The Foundation Plan

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The Foundation Plan


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Incoming freshmen are beginning a new graduation plan that challenges them to choose an “endorsement,” something like a college major for high school.

The Foundation Plan, the proposed name of the blueprint for graduation, replaces the “four-by-four,” a plan that currently requires students to graduate with four math, science, history, and English credits in addition to others.

“People are starting to back off from the idea that everyone will go to college,” Mrs. Snellings said. “Sadly, that’s the reality, and under the new plan kids are getting training that will help them get a decent job after high school.”

The minimum graduation requirements include four English credits; three math, science and history; two of a foreign language; one fine arts; and one physical education. With the remaining schedule, classes can be selected as endorsements.

An endorsement is one of the five areas of interest that will guide the students’ course selections through high school. They are like college majors, but much more generic, so they will benefit both those who plan on going to college and those who do not. The five choices are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), business and industry, public services, arts and humanities, and multidisciplinary studies.

“Freshmen don’t have to pick their endorsements right away, [freshman] year is the same as far as required classes,” Mrs. Snellings said. “They have one year to think about it and learn more about it through transition, but by sophomore year they should be locked in on a choice.”

Counselors are working hard to prepare incoming freshmen and their parents for the upcoming changes in the system. As part of preparation, current eighth graders take the Kuder assessment through their technology classes. This assessment takes the information entered about personal interests and preferences and gives possible career options that could prove enjoyable.

Counselors plan to be very involved with the freshmen when the plan goes into effect next school year, in order to ensure the best choices will be made.

Advanced Placement classes or enrollment in International Bachelorette are still an option, as long as graduation requirements are met and a minimum of four classes are taken towards a chosen endorsement.

“The Foundation Plan is also helping students with college preparation,” Mrs. Snellings said. “It’s all about narrowing your choices, so that you have at least an idea of what you want to study in college. It also helps you financially, because if you take courses out of tuition, it’s a penalty and it will cost you extra.”

The Foundation Plan forces high school students to start thinking about their future long before most would. This plan allows for an early decision on how time will be spent in school, and it gives more flexibility with high-school careers.

Next year, all eyes will be on the freshmen and how they will perform under the new plan.