Academic policies & procedures

Middle School and High School

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to be honest and to display a high standard of integrity in the preparation and presentation of work for credit in all classes. The attempt of any student to present work which was not honestly performed by said student will be regarded as a serious offense which may subject the offender to a grading penalty and/or a disciplinary action. School staff will contact the parents or guardians of any student who is found to be in violation of this policy.

1.  Cheating

Dishonesty of any kind on a test or examination, written assignment, or project, illegal possession of test or examination questions, the use of unauthorized notes during a test or examination, obtaining or giving information about a test or examination from or to another student, assisting others to cheat or altering grade records are instances of cheating.

2.  Plagiarism

Offering the work of another as one’s own work without proper acknowledgment is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical material taken from books, magazines, internet sources, and other reference works or from the other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism.

Assignments/Make-Up Work

When a student is absent, the student shall be permitted to complete assignments and/or make-up work for credit toward the class grade. Upon their return, students shall be given sufficient time to gather and submit missed work.

Extended Absences – For all extended absences, the student shall be expected to complete as much of the work as possible prior to or during the term of the absence.

Planned Absences – When an absence is planned in advance, the student or parent shall be expected to obtain information about assignments and make-up work prior to the absences whenever possible. Parents may contact the school office for assistance.

Unplanned Absences – On the day the student returns to class, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain from each teacher a list of the assignments or make-up work which has not previously been provided.

Due Date – Each teacher will specify a reasonable due date for assignments and make-up work depending upon the nature of the assignment and the length and nature of the absence. If a student is unable to complete the make-up work in the designated time, they should contact the teacher as soon as they become aware that the deadline cannot be met.

Truancy – A student who has been truant shall be expected to make up missed work and may earn a maximum grade of 70.

Awards for Achievement

Academic excellence should be recognized and rewarded. Students are encouraged to accomplish more than just the minimum course requirements.

Students are encouraged to take courses to enrich their secondary school experience. Award assemblies may be held annually to recognize achievement. Recognizing and rewarding effort can motivate students to accomplish tasks that will broaden and deepen their understanding.

Athletic Achievement/NCAA

Students and parents need to be aware that, under a new ruling from the NCAA, students aspiring to attain athletic scholarships from the NCAA colleges and universities should work to pass all their courses.  The important issue is that the NCAA does not allow credit for non-traditional courses.  These courses include correspondence courses, on-line courses, and credit retrieval.  It is important for students to speak to their counselors and coaches about the choices available to ensure meeting this requirement.

Career and Technical Education

The Career and Technical programs offer specialized courses that introduce students to high wage, in-demand careers. Students learn the necessary skills and knowledge for entry level employment and post-secondary education. Instructional arrangements for Career and Technical classes may include comprehensive classrooms, pre-employment laboratories, computer laboratories, or work-based training. Coherent sequences of courses are available in the following career clusters:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts & Audio Visual Technology
  • Business, Marketing & Finance
  • Education & Training
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law and Public Service
  • Manufacturing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
  • Transportation

Endorsements are available in the areas of Business and Industry, Public Services and STEM. Career and Technical Education courses are offered to students without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex or handicapping conditions.

Granting College and High School Credit

In order to have a grade assigned, students must be enrolled at the beginning of the class, must be on the census roll as approved by the instructor of record, and must complete all requirements for the course.  According to the Texas Administrative Code 4.85, students taking dual credit courses should have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and capability.  To continue in the Alamo Colleges' dual credit program, students must earn a "C" or better in all dual credit courses. Students performing poorly in a dual credit course(s) will be counseled by the teacher and school and may be dropped from the college-level course prior to the drop deadline.  Students enrolled following the drop deadline will receive the grade earned.  The college grade will be assigned following the scale of the College as defined in the College Bulletin.  Teachers will assign grades by the deadline defined in the Annual Timeline.  All dual credit courses, high school as well as college credit, will be transcripted immediately upon a student's completion of the performance required in the course.

Class Interruptions

School announcements to students will be made only once during the day except in emergencies. Non-academic events will not be scheduled during the instructional day and will only occur before or after school. School officials will not interrupt classes to deliver a message to a student or to call a student out of class except in emergencies.

Gifted and Talented Programs

Subchapter D. Education Programs for Gifted and Talented Students

29.121 Definition

In this subchapter, “gifted and talented” means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  1. exhibits high-performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  2. possesses an unusual capacity for leadership, or
  3. excels in a specific academic field.


