Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Introduction to House Bill 5

Click here to watch informational video on House Bill 5.


HB 5 creates a new graduation plan called the FOUNDATION PLAN.  The FOUNDATION PLAN replaces the previous Minimum, Recommended and Distinguished plans and is the plan under which students entering high school during the 2014-15 academic year will graduate.  The FOUNDATION PLAN expands the availability of career and technology (CTE) courses and encourages students to select a personal pathway of study, called an ENDORSEMENT.  All students entering the 9th grade in 2014 will select an endorsement pathway in late Spring, 2014. 

The new plan offers a strong foundation of study with the benefit of added flexibility for students to personalize their own educational experience.  Students will be able to explore areas of interest and study before they reach college and may earn an Associate’s degree or certification while they are still in high school.

The FOUNDATION PLAN consists of 4 English credits, 3 math credits, 3 social studies credits, 3 science credits, 1 fine art credit, 2 foreign language credits, 1 P.E. credit, and 5 elective credits.
Remember, advancement at the high school level is based on the number of credits a student earns in particular content areas.  Successfully passing five End of Course Exams (EOCs) is required for graduation.


The plan offers students the choice of an ENDORSEMENT, or targeted area of study.  Much as a student would pick a major in college, the new option for an ENDORSEMENT offers a student the ability to earn a total of 26 total credits (a combination of core requirements and endorsement electives in a targeted area of study) for high school graduation.  The five ENDORSEMENT options are:
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business and Industry
  • Public Service
  • STEM (Science and Math)
  • Multidisciplinary
Endorsement course work consists of 1 Math credit, 1 Science Credit, and 2 Electives.  All 8th graders will choose an ENDORSEMENT in the spring, using EXPLORE and other career interest assessments to help inform their decisions. (More on these in upcoming emails along with a parent meeting at your child’s school (dates to be determined).)  Students may change their ENDORSEMENTS at any time, or may opt at the end of their 10th Grade year to graduate under the FOUNDATION PLAN with no endorsement.  Students who graduate under the FOUNDATION PLAN with no endorsement will be eligible to apply to 4-year public universities in the state of Texas, but will not qualify for Top Ten percent consideration.  We recommend that all students graduate with an ENDORSEMENT.  Doing so ensures students have the most opportunities and options available to them.


For an in-depth look at course offerings,  credit options, credit restoration, graduation planning and additional resources beyond what we've covered here, visit the SBISD website under STUDENTS > GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS. Or, visit the SBISD website and look for the HB5 icon on the homepage.

In Spring Branch we believe all students deserve an education that fits their personal needs.  One size does not fit all when it comes to learning or our student's futures, and we believe the new FOUNDATION PLAN with ENDORSEMENTS offers students the chance to customize their learning and be better prepared for their future upon high school graduation. 

Please look for more information in the days and weeks ahead. Your campus will notify you of dates for January parent meetings at your child’s school.

What can I do as a middle school parent to help my child?

Talk to your child about your expectations, their dreams, and how exploring coursework or extracurricular activities now will help them find interests that may lead to a future career. Start a college or career dialogue with your student. Talk to your child about the future, and why it's important to think about career or college options now. Express your thoughts, concerns or expectations about college or future career options. Even if it doesn't always seem like it, your student is looking to you for guidance and direction.

Visit the SBISD PARENT TOOLKIT for tips and information on a wide range of topics.

Talk to your campus counselor or teacher. Success for our students takes all of us working together. We're here to help!

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