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Superintendent's column: VISD ready to offer new diploma programs

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Oct. 19, 2013 at 5:19 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

As we move forward in experiencing another outstanding school year in the Victoria ISD, we are extremely excited about the endless possibilities and multiple opportunities that await our students with the new House Bill 5 graduation requirements. This bill embodies significant changes to our current high school graduation requirements. It creates a single foundation diploma and eliminates the minimum, maximum and distinguished graduation plans that are currently in place. The foundation diploma consists of the following 22 credits: four credits in English, three credits in mathematics, three credits in science, three credits in social studies, two credits in a language other than English, one credit in fine arts, one credit in physical education and five elective credits.

In addition to the foundation diploma, students have the opportunity to enroll in one of the five endorsement plans that consist of four additional credits (one in math, one in science and two electives).

These plans provide greater flexibility for students in moving out of the previous 4x4 curriculum and, while still maintaining rigor, offer students the ability to choose specific courses that lead directly to their chosen careers' pathways.

The five endorsement plans include science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); business and industry; public services; arts and humanities and multidisciplinary studies. HB5 requires that each school district must make available at least one endorsement plan to high school students. Furthermore, if the school district only offers one endorsement plan to students, it must offer multidisciplinary studies.

We are extremely proud to state that with the collaboration of our community partners, the Victoria ISD is prepared to offer all five endorsement plans to our students.

John Wooden once stated: "There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you."

On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, we would like to thank Victoria College, the University of Houston-Victoria and our business and industry partners, including but not limited to the Victoria Economic Development Corp., Victoria Business and Education Coalition, Victoria Fire Department, Victoria Police Department, Victoria County Sheriff's Office, Caterpillar, Alcoa, Formosa, INVISTA and Dow for choosing to allow us the possibility to dream big and for providing us the resources to make those dreams come true.

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website, visd.com.

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