NISD Identification

General screening of students for the gifted and talented programs is conducted each school year. Referrals are accepted throughout the year from teachers, parents/guardians, self, peer, community members, or test scores. Referrals may be made in English or Spanish and include permission to receive services in the NISD gifted and talented program. NISD also provides testing in Spanish and works to provide interpreters for other languages.

Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the identification process. Data collected through both objective and subjective assessments shall be measured against criteria to determine individual eligibility for the program. Assessment tools may include but not be limited to the following: achievement tests, cognitive ability tests, and behavioral checklists completed by teachers and parents. The selection committee is composed of at least three educators who have received training in the education of the gifted. This committee will review assessment results and make a determination of student needs and for placement in the gifted and talented program.


Other Program Options to Meet Student Needs:

  • Credit-by-Examination; grades K-12
  • Innovative Thinkers 1, 2, and 3; grades 6-8
  • Advanced Courses; grades 6-8
  • Advanced mathematics pathway; grades 6-8
  • Advanced, Advanced Placement Courses, OnRamps, and Dual Credit Courses; grades 9-12


Monitoring Progress

Student progress is monitored in the gifted and talented program. Furlough and exit may occur if the student is not succeeding in the GT program after parent consultation.



Campus and Central Office support is available for assistance in seeking appropriate interventions for the gifted.


Academic Grading System

  •  -  90-100
  • B  -  80-89
  • C  -  75-79
  • D  -  70-74
  • F  -  69 and below

Students who have not been able to complete coursework due to excused absences or other District-approved excuses may be issued an “I” for incomplete. The incomplete work must be completed prior to the end of the succeeding grading period. The “I” will make the student ineligible for extra-curricular activities seven days after the end of the previous grading period if the “I” is still on the record. Students with an incomplete in a course regain their eligibility when the “I” is replaced with a passing grade. Students shall be given a reasonable amount of time to make up work after a grading period has ended. Incompletes must be removed within thirty (30) days of the end of the school year.


Citizenship Grading System

E - Excellent citizenship displayed in class

S - Satisfactory citizenship displayed in class

N - Citizenship needs to be improved (parent conference requested)

U - Unacceptable citizenship displayed in class (parent conference


Reporting to Parents

Parents/guardians are both entitled and encouraged to know the status of their child’s progress throughout the school year. Northside provides a variety of student reports throughout the year to include progress reports, attendance information and report cards.  Student grades, attendance/tardy data can be found on the Home Access Center (HAC).  Home Access Center (HAC) is a real-time online information system for parents and can be accessed through the Internet.

Each campus will publish the dates that progress report grades will be available for viewing in HAC.  Report cards will be made available to parents/guardians approximately one week after the end of each Marking Period (MP) and are also accessible in HAC. If a parent/guardian would like a paper copy of their child's progress report and/or report card, this can be obtained by contacting the child's school.

School attendance is essential to student success. Parents/guardians are urged to regularly monitor students' records of attendance and grades through HAC. Absences are reported for each class listed on the report card. Tardy reports are optional by school. On the attendance record, “MP" (Marking Period) indicates the number of times the student has been absent or tardy during the current grading period. “YTD” (Year to Date) indicates the total number of times the student has been absent or tardy during the entire school year. Parents/guardians are urged to be as attentive to absences as they are to grades.

Absences are reported for each class listed on the report card. Tardy reports are optional by the school. “Times This Per” indicates the number of times the student has been absent or tardy during the past grading period. “Tot To Date” indicates the total number of times the student has been absent or tardy during the entire school year. Parents are urged to be as attentive to tardies as they are to grades.


In accordance with Board Policy and the Texas Education Code, Chapter 33.005-007, Northside provides a Comprehensive School Counseling Program to meet the needs of all students. It is staffed by professional school counselors and is an integral part of the total educational program. Counselors assist students in their educational, career, personal, social and emotional development. The Comprehensive School Counseling Program is designed to provide developmentally appropriate services to all students. The Program Framework is divided into four program components: Guidance Curriculum, Responsive Services, Individual Planning, and System Support. Guidance Curriculum addresses topics such as intrapersonal effectiveness, interpersonal effectiveness, post-secondary planning and career readiness, and personal health and safety. Responsive Services address the immediate concerns of students with both prevention and intervention. Counselors respond to students’ needs both individually or in small groups. Individual planning provides guidance to all students as they plan, monitor, and manage their own educational and career development. System Support includes activities and services that support the school environment. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in the school counseling program Guidance and Counseling Program.

