Grades and Grads

Each student is in a different place in the curriculum and needs to work diligently to complete the course and earn credit toward graduation. Teachers provide a syllabus with projected timelines to help students stay on track.

Each student competing the required course work and credits will receive an accredited state of Texas high school diploma.

Based on initial year of entry into high school and future career choices, there are several paths to earning a high school diploma.

Testing Requirements for Graduation

Students are required, with limited exceptions and regardless of graduation program, to perform satisfactorily on the following EOC assessments:  English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, and United States History.  A student who has not achieved sufficient scores on the EOC assessments to graduate will have opportunities to retake the assessments.  State law and state rules also provide for certain scores on norm-referenced national standardized assessments to substitute for the requirement to meet satisfactory performance on an applicable EOC assessment should a student choose this option.  See the school counselor for more information on the state testing requirements for graduation.

If a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an EOC assessment, the district will provide remediation to the student in the content area for which the performance standard was not met.  This may require participation of the student before or after normal school hours or at times of the year outside normal school operations.

For students who were enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year:

Minimum, Recommended, and Advanced/Distinguished Achievement Graduation Programs

Students enrolled in high school prior to the 2014–15 school year also have the option to pursue the foundation graduation program as described below. 

Note that permission to enroll in the Minimum Program as described in this section will be granted only if a written agreement is reached among the student, the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation, and the school counselor or appropriate administrator.

Courses Number of Credits
Minimum Program
Number of Credits
Number of Credits
English/Language Arts 4 4 4
Mathematics 3 4 4
Science 2 4 4
Social Studies, including Economics 4 4 4
Physical Education 1 1 1
Speech 0.5 0.5 0.5
Foreign Language LOTE 2 3
Fine Arts 1 1 1
Locally required courses Health 0.5
Technology 1
Health 0.5
Technology 1
Health 0.5
Technology 1
Electives 6.5 credits 5.5 credits 4.5 credits
Miscellaneous Completion of 4 Advanced Measures
TOTAL 22 credits 26 credits 26 credits

For students who enter grade 9 in the 2014–15 school year and thereafter:

Foundation Graduation Program

Within the foundation graduation program are “endorsements,” which are paths of interest that include:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Business and Industry
  • Public Services
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Multidisciplinary Studies

Endorsements earned by a student will be noted on the student’s transcript and diploma.

The foundation graduation program requires completion of the following credits:

Course Area Number of credits
Foundation Graduation
Number of credits Foundation
Graduation Program with an
English/Language Arts 4 4
Mathematics 3 4**
Science 3 4
Social Studies, including economics 3 3
Physical Education 1 1
Foreign Language LOTE 2 2
Fine Arts 1 1
Electives 5 7
Miscellaneous Available Endorsements:
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • Business and Industry
  • Public Services
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Multidisciplinary
TOTAL 22 credits 26 credits

* State law and rules prohibit a student from graduating solely under the foundation graduation program without an endorsement unless, after the student’s sophomore year, the student and student’s parent are advised of the specific benefits of graduating with an endorsement and submit written permission to the school counselor for the student to graduate without an endorsement.  A student who anticipates graduating under the foundation graduation program without an endorsement and who wishes to attend a four-year university or college after graduation must carefully consider whether this will satisfy the admission requirements of the student’s desired college or university.

** In order to obtain the distinguished level of achievement under the foundation graduation program, which will be denoted on a student’s transcript and diploma and is a requirement to be considered for automatic admission purposes to a Texas four-year college or university, a student must complete an endorsement and take Algebra II as one of the four mathematics credits.


ACHS offers students the opportunity to graduate on an individualized timeline, which has led to a unique school tradition. Once students complete their required credits, they can walk the school's halls in their cap and gown while the other students cheer them on. At the end of the year, the school also holds a formal graduation where students walk the stage and receive their diplomas.