Graduation Requirements

  • All Orenda Charter School freshmen will begin high school on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program.  All students who enroll during their sophomore year and the beginning of their junior year will also begin on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program.  An individual graduation plan will be developed for each student at the beginning of their freshman year or at the time of enrollment that outlines the requirements and timeline for meeting the Distinguished Level of Achievement program including meeting at least one of the endorsements.  Each student’s graduation plan will be reviewed at least twice a year. 

    Students enrolling after the beginning of their junior year and anytime during their senior year will meet with the Director of Student Services or campus principal to develop an individual plan to graduate on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program, if possible, or the Endorsements program.

     For a student to move from the Distinguished Level of Achievement, the student’s parent must request in writing to move to the Endorsements plan and include an explanation of why the Distinguished Level of Achievement is not possible.  The request will be reviewed and must be approved by the Director of Student Services (Gateway College Prep only), Head of School/Campus Principal, and Chief Operating Officer BEFORE the student will be allowed to move to the Endorsements program.

     


    The plans below include only the credit requirements for graduation. Students are also responsible for meeting the following assessment requirements for graduation

    FOUNDATIONS PLUS ENDORSEMENTS GRADUATION PLAN

    4 English (English I, II, III, one credit in any advanced English course)
    4 Math (Algebra I, Geometry, two credits in any advanced math course)
    4 Science (Biology, one credit in IPC or advanced science, two additional credits in any advanced science)
    4 Social Studies (World Geography, World History, US History, Government, Economics)
    2 LOTE or Computer Programming
    1 Physical Education (4 credits maximum)
    1 Fine Arts
    0.5 Health
    0.5 Communication Applications or Professional Communications
    5 Elective Credits to include courses to meet at least one endorsement*

    26 Credits Total

     

    DISTINGUISHED LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT PLAN

    4 English (English I, II, III, one credit in any advanced English course)
    4 Math (Algebra I, Geometry, two credits in any advanced math course, one must be Algebra II)
    4 Science (Biology, one credit in IPC or advanced science, two additional credits in any advanced science)
    4 Social Studies (World Geography, World History, US History, Government, Economics)
    2 LOTE or Computer Programming
    1 Physical Education (4 credits maximum)
    1 Fine Arts
    0.5 Health
    0.5 Communication Applications or Professional Communication
    5 Elective Credits to include courses to meet at least one endorsement*

    26 Credits Total

    ENDORESMENT OPTIONS

    STEM Arts and Humanities Multidisciplinary Studies:

    Must take Algebra II, chemistry, and physics plus meet ONE of the following:
    A total of five credits in math to include Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, and two advanced math for which Algebra II is a prerequisite
    A total of five credits in science which include biology, chemistry, and physics plus two more courses Meet ONE of the following:
    A total of five social studies courses

    Arts & Humanities:

    Four levels of the same LOTE
    Two levels of the same LOTE and two levels in a different LOTE
    A total of four credits in fine arts from one or two disciplines (theatre arts, art, dance, choir, music)
    Four credits in a coherent sequence of innovative courses (PALS or AVID)
    Four English elective credits Meet ONE of the following:
    Four advanced courses

    Multidisciplinary Studies:

    Four credits in each of the foundation subjects to include English IV, chemistry, and physics
    Four credits in Advanced Placement or dual credit from English, math, science, social studies, economics, LOTE, or fine arts

     

    ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS - STAAR END-OF-COURSE (EOC)


    Students entering 9th grade during 2011-2012 or later are required to take End-of-Course (EOC) assessments as part of their graduation requirement. Satisfactory performance on the English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and US History EOCs are required for graduation.

    EOC exams are expected to be administered at the end of each semester in the spring, summer, and fall. Any student not meeting the satisfactory level on any EOC is expected to retest at the next available testing opportunity.

     

    LOCAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

     Students entering 9th grade in 2014-2015 and beyond: In addition to the state graduation requirements, students graduating from any Orenda Charter School will take 0.5 credit Health Education and 0.5 credit Communication Applications/Professional Communications, both of these semester credits meet state-approved elective credits.  In addition, students graduating with under the Endorsements and Distinguished Level of Achievement plans must take both World History and World Geography for a total of four social studies credits.

     

    Service Learning

    In addition to the credit and assessment requirements, Gateway College Preparatory and Gateway Tech High School students will be required to complete 8 hours of documented community service each year of high school to receive a high school diploma.  Students who enroll after their freshman year are not required to make up hours from prior years but are required to meet the community service requirement from the time of enrollment going forward.

