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House Bill 5

Specific Course Questions

How do I know if I should take World Geography or World History?

Although not required, students are encouraged to take both courses. If your plan does not allow you to take both, there is a comparison of the two courses in the High School Academic Planning Guide in the Social Studies department course listings.

Since the new requirements do not require taking both World Geography and World History, can US History be taken as a sophomore?

US History is still a junior level course, so it may not be taken at the sophomore level. Friendswood High School Social Studies sequence will remain the same. World Geography is a freshman-level course; AP and regular World History a sophomore-level course; AP, Dual Credit and regular US History a junior level course; and AP, Dual Credit, and regular Government & Economics are senior-level courses.

What is House Bill 5?

As enacted by the 83rd Texas Legislature and the approval of the State Board of Education, House Bill 5 (HB5) created the Foundation High School Plan (FHSP) plus Endorsements and Distinguished Achievement Diplomas effective for all students entering high school in 2014-2015.

What is the Foundation High School Plan?

The Foundation High School Plan replaces the current minimum, recommended and distinguished graduation plans, known as the 4 x 4. Additionally House Bill 5 allows students to earn Endorsements.

What are the course requirements for Graduation under House Bill 5?

Foundation High School Plan = 22 credits

• 4 English/Language Arts (ELA I, II, III and an additional English)
• 3 Mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry and an additional Math)
• 3 Social Studies (World Geography or World History, US History and Government/Economics)
• 3 Science (Biology and Integrated Physics & Chemistry, Chemistry or Physics and an additional Science)
• 2 Foreign Languages
• 1 Fine Arts
• 1 Physical Education
• 4 Electives
• 5 Professional Communications (Speech) and .5 Health – local Friendswood ISD requirement Foundation High School Plan + Endorsement (4 additional credits) = 26 credits

How is a distinguished level of achievement obtained under House Bill 5?

A student may earn a distinguished level of achievement by successfully completing the curriculum requirements for the Foundation High School Plan and the curriculum requirements for at least one Endorsement, including four credits in science and four credits in mathematics to include Algebra II.

Transition to House Bill 5 Graduation Plan

When will these changes take place?

All students who will enter High School in the 2014 - 2015 school year are required to graduate under the House Bill 5 Graduation Plan.

Does House Bill 5 Graduation Plan effect current High School students?

Current High School students may request to change their graduation plan from their current graduation plan. This may be done through the student’s high school counselor.

How do I know if I should switch to the new Graduation Plan?

Parents and students should check the requirements of any post high school institution they plan to attend prior to requesting to switch plans.


What is an Endorsement Pathway?

Within each of the Endorsements are multiple pathways for a student to choose courses towards completion of their high school diploma. The following list indicates examples for each Endorsement.

STEM Endorsement (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

• Computer Science/Technology Pathway

• Engineering Pathway (Project Lead the Way)

Business and Industry Endorsement

• Agricultural Science Pathway / Animal Science Focus

• Agricultural Science Pathway / Business Focus

• Arts, Audio/Video,Technology and Communication Pathway

• Business and Finance Pathway

• Hospitality / Culinary Pathway

• Marketing Pathway

• Information Technology Pathway

Public Service Endorsement

• Education and Training Pathway

• Health Science Pathway

• Law, Public Safety and Correction Pathway

Multidisciplinary Studies

• Advanced Course Sequence

• Foundation Subject Area Sequence

• Advanced Placement or Dual Credit Sequence

When will students choose an Endorsement?

Students will declare an Endorsement during their 9th grade course selection process.

Can students change their Endorsement selection?

Yes, students will be allowed to change their Endorsement throughout their High School career within certain time periods and while working in conjunction with their counselor. Special attention will need to be given to the timing of switching Endorsements due to the different course requirements per Endorsement.

Will the Endorsement choice limit students from enrolling in certain colleges?

The new House Bill 5 Graduation requirements are still very new. Colleges are still likely to look at specific core courses taken, the rigor level of those courses, student Grade Point Average (GPA), college entrance exam (SAT/ACT) scores, extracurricular activities, and student/community involvement to evaluate the student on an individual basis. It is very important students and parents are aware of any admission requirements for the university or college they plan to attend.

What if a student is undecided and does not want to specify an Endorsement?

Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires all 8th graders to select an Endorsement upon entering 9th grade.

Does a student have to choose the Arts and Humanities Endorsement if they plan on participating in Band, Choir, Dance or Theatre all 4 years in High School?

No, the student will likely qualify for the Arts and Humanities Endorsement based on the completion of these Fine Arts classes, but can select another Endorsement to pursue as well.