The details of High School & Beyond Planning

College & Career Readiness, High School Success, Parent & Family Engagement, Parent & Family Newsletter | 10/17/2019

Natalie Hester
Former State Organizing Director, Stand for Children Washington


Below is the second edition of our Parents & Families newsletter for the 2019-20 school year. If you'd like to receive this monthly in your email inbox, sign up here.

Para información en español, visite este sitio web.

Good morning,

I hope your morning routines are getting into a groove now that school has been in session for over a month. I’m still working on ironing out the details with my daughter, but that’s to be expected with a 13-year-old. :)

This month, I want to dig deeper into the High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP). Last month’s newsletter provided a broad overview of what the process should include. To refresh, the High School and Beyond Plan is a process that your child works through to explore their interests and prepare them to graduate with a plan for the future. It’s a state requirement for graduation, so every student must complete the process.

My older daughter just graduated in June and I had never heard of the Plan until last month. But when I learned more about the details, I realized that she did do all the required steps at her school, it just wasn’t called a High School and Beyond Plan.

Are you a visual learner? Here’s a short video on how you can engage with the Plan. If you prefer to read, keep on scrolling.

It turns out that the plan is often called something different in each district.However it’s done, though, the HSBP process must include five minimum components. Let’s dig into each:

  • Identify Career Goals
  • Identify Education Goals
    • Based on their career interests and goals, students should then look ahead to identify the educational goals they’d need to achieve for their career path. This should include guidance with information from school staff and family members on colleges, apprenticeships, career training, and military options.
  • Create a High School Course Plan (that aligns with their identified goals)
    • Before entering high school - the HSBP must be started in 7th or 8th grade - your student should look ahead to plan out their course schedules. In Washington, students need 24 credits to graduate high school, and 7 of those credits will be chosen by the student! Also, if a student would benefit from advanced or dual credit courses during high school, this it the time to decide which ones and how they’d get there. 
  • Build a Résumé
    • By the time your student is in 12th grade, they must have created a résumé or activity log that includes their experiences, skills, contact information and career objective. This one makes a lot of sense to me. Real life skills should be a priority!
  • Receive Financial Aid Information
    • Finally, a new requirement is that your child’s school must include evidence that they have given your student information about the College Bound Scholarship before the June 30th deadline of their 8th grade year, how to fill out their Financial Aid paperwork (like FAFSA or WASFA), and all deadlines for submitting these applications. 

I’ll stop there for now. The most important thing to remember is that your child is required to complete this planning process in order to graduate high school. As a parent, you have a right to be engaged in their process. 

Have you heard of this happening at your school? What do you know about the High School and Beyond Plan in your district? Do you feel like there’s not enough communication from your school? Email me and let me know how your school communicates with you (or doesn’t). I’m here to help connect you with whatever you need to support your kids.

I look forward to connecting and talking about our kids. Talk soon.


State Organizing Director
Stand for Children Washington

P.S. If you’re looking for support in advocating for your student at school, become a member of Stand for Children and I'll reach out to connect with you about advocacy training and resources.

Become a Member

Share This Page

Add a comment