Materials used in the school counseling program are available for preview during parent preview events and when requested during school hours. A parent or guardian must provide consent for ongoing individual and small-group counseling.

All campus staff receives training on how to identify and refer students experiencing a mental health concerns. Students who are in crisis may self refer to a counselor. A crisis is defined by the student. Counselors and other campus helping professionals may administer the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) to determine the level of care and interventions needed for student safety.

Guidelines for Classroom Success

Students are expected to be in class on time and ready to begin class when the tardy bell rings. Students are expected to follow individual class rules as determined by the teacher. Students should bring all materials and equipment required for each class. All assigned notebooks, books, and study materials should be brought to each class. Items that are distracting such as electronic devices, stuffed animals, cameras, etc., are to be left at home. Eating candy and other foods or consuming drinks will not be allowed in the classroom.

Students will benefit from the class if they participate to the best of their ability. Preparation for the next day’s classes should be planned and completed prior to the student’s return to school the next day.

Students who do not follow these guidelines for classroom success may receive:

  1. a verbal warning
  2. a written notification to the parent or guardian or a telephone call to the parent or guardian
  3. a referral to a school administrator

Homebound Program

Homebound services may be requested for a student who is unable to attend school due to illness or injury during the school term. Such services are available to students whose projected absence from school is four weeks or longer. A medical examination by an MD practicing in the United States is required. For information call the NISD Homebound Program at 210-397-8811.


Students may receive homework assignments. Please help your student by providing the time, place, cooperation, and encouragement needed to complete assignments.

All students are responsible for taking their books, their work, and their supplies to school each day.

Special Programs


Northside ISD follows Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 and Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.28 for screening and treatment of dyslexia and related disorders. Guidelines in The Dyslexia Handbook, 2021 Updated, are followed in establishing district procedures for assessment, identification, and instruction of students. Procedures for assessing students for dyslexia and other related disorders have been established under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Students enrolling in public schools in Texas shall be assessed, as necessary, for dyslexia and other related disorders at appropriate times (TEC §38.003 (a)). The appropriate time depends upon multiple factors including the student’s reading performance; reading difficulties; poor response to supplemental, evidence-based reading instruction; teachers’ input; and input from the parents or guardians. The appropriate time for assessing is early in a student’s school career (19 TAC §74.28). While earlier is better, students should be recommended for assessment for dyslexia even if the reading difficulties appear later in a student’s school career.

Northside ISD has a continuum of services to support students with dyslexia. Contact the campus’ Special Education Campus Coordinator or Reading Specialist/Reading Teacher if you would like to inquire about these services.


Aiding Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need Special Education or Section 504 Services

For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all school districts and open enrollment charter schools must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Multi Tier System of Support (MTSS). The implementation of MTSS has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all struggling students.

If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, their parent may contact the individual(s) listed below to learn about the school’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation or for a Section 504 evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services. A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time.


Special Education Referrals:

If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also allow the parent to give written consent for the evaluation.

Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing. Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.

If the district or charter school decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent to evaluate the student. However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.

There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline. If a district or charter school receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies.

Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply. Upon completing the evaluation, the district or charter school must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.

Additional information regarding special education is available from the district or charter school in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.


Contact Person for Special Education Referrals:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is:

Contact Person: Dr. Coleman Heckman

Phone Number: 210-397-3508


Section 504 Referrals:

Each school district or charter school must have standards and procedures in place for the evaluation and placement of students in the district’s or charter school’s Section 504. Districts and charter schools must also implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for a parent or guardian to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parent or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure.


Contact Person for Section 504 Referrals:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for Section 504 services is:

Contact Person: Jocelyn Dudney

Phone Number: 210-397-8741

Additional Information:

The following websites provide information and resources for students with disabilities and their families.

  • Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Special Education Process,
  • Partners Resource Network,
  • Special Education Information Center,
  • Texas Project First,


Section 504

No qualified disabled student shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any

District service, program, or activity. 42 U.S.C. 12132;29 U.S.C. 794;34 CFR 104.4(a) The District designates the following employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, regarding student matters:

Name: Jocelyn Dudney

Address: 5651 Grissom Road, San Antonio, TX 78238

Office Telephone: (210) 397-8741


Honors Waiver – No Pass, No Play

The following guidelines will be used to exempt middle school and high school students who do not make a 70 average in an Advanced Placement, Advanced or honors course from the no pass–no play provision.

