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Early graduation requirements acknowledged

Angelica Lopez, Staff Writer

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Students need to meet the following basic requirements to qualify for early graduation. These are previous requirements and will change to reflect EOC/ STAAR exams and new state accountability rules.

  1. Declare intent to graduate early no later than the end of the student’s sophomore year
  2. Pass all 4 years of 10th grade TAKS with a 2200 or higher score
  3. Decrease to a minimum graduation plan
  4. Enroll and pass an elective in summer school immediately prior to the student’s last expected year
  5. Participate in summer school tutoring (immediately prior to the student’s last expected year) for exit level summer test
  6. Participate in exit level testing in the summer immediately prior to student’s expected final year of high school
  7. Enroll in multiple same subject core classes to be taken during student’s expected final year

**Decreasing to the state minimum plan makes a student ineligible for the state early graduation incentive being a student cannot start out at a four year college and would have to begin in a junior college.

**All of these requirements need to be met. Though if a student wants to stay on the recommended plan they must meet some different requirements.

  1. Follow 1, 2,4,5,6,7 from above in addition to taking Math Models through correspondence at the student’s expense and approved by counselor. Credit must be earned and appear on student’s transcript before Algebra 2 course is begun, or else student will be forced to move back to minimum plan to be able to graduate early

Students on the distinguished plan also have the opportunity to graduate early.

“Technically it would be possible, but it would be highly unusual. Probably only for extremely accomplished and motivated students,” counselor, Neal Hall said.

Being on the distinguished plan makes a student eligible for becoming valedictorian and salutatorian.

“They could be as long as they satisfied all the requirements for the distinguished plan and were able to still keep their GPA where it needed to be,” Hall said.

**The student pays all fees for the summer school programs or correspondence courses.

**Early graduation is only possible for students who have earned eight state credits each other in accordance with the new 4×4 graduation requirements.

Most students graduate either one year early or go the whole four years of high school. It is possible for them to go only three-and-a-half years in rare cases but it’s difficult and not recommended by the counselors.

If you were going to try to graduate a semester early, the only way you could do it was to get on the computer and accelerate that way,” Hall said. “You still have to pass the EOC exam and you’re not really getting the kind of instruction off the computer that would make you ready to pass the EOC.”

However, for students with exceptional circumstances or academic abilities, graduating early could be beneficial for them.

“You spend less time in high school and can get started on your college sooner,” Hall, said. “If you are a serious student and kind of know what you want to do and are mature enough to handle it, college-wise, a year early, then you could finish college faster and get to working sooner.”

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