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House Bill 5 at Amarillo ISD

Amarillo ISD is implementing House Bill 5 into it's curriculum.
A new bill is expected to create more opportunities and better prepare students for the future.

House Bill 5, which was signed into law by Governor Perry, creates five so-called endorsements.

They're sort of like degree plans for high school students.

Those five endorsements are arts and humanities, business and industry, STEM, public service, and multiple disciplinary.

Director of Career and Technical Education LeAnn Estep says, "it moves us into a system where students are making choices that are relevant to their post secondary goals.  College, if it's going into the military.  If it's going straight into the workforce, it allows them to pick courses that are relevant to that."

Eighth graders at the start of the 2014 school year will be the first to choose an endorsement.

But students already in high school will have a choice on whether they want to be a part of the program.

Director of Guidance and Counseling Tracey Morman says, "we are encouraging our ninth and tenth graders to move to House Bill 5.  The foundations with endoresement because it allows the student, it allows them to pick areas their interested in."

Starting to plan out your future in eighth grade can be a lot to ask of a junior high student.

Estep says a student can always change their focus.

She says, "they can change their mind at any time.  You do have to visit with your counselor and they will help you with that and if they change endorsement areas. The parent will have to sign off on that.  We want the parents involved."

Estep tells us before any change is made, they will make sure the student won't lose credit and can still graduate on time.

Not every major or program of study will be available at every high school, but students will be able to transfer schools or even just head over to another campus for a class if they need to.

Estep says officials won't get the exact rules and regulations on House Bill 5 from the state board until the end of January 2014.

She says its too soon to tell how much it'll cost the district to implement the changes.

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