  1. A student seeking a no pass–no play waiver for advanced or honors classes must fill out the district form. (Students in a regular class are not eligible to apply for a no-pass, no-play waiver.)
  2. A student may only apply for an advanced or honors course waiver if their failing grade in an advanced or honors course was 60 or above.
  3. A student should have the expectation they may receive a maximum of three waivers during the school year.


Each campus library supports the curriculum and provides a wide variety of materials suitable to the interest and abilities of students in their pursuit of knowledge and love of reading. Information literacy skills for life-long learning are taught, practiced, and applied. For each school to maintain a high quality collection, students learn responsibility in caring for library materials. If library materials are lost or damaged, the student and/or parent/guardian are expected to pay for them.

Librarians and teachers select materials for each campus library following comprehensive District guidelines which have been established to ensure that up-to-date, accurate information is provided for students’ curricular needs and that materials appropriate to the interests, age, maturity, and reading skills level of all students at that campus are available. Because of this need for a broad range of materials, a student may have access to materials that address issues that may be beyond the maturity level of that student. Parents of all students are urged to be aware of their child’s choices and to take the opportunity to discuss such materials with them. These issues can lead to good family discussions and learning experiences.

If a concern arises about the selection that a student has made from the library, that concern should be discussed with the campus librarian or administration.

Married and/or Pregnant Students

  1. Any student who shall be married at the time such student seeks enrollment in any school of the District shall report the fact of the marriage, the name of his or her spouse, and place where the spouse resides.
  2. Any student who marries after enrollment in any school of this District shall promptly report that fact to the principal of the school attended by the student and shall also report the name of their spouse and the place where the spouse resides.
  3. There shall be no discrimination against any married or pregnant student because of marriage or pregnancy. Such a student shall be allowed to attend the school where assigned; however, the student shall be expected to attend classes regularly and keep up with their school work. No married student and no pregnant student, except as outlined in paragraph 4, shall be denied the right to be eligible to participate in any extracurricular or other activities of the school because of marriage or pregnancy.
  4. If any student shall be or become pregnant during any term while enrolled in a school in this District, then, for the benefit of her health and welfare and that of her expected child, and for the purpose of informing school personnel so that counsel, protection and advice may be given, she shall be required to inform the nurse and/or principal of the school as soon as such condition is known to her. Upon being so informed, a referral is made to the School Age Parenting Program (SAPP). The student, and parent if the student is minor, will be asked to sign a release of medical information. Once completed the SAPP staff shall consult with the physician for the purpose of determining when, and if, in the best interest for the health and welfare of the student and her expected child, other appropriate educational arrangements should be made. After the birth of a child of any pregnant student, the mother shall be permitted to re-enter school upon written advice of her physician and approval of the principal.
  5. School-Age Parenting classes and special services are available to assist such students to continue their education. The counselor or school nurse should be consulted for further information.

Parent-Teacher Conferences and Visitors

Parents who desire private conferences with teachers or the principal should contact the school in advance to arrange conferences during the school day.  At no time should a visitor call a teacher from the class for a conference at the door of the room.

Parents are always welcome and are encouraged to visit.  A 24-hour advance notice is required to observe a class. All visitors are required to sign in at the principal’s office immediately upon entering the building. We especially invite parents and other members of the community to visit during Texas Public School Week in March.

No student is to visit another school campus while that school is in session unless prior arrangements have been made by the principal of both schools involved. Any student who makes an unauthorized visit to another school is subject to disciplinary action.

Parental Rights and Responsibilities as Addressed in Texas Education Code

Sec. 26.001. PURPOSE.

  1. Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and school district boards of trustees in their children’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children.
  2. The rights listed in this chapter are not exclusive. This chapter does not limit a parent’s rights under other law.
  3. Unless otherwise provided by law, a board of trustees, administrator, educator, or other person may not limit parental rights.
  4. Each board of trustees shall provide for procedures to consider complaints that a parent’s right has been denied.
  5. Each board of trustees shall cooperate in the establishment of ongoing operations of at least one parent-teacher organization at each school in the District to promote parental involvement in school activities.

Sec. 26.002. DEFINITION. In this chapter, “parent” includes a person standing in parental relation. The term does not include a person as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated or a person not entitled to possession of or access to a child under a court order.

