To Graduate, First You Need to Know What It Takes.
Then, You Need to Decide How to Do It.
You have dreams. Here's How to Make Them Come True.
It’s never too early for students to start planning for how to make their goals for the future a reality. The decisions students make as early as middle school and throughout high school will make a huge difference in whether their dreams come true, or slip away.
Achieving your dreams starts with knowing what the graduation requirements are. While some are set by the state, and others are specific to our district, all are important. Students must:
- Earn 23-1/2 credits.
- Meet the State graduation requirements.
- Complete a High School and Beyond Plan.
- Compile a Culminating Project of their best work. Throughout their time in high school, students will collect a variety of their work that will be used to demonstrate their learning. This culminating project, together with the High School and Beyond Plan, creates a Master Portfolio for each student that they will use as they build their resume for college and careers. Here are some Culminating Project samples:
Planning for High School and Beyond
What do you want to do after you graduate? Choosing the right classes during high school can give students a competitive edge in the post-high school world. An important part of this decision process is understanding the options that are available throughout the district. High School Planning Night and the Academic Enrichment Programs page provide a good overview of specialty programs in the district. The high school course catalogs, which can be downloaded on that page, provide a much more comprehensive look at each school’s courses. Not all schools have the same programs, and students may wish to opt into a high school or program outside of their neighborhood so that they can participate in a program of interest to them. To apply to attend a school or program outside a student’s service area, it’s important to participate in the Choice Program.
The district encourages students and parents/guardians to begin the conversation about high school early and continue it often through activities such as 8th grade advisory activities, the Life After High School event, the College Preparation Day, and during February’s High School Planning Night events.
Developing their High School and Beyond plans helps students create a solid plan for success that starts before high school and will impact them far beyond graduation day. It’s so beneficial to students that Washington state’s educational leaders have made the completion of a High School and Beyond Plan a graduation requirement.
In Federal Way Public Schools, students first begin developing their High School and Beyond Plan in eighth grade, when they research different careers, explore their current interests, consider the requirements for specific careers, and start building the foundation for a college and job portfolio.
Using what they’ve learned this exploration, a student, along with their parent or guardian, will choose a general career path that best suits the direction the student would like to go.