a student must declare their intentions for Early Graduation within the first six weeks grading period of the school year in which graduation is intended. Students new to the district must declare their intentions for Early Graduation at the time of enrollment. To participate in Graduation ceremonies in the spring of the upcoming school year, early graduates must be enrolled and complete all requirements during either the fall or spring semester of the upcoming school year. [See policy EIC(LOCAL).]