Introducing the High School & Beyond Plan

High School Success, Parent & Family Engagement, Parent & Family Newsletter | 09/19/2019

Natalie Hester
Former State Organizing Director, Stand for Children Washington


Below is the first 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.

Thank you for signing up to receive our Parents & Families newsletter. My goal with this monthly email is to send you something you can actually use to support your child’s education today.

For the next three months, I’m going to focus on the High School and Beyond Plan. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry, I’m with you. Although my daughter just graduated high school this year and I have another daughter in middle school, I had never heard of this tool - or that it was a graduation requirement - until I started working at Stand. 

Clearly, we’ve got work to do. 

Here are the HSBP basics you need to know:

  • State law requires that every student complete a High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP) in order to graduate high school. 
  • The HSBP is a process that your child will work through to explore their interests and prepare them to graduate with a plan for the future. Depending on your district, it might be a PDF, a web page with links, or software with a login (see below for links to examples). Regardless of the format, the Plan is designed to adapt and flex as your student grows and changes.
  • The HSBP should be used by students and families when making decisions about elective classes they take in high school and for their final math and science classes.
  • Starting the HSBP in middle school encourages students to consider which classes they’d like to take and what their dreams are beyond high school. 

If you’re ready to dig in, here are the next steps you can take:

  1. Search for your school or district’s version of the High School and Beyond Plan. It might be a PDF, a web page, or software with a login. It may be under Counseling or Graduation Requirements on the school website.
    1. Here are a few examples: Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver
  2. If you can’t find it, download the Washington state PDF version here to get started and let your school know you couldn’t find the information.
  3. Talk with your student about their Plan and discuss where they are in the process. 
    1. "Which elective classes have you thought about taking in high school?”
    2. “What path after high school interests you the most?”
  4. Email or talk with your child’s teacher to check-in about what your school’s process is around the plan. If you can’t find any information, ask where you can find it.
  5. Reply to this email and let me know what you find out!

Want to know more? The State Board of Education has created a detailed list of what an ideal plan and process look like. This is a great resource to share with your school if you can’t find the information you’re looking for. 

Next month I’ll dig deeper into the components of the HSBP and share out what we’ve heard from other parents on this list. Thanks for reading, and best of luck getting back into the school year groove!

Talk soon,

State Organizing Director
Stand for Children Washington

P.S. If you’re looking for support in advocating for 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.

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