9th Grade
Parent Night
Freshman Focus 2014
Extracurricular & Community Involvement
NHS Counselors
A-Car – Sheneka Davis
Cas-F – Mike Hays
G-I – Brenda Evans
J-Mh – Cayce Feemster
Mi-Res – Amber Ward
Ret-Th – Keith Tremethick
Ti-Z – Jamie Farber, Lead
Grade Classification
• Promotion to 10th Grade = 6 credits
• Promotion to 11th Grade = 13 credits
• Promotion to 12th Grade = 19 credits
GPA & Class Rank
• Grade Point Average (GPA) starts the semester a
student enrolls in a course eligible for HS credit
through the final semester of 12th grade.
• Class rank measures performance compared to
all students in the class. It begins the first
semester of 9th grade and continues until
• Reported GPA is unweighted.
• Class Rank is weighted.
– The level of coursework (i.e. Pre/AP and AP courses) is factored in
the weighted class ranking
GPA & Class Rank, cont.
• Un-weighted GPA – all courses are weighted on a
4.0 scale
• Weighted GPA – courses are assigned grade
points according to rigor; weighted on a 6.0 scale
(PreAP) or a 7.0 scale (AP). Weighted GPA
determines class rank.
• GPA exempt courses – correspondence, credit by
exams, and summer school for remediation
• Weighted elective courses
– Beginning with the class of 2015, only weighted
electives in the four core subject areas and world
languages will count toward GPA and class rank.
Attendance Requirements
• Students must attend class at least 90% of the
time in order to receive credit earned for a
• There will be opportunities to make up
attendance should students fall below 90%
• Assistant principals will be able to assist with
an attendance redemption plan
Graduation Programs
The Recommended Program:
– 26 Credits
4 English
4 Math
4 Science
4 Social Studies
2 World Languages (same language)
– Spanish, French, or German
• 1 Physical Education
• 1 Fine Art
– Art, Choir, Dance, Theatre Arts, and more
• ½ Credit of Communication Applications or Professional
Communications (Speech)
• 5 ½ Electives
Graduation Programs, cont.
• The Distinguished Program:
– Designed for students who want to achieve beyond the
state recommended graduation requirements
– Criteria for the Distinguished Achievement Program
• Meet all requirements of the Recommended Graduation
• Requires 3 credits of a World Language
• Obtain a combination of 4 of the following advanced
measures or through independent research project
– AP classes with scores of 3 or higher on the AP Exam
– National Merit Commendation (PSAT)
– College courses must earn a B or higher
Texas Scholars
The Texas Scholars Program focuses students on education
and career planning during middle and high school and
prepares them for the transition to life after high school.
Students who graduate as Texas Scholars are recognized for
completing the rigorous coursework required by the Texas
Business and Education Coalition.
To become a Texas Scholar:
1. Complete the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement Program
2. Complete at least two credits eligible for college credit (AP or dual credit)
3. Participate in a minimum of one high school extracurricular activity for
two consecutive years during high school.
4. Pass every semester of all high school core classes.
STAAR Testing Calendar 2013-2014
• Dec. 2 - 6
– Makeup testing
• March 31
– English I
• April 1
– English II
• May 5 - 9
– Algebra I, Biology, US History
College Admissions Criteria
• Criteria important in the college admissions process
rated by college admissions officers:
Class Rank
Strength of Course (PreAP, AP, and dual credit courses)
ACT/SAT Scores
Essay or writing sample
• Other potential factors for college admissions
Special talents/awards
Extracurricular/community service activities
Top 10% Rule for Admissions
• Graduate in the top 10% of class at a public or private Texas high
school, or
• Graduate in the top 10% of class from a HS operated by the US Dept
of Defense and be a Texas resident or eligible to pay resident tuition
• Enroll in college no more than two years after graduation; and
• Submit an application to the Texas public university for admission
before the institution’s application deadline (check w/university
regarding specific deadlines)
 Under legislation approved May 2009 by the Texas House as part of the 81st
Regular Session (Senate Bill 175), UT Austin (no other state university) was
allowed to trim the number of students it accepts under the 10% rule; UT
Austin could limit those students to 75% of entering in-state freshmen from
Texas. The university would admit the top 1%, 2%, and so forth until the cap is
reached, beginning with the 2011 entering class.
Strength of Course
• Pre-Ap and AP Program Benefits
1. Students who follow a Pre-AP/AP program in
school tend to perform better in college
2. More challenging courses
3. Potential to earn college credit by taking an
AP exam at the end of the course
4. Colleges and scholarship committees desire
students who complete Pre-AP/AP courses
• Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)
- A standard test measuring critical reading, math, problem
solving and writing skills important for success in college
- Available for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades
- Provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test
- National Merit Scholarship programs, based on 11th grade
• Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) & American College
Test (ACT)
- The majority of colleges, univerisities, and scholarship
commmittees take the scores of these assessments into
- Begin taking one or both during 11th grade, spring semester
Freshman Focus 2014
Extracurricular & Community Involvement
Community service and extracurricular activities play an
important role with colleges and scholarship committees.
Become involved in school and community activities now – don’t wait until
your senior year
Seek activities and opportunities relative to your future career plans
Visit the Northwest High School Counseling website for volunteer and
community service activities
Start an activities record including all school and community activities,
leadership positions, honors, awards, uniques educational experiences,
employment, and volunteer work.
THE BIG EVENT! April 5, 2014
– Be sure to update this record at least once a year.
Freshman Focus 2014
Extracurricular & Community Involvement
Graduation Honor Cords
To Do List for
College Admissions 9th Grade
• Study: grades are reported on your permanent
• Select challenges classes
• Explore extracurricular interests and volunteer work
• Start an activities record listing honors, awards, and
• Take the PSAT
• Start a college savings account
• Visit college websites and campuses
• Research college information
- Visit the NHS Counseling website for helpful resources
Paying for College
Keeping College Costs Down
• Enroll in challenging courses in high school to
avoid taking developmental or remedial
courses in college
• Take AP courses and exams
• Take dual credit courses to earn college and
high school credit
Credit Recovery Options
• Summer School
• Academic Coaching Program (ACP)
• Credit by Exam
- Not available for students who failed due to absences
• Correspondence Courses through Texas Tech or
• On-line Courses through TXVSN
• Averaging of semester grades
-If 1st and 2nd semester grades average 70 or higher, a
failing 1st or 2nd semester credit may be recovered
Credits for Acceleration
• Summer School
• Credit by Exam
• Correspondence Courses through Texas Tech or
• On-line Courses through TXVSN
Tips for Parents
Discuss classes and set goals
Be available to help with homework
Monitor your child’s activities and jobs
Work with your school
- Contact the teacher if you do not receive a progress report for a
specific class or the school if you do not receive a report card
- Teacher contact information can be found on the NHS website or by
- For questions or concerns regarding a specific class, please contact
the school directly

Northwest High School 9th and 10th Grade Forum 2012