     

     

    Advanced Placement and/or Dual Enrollment Courses

    Starting with the 2019-20 graduating class, Gateway College Preparatory students will complete at least 2 Advanced Placement and participate in at least 1 Advanced Placement exam OR 2 dual credit courses OR a combination of 2 Advancement Placement and dual credit courses to receive a diploma from Gateway College Preparatory School.

     

    ADDITIONAL STATE GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

    Student CPR

    Texas requires all students to receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation prior to graduation.  Students will receive CPR instruction using a nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines for emergency cardiovascular care and incorporating psychomotor skills.  Students who have received this instruction through a prior school or organization can submit documentation to the campus registrar to satisfy this graduation requirement.

     

    Proper Interaction with Peace Officers

    Students in grades 9-12 are required to receive instruction on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters prior to graduation. The new requirement applies to any student who enters grade 9 in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter and will appear on the student’s transcript.


    HIGH SCHOOL GRADE LEVEL CLASSIFICATION AND RECLASSIFICATION

    9th Grade: A student must have been promoted from the 8th grade
    (Meet minimum grade requirements and passing standards in reading and math STAAR)
    10th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 6.5 credits.
    11th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 13 credits.
    12th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 19.5 credits.

    A student will only be reclassified at the end of the first and second semester of each school year as determined by the school calendar.

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Curriculum Delivery & Implementation

  • Kingsland School utilizes Gradpoint courseware, developed by Pearson. This program is a web-based program. Follow this link to read about this program:

    click here for GradPoint

    All students are enrolled into four courses at a time.  Most of the courses are separated by first semester (A) and second semester (B).  For example, Algebra IA is the first semester of Algebra I and Algebra IB is the second semester of Algebra I.  Students are assigned to the first semester course and then when this is completed, they advance to the second semester course. 

    Each course is divided into units, or folders.  Depending on the subject, each course has from 5-12 units.  The units include from 3-5 major concepts.  For students enrolling in courses for credit recovery, each unit begins with a pre-test.  The pre-test evaluates the student’s knowledge of the concepts covered in the unit.  The computer then assigns lessons in the areas that the student did not score at least 80% mastery level.  It is not uncommon for students to “pass out” of one or more lessons based on their knowledge and competency in that area. 

    Gradpoint lessons utilize an effective lesson cycle.  This cycle includes learning objectives, preview vocabulary, direct instruction, guided practice with feedback, independent practice, followed by a quiz/assessment for each lesson.  Lessons present small chunks of information, either through written texts, interactive diagrams, or embedded videos or links to videos.  Students may use headphones to listen to the lessons or some choose to just view them without the audio. 

    After completion of all assigned lessons in a unit, the student then takes a post-test.  Grades are derived from post-tests plus the final review test (semester exam.)  Mastery is set at 80% in all areas. 

    The cycle then continues throughout the course: pre-test, lesson/quizzes, post-tests for each unit.  At the end of all of the units is a cumulative Review Test or semester final.

    The program is not easy.  The standards are high and students’ feedback indicates that although the material is thorough and at times challenging, they learn more than in the traditional classroom setting. 

    Curriculum aligns with the State of Texas TEKS and is taught in a controlled and sequential manner. 

    Initial instruction is provided by the Gradpoint program.  Students are required to have a spiral notebook to take notes while they are working in the courses.  They are required to show their work in math before they select the answer in guided practice, independent practice, and all assessments. 

    Students who struggle with a concept or lesson can then get help from the teacher.  Many times it is a simple matter of clarifying the concepts or steps to the student.  Once a student moves into the assessments (quizzes, post-tests, review test) if he/she does not reach an 80% mastery, the computer re-assigns the assessment once.  If, on the second try, the student does not reach the 80% mastery, he/she must receive instruction from the teacher.  This instruction is delivered in various ways. Generally the teacher works with the student (re-teaches) the concepts not passed.  The student is expected to show his/her notes to the teacher during this process.  Once this re-teaching is completed, the teacher re-assigns the test and the student is usually successful.  Every time an assessment is re-assigned, the computer generates a new test.  The tests cover the same concepts but just different questions.

    With given approval, students are encouraged to link to educational websites for additional instruction.  Websites such as Khan Academy (for math and science) are approved.  Websites that show just answers with no explanations are not approved.  Students are discouraged from seeking out just the answer from websites such as ask.com or answer.com.  Incidents such as these are evaluated on a case by case basis by the teacher and/or coordinator. 

    We focus on teaching the student how to learn and how to apply the new concepts.  Our teachers emphasize and train students to think about the problem, evaluate what is being asked, solve and then answer the question, and explain how they arrived at the answer.  These are important steps to becoming a successful, life-long learner.