Graduation Requirements

  • Foundation Plan Plus Endorsements

  • All Orenda Charter School freshmen will begin high school on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program.  All students who enroll during their sophomore year and the beginning of their junior year will also begin on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program.  An individual graduation plan will be developed for each student at the beginning of their freshman year or at the time of enrollment that outlines the requirements and timeline for meeting the Distinguished Level of Achievement program including meeting at least one of the endorsements.  Each student’s graduation plan will be reviewed at least twice a year. 

    Students enrolling after the beginning of their junior year and anytime during their senior year will meet with the Director of Student Services or campus principal to develop an individual plan to graduate on the Distinguished Level of Achievement program, if possible, or the Endorsements program.

    For a student to move from the Distinguished Level of Achievement, the student’s parent must request in writing to move to the Endorsements plan and include an explanation of why the Distinguished Level of Achievement is not possible.  The request will be reviewed and must be approved by the Campus Principal and Chief Operating Officer BEFORE the student will be allowed to move to the Endorsements program.

    The plans below include only the credit requirements for graduation. There are additional graduation requirements listed below as well.


    4 English (English I, II, III, one credit in any advanced English course)
    4 Math (Algebra I, Geometry, two credits in any advanced math course)
    4 Science (Biology, one credit in IPC or advanced science, two additional credits in any advanced science)
    4 Social Studies (World Geography, World History, US History, Government, Economics)
    2 LOTE or Computer Programming
    1 Physical Education (4 credits maximum)
    1 Fine Arts
    0.5 Health
    0.5 Communication Applications or Professional Communications
    5 Elective Credits to include courses to meet at least one endorsement*

    26 Credits Total



    Completion of Foundation Plus Endorsements Graduation Plan AND include completion of Algebra II

    26 Credits Total



    STEM Arts and Humanities Multidisciplinary Studies:

    Must take Algebra II, chemistry, and physics plus meet ONE of the following:
    A total of five credits in math to include Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, and two advanced math for which Algebra II is a prerequisite
    A total of five credits in science which include biology, chemistry, and physics plus two more courses Meet ONE of the following:
    A total of five social studies courses

    Arts & Humanities:

    Four levels of the same LOTE
    Two levels of the same LOTE and two levels in a different LOTE
    A total of four credits in fine arts from one or two disciplines (theatre arts, art, dance, choir, music)
    Four credits in a coherent sequence of innovative courses (PALS or AVID)
    Four English elective credits Meet ONE of the following:
    Four advanced courses

    Multidisciplinary Studies:

    Four credits in each of the core foundation subjects to include English IV, chemistry, and physics



    Students entering 9th grade during 2011-2012 or later are required to take End-of-Course (EOC) assessments as part of their graduation requirement. Satisfactory performance on the English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and US History EOCs are required for graduation.

    EOC exams are expected to be administered at the end of each semester in the spring, summer, and fall. Any student not meeting the satisfactory level on any EOC is expected to retest at the next available testing opportunity.



    Students entering 9th grade in 2014-2015 and beyond: In addition to the state graduation requirements, students graduating from any Orenda Charter School will take 0.5 credit Health Education and 0.5 credit Communication Applications/Professional Communications, both of these semester credits meet state-approved elective credits.  In addition, students graduating with under the Endorsements and Distinguished Level of Achievement plans must take both World History and World Geography for a total of four social studies credits.

    Orenda Charter School Off-Campus Physical Education Policy & Waiver Application


    Service Learning

    In addition to the credit and assessment requirements, Gateway College Preparatory and Gateway Tech High School students will be required to complete at least 8 hours of documented community service each year of high school to receive a high school diploma.  Students who enroll after their freshman year are not required to make up hours from prior years but are required to meet the community service requirement from the time of enrollment going forward.  Students who complete at least 100 hours of community service prior to graduation will earn a cord to wear at graduation.


    Advanced Placement and/or Dual Enrollment Courses

    Starting with the 2019-20 graduating class, Gateway Tech students will need to complete at least 2 Advanced Placement or 2 dual credit courses or a combination of 2 AP/dual credit courses to receive a diploma from Gateway Tech High School.



    Student CPR

    Texas requires all students to receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation prior to graduation.  Students will receive CPR instruction using a nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines for emergency cardiovascular care and incorporating psychomotor skills.  Students who have received this instruction through a prior school or organization can submit documentation to the campus registrar to satisfy this graduation requirement.


    Proper Interaction with Peace Officers

    Students in grades 9-12 are required to receive instruction on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters prior to graduation. The new requirement applies to any student who enters grade 9 in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter and will appear on the student’s transcript.


    9th Grade: A student must have been promoted from the 8th grade
    (Meet minimum grade requirements and passing standards in reading and math STAAR)
    10th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 6.5 credits.
    11th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 13 credits.
    12th Grade: A student must have satisfactorily completed 19.5 credits.

    A student will only be reclassified at the end of the first and second semester of each school year as determined by the school calendar.