High School Graduation Requirements


A Checklist To Stay On Track To Graduation

Foundation High School Program + Endorsements + Algebra 2 = Success.

The basis of the new graduation plan is the 22-credit Foundation High School Program which replaces the old 22-credit Minimum, 26-credit Recommended and 26-credit Distinguished Achievement programs. The Foundation + Endorsement plan, builds on the first level by adding four credits (including an additional math, an additional science, and 2 electives) in the student’s chosen endorsement area for a total of 26 credits.

The third, and Amarillo I.S.D.-recommended, level is the Distinguished Level of Achievement. This plan builds on the Foundation + Endorsement level by requiring that Algebra 2 be one of the 26 credits earned. Graduating under this plan allows students to become eligible for automatic admission into state universities if they graduate in the top 10 percent of their class.

In addition, a Performance Acknowledgment can be earned by achieving extra distinction in areas such as dual credit courses, college entrance exams (S.A.T. or A.C.T.), bi-lingualism or bi-literacy, or earning a business and industry certification.

Achieve Your Goals

A whole big, wide world of possibilities awaits you as you begin to plan your path for life after high school. In A.I.S.D, our goal is to make sure when our students graduate, they are prepared for success in whatever they choose to do after high school. The choice is yours. Aim high and don’t give up. You can achieve your goals and have a successful career in an area of work you enjoy.

Education past high school = more money, more job options and more freedom. Most of the best jobs available now and in the future require education and training beyond a high school diploma. Check out this “Why go to college?” graphic which shows potential income and unemployment rates for different levels of education.

Where Do I Start?

Success starts with planning. If you make a plan, you know where you are going and what you are working to accomplish. Your path may change along the way, which is okay, but it’s better to start with a plan which changes than no plan at all.

Elementary School

It’s never too early to start planning for life after high school. You can start by using your time in school to explore your interests and learn about who you are and what talents and abilities you have. Get involved in different activities like sports or music or school clubs, and build your skills by learning how to do new things. Think about different jobs and careers you’re interested in and how much education and training you would need to get that job.

7th and 8th Grade

Research job opportunities and career options, and consider what might be a good match with your skills, interests and goals. Learn what education or training requirements are needed after high school for different careers.

Review the Foundation High School Program and the Endorsements choices within the A.I.S.D. Endorsement & Course Information Guide 2018-2019 (PDF opens in new window) and select the endorsement that best fits your area of personal interest and the major you plan to study in college.

Recognize that most college entrance requirements include advanced courses including Algebra 2, higher-level science courses, and languages other than English.

9th and 10th Grade

Monitor high school credits and be sure to meet all requirements by the end of the senior year. Even if you are considering going straight into the workforce or into a technical training program following graduation, you still need to complete high school and earn a diploma.

Take dual enrollment or Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses to earn college credit while still in high school, and keep a list of awards, honors and extracurricular activities for scholarship and college applications.

Begin to research technical schools, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities to compare the options and decide what best fits your career goals.

Continue to explore career interests and take advantage of job shadowing opportunities, career fairs and internships.

11th and 12th Grade

Meet with your counselor to discuss post-secondary options, find resources, and learn about available scholarships.

Develop a list of 10-15 colleges that interest you and check tuition costs, admission and application requirements, and timelines. Attend college nights at your high school to gather as much information as you can, and start a file of test scores, application forms, draft essays, teacher recommendations, and other relevant forms and paperwork.

Visit college campuses to help determine whether the size, location, and personality are right for you. If you can’t physically go to a college campus, remember many schools have ‘virtual’ tours on their websites.

Sign up and take the A.C.T. and/or S.A.T. test, preferably in your junior year but no later than the fall of your senior year.

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (F.A.F.S.A.) early in the spring of your senior year.

Apply to college during the fall of your senior year.

Options After Graduation

Visit our Options After Graduation page for helpful resources when planning for college and/or a career such as the military, etc.

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