TCISD students were revoked a promise they were given
TCISD students were revoked a promise they were given
Why this petition matters
Imagine for a moment being a 7th grade student at Blocker. It is an exciting part of the year!. The school counselor has come to talk to your class about course selections for 8th grade. During this discussion you are told that if you choose to be on advanced course track that you will be able to take high school courses during your 8th grade year. Not only will you be allowed to take high school courses in 8th grade, if you take them you will be ahead on credit which would allow you to have off periods in 11th and 12th grade because you are ahead of the curve. So without a second thought, you register for both Algebra and Spanish high school credits.
Now let’s rewind back to our elementary years. We have sat in classes where we were not given much attention because we would just “get it”. Our behavior was excellent and we watched kids who were poorly behaved on a regular basis get rewarded for the smallest things. “Oh you had a good day today, go eat lunch with the principal.” or “You complied with directions 3 times today so you get to go play legos in the counselor’s office” We were always good and it was mostly overlooked, almost expected because we were “those” kids, the “green dot” kids.
But now, because of our effort and our ability to take advanced courses at Blocker, we will finally be rewarded. That off period that we have been promised since 7th grade course selection is finally upon us. The good thing for the district is, they can give us this reward and it will literally cost them NOTHING! But man, we will appreciate it!
We are sophomores now and it is that time of year when we get to make our course selections and we are told that we are no longer able to have an off period? What? No off period? We have been planning and organizing our schedules to afford us this privilege since 7th grade. What are you saying? We have friends and siblings right now who are Juniors and Seniors who were given the same promise at Blocker and they have off periods. How can that be revoked now? We have done what we were told to do (and very well I might add). The majority of us are in the top 10% of our class and have collectively very few disciplinary issues. How is this possible? So, in our natural well behaved manner, we fill out our course selections sheet, hid our discontent and moved on. But it isn’t fair.
So, we started to do some research. According to the Texas City 2022-2023 handbook page 9 it states that you must have 22 state credits to graduate with the Foundations High School Program. In order to graduate with an endorsement you must have 22 state credits and 4 credits from a specified endorsement pathway. It further states the following:
A student may graduate under the FHSP without earning an endorsement if, after the student’s sophomore year: (1) the student and the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation to the student are advised by a school counselor of the specific benefits of graduating from high school with one or more endorsements; and (2) the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation to the student files with a school counselor written permission, on a form adopted by the agency, allowing the student to graduate under the foundation high school program without earning an endorsement.
Some of us have chosen an endorsement, but some of us are planning to have our parents file the form to allow us to not have an endorsement. It isn’t because we are lazy, we just don’t know what we want our careers to be yet, and want to use our college years to explore that.
According to the same planning guide on page 10, many of us are already considered to be a Junior by credit classification. The majority of us at the end of the fall term have already earned 14 state credits. To be a Junior you only need 12. When we complete our Sophomore year we will be even further ahead. The House Bill 5 states that there are 5 End-of-Course exams that will be required in order to graduate from high school.
English I - completed and passed in 9th grade
English II - Pending grades
Algebra I - Finished in 8th grade
Biology - completed and passed in 9th grade
US History - will be completed this year
In addition to being ahead in credits, we have taken almost (and passed) every advanced class that Texas City Independent School District has to offer. Our GPAs are in the 90s, our class ranks are high and the majority of us will be in compliance to meet the requirements to be an Honor Graduated by definition on page 48 of the Planning Guide.
Now we are being told that a “filler class” / off period will only be granted to seniors to meet the criterion listed on the document below.
Each semester students will enroll in eight classes. We have many elective courses available that are enriching. Many of these courses could assist students in preparing for their future in college and/or career. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the curriculum opportunities available at our high schools. However, if the student and parent believe a filler or office position would be more beneficial, the following requirements must be met before the application will be considered: Passed all STAAR/EOC On track for graduation including all endorsements (6 semester audit) Eligible to meet the criteria to be considered College and Career Ready Have transportation to leave campus during a filler period Have no more than 10 absences in the previous two semesters combined Have no major discipline issues (Level 3 or above) Have no uncleared obligations If approved, if a student’s attendance in scheduled classes drops below 90%, or a student has 9 or more Tardies per semester, the filler/office aide status of that student will be revoked, and the student enrolled in an alternate class. If a student remains on campus during the filler class, the student will be enrolled in an alternate class instead. Campus administration reserves the right to deny or revoke filler or office aide status at any time based on academic or behavioral factors.
Student Name: ___________________________________ DOB: _______________
Select one of the following:
______ I would like to serve as an Office Aide. ______ I would like to have one filler class. If you selected a filler class, please check the preferred class period for your filler (not guaranteed)
: _____ 1 _____ 8
Student Signature: ___________________________________ Date: _____________ Parent/Guardian Name: ________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________ Date: _____________ Counselor Signature: _________________________________ Date: _____________ Campus Administrator Signature: _______________________________ Date: _____________
This form is interesting. We have siblings and friends who are currently in their Junior and Senior of high school with an off period. They did not have to meet these requirements or attendance or tardies to be given this privilege promised in 7th grade at Blocker.
We respect and understand that many of our peers are on different educational levels and path as us. We also understand the graduation requirements for credits and testing. From Junior High we have paved the way for the ability to be granted this privilege. We see it as just that a privilige that we have worked for and earned. We have been frequently overlooked and pushed to the side because we just “can” do it all. But this promise, this privilege is something that Texas City Independent School district can reward us with. It will cost you nothing and mean everything to us. We will finally be recognized with a HUGE reward that we have worked toward for years.
We are respectfully requesting you give a great deal of consideration in this matter and consider changing the policy to grandfather the kids who have worked to exceed the “regular” academic requirements. We are respectfully asking that you honor the promise that was given to use as 7th grade students at Blocker. We are respectfully petitioning that you put yourselves in our shoes and empathize with our frustration and do the right thing.
TheAP students of the Class of 2024
The supporting peers, families, and friends of TCHS students
- Dr. Melissa DuarteSuperintendent of schools
- Dr. Randy WillisonDirector of Secondary Education
- Nakisha PaulDistrict 3 President
- Melba AndersonDistrict 1 Vice President
- Mable PrattDistrict 2