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Good information on the changes made to school curricula and graduation requirements.

With most details of the state’s new reform of public education – known as House Bill 5 – settled only last week, HISD is ready with a multimedia toolbox to assist students, families, and support staff in making the most of the guidelines that will require students to choose academic and career paths that will prepare them for success beyond high school.

The district launched its “Plan Your Path” informational website,, on Feb. 5. It offers:

• Simple explanations by grade level of STAAR testing requirements, including changes in required end-of-course (EOC) exams for graduation;
• A guide to the revised Texas graduation plan;
• An exploration of “endorsements,” the five areas of focus – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Business and Industry; Arts and Humanities; Public Services; and Multidisciplinary – that HISD will offer to students to set and follow their academic and career goals;
• A section of frequently asked questions (FAQs), along with the opportunity to pose your own question;
• Advice for parents on how to work as partners with their children’s schools to assure their academic success.

Late in February, HISD will distribute an informational guide to all parents, in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese to explain HB 5, which will also be posted on school websites, and will host 10 community meetings throughout the district in March and April.

While many districts are struggling with dealing with HB 5’s changes, HISD was already developing many of its requirements on its own through its Linked Learning model. That initiative, which blends a rigorous academic focus with an emphasis on career awareness and preparedness from K-12, was fast-tracked when HISD received $30 million in federal Race to the Top funds in December in support of the concept.

There’s video, so click over and follow the links from there to Plan Your Path and elsewhere.

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