Sec. 26.003. RIGHT CONCERNING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS. (a) A parent is entitled to:

  1. petition the board of trustees designating the school in the district that the parent’s child will attend, as provided by Section 25.033;
  2. reasonable access to the school principal, or to a designated administrator with the authority to reassign a student, to request a change in the class or teacher to which the parent’s child has been assigned, if the reassignment or change would not affect the assignment or reassignment of another student;
  3. request, with the expectation that the request will not be unreasonably denied:
    1.  the addition of a specific academic class in the course of study of the parent’s child in keeping with the required curriculum if sufficient interest is shown in the addition of the class to make it economically practical to offer the class;
    2.  that the parent’s child be permitted to attend a class for credit above the child’s grade level, whether in the child’s school or another school, unless the board or its designated representative expects that the child cannot perform satisfactorily in the class; or
    3. that the parent’s child be permitted to graduate from high school earlier than the child would normally graduate, if the child completes each course required for graduation; and
  4. have a child who graduates early as provided by Subdivision (3)(C) participate in graduation ceremonies at the time the child graduates.
    1. The decision of the board of trustees concerning a request described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3) is final and may not be appealed.

Sec. 26.004. ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS. A parent is entitled to access to all written records of a school district concerning the parent’s child, including:

  1. attendance records;
  2. test scores;
  3. grades;
  4. disciplinary records;
  5. counseling records;
  6. psychological records;
  7. applications for admission;
  8. health and immunization information;
  9. teacher and counselor evaluations; and
  10. reports of behavioral patterns.

Sec. 26.005. ACCESS TO STATE ASSESSMENTS. Except as provided by Section 39.023(e), a parent is entitled to access to a copy of each state assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023 to the parent’s child.

Sec. 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS. (a) A parent is entitled to:

  1.  review all teaching materials, textbooks, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child; and
  2. review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered.
    1. A school district shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for review by parents. The district may specify reasonable hours for review.
    2. A student’s parent is entitled to request that the school district or open-enrollment charter school the student attends allow the student to take home any textbook used by the student. Subject to the availability of a textbook, the district or school shall honor the request. A student who takes home a textbook must return the textbook to school at the beginning of the next school day if requested to do so by the student’s teacher. In this subsection, “textbook” has the meaning assigned by Section 31.002.

(NOTE: Parent concerns about the appropriateness of teaching materials should first be presented to the campus principal. Complaints not resolved at the campus level may be made to a committee at the District level as outlined in NISD procedures.)


  1. A parent is entitled to complete access to any meeting of the board of trustees of the school district, other than a closed meeting held in compliance with Subchapters D and E, Chapter 551, Government Code.
  2. A board of trustees of a school district must hold each public meeting of the board within the boundaries of the district except as required by law or except to hold a joint meeting with another district. All public meetings must comply with Chapter 551, Government Code.


  1. A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent’s child except as provided by Section 38.004.
  2. An attempt by any school district employee to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from the child’s parent is grounds for discipline under Section 21.104, 21.156, or 21.211, as applicable.


  1. The agency shall produce and provide to the school district sufficient copies of a comprehensive, easily understood document that explains the process by which an individualized education program is developed for a student in a special education program and the rights and responsibilities of a parent concerning the process. The document must include information a parent needs to effectively participate in an admission, review, and dismissal committee meeting for the parent’s child.
  2. The agency will ensure that each school district provides the document required under this section to the parent as provided by 20 U.S.C. Section 1415 (b):
    1. as soon as practicable after a child is referred to determine the child’s eligibility for admission into the district’s special education program, but at least five school days before the date of the initial meeting of the admission, review, and dismissal committee; and
    2. at any other time on reasonable request of the child’s parent.
  3. The agency shall produce and provide to school districts a written explanation of the options and requirements for providing assistance to students who have learning difficulties or who need or may need special education. The explanation must state that a parent is entitled at any time to request an evaluation of the parent’s child for special education services under Section 29.004. Each school year, each district shall provide the written explanation to a parent of each district student by including the explanation in the student handbook or by another means.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 6 § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 539, § 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


  1. A school district or open-enrollment charter school that seeks to withhold information from a parent who has requested public information relating to the parent’s child under Chapter 552, Government Code, and that files suit as described by Section 552.324, Government Code, to challenge a decision by the attorney general issued under Subchapter G, Chapter 552, Government Code, must bring the suit not later than the 30th calendar day after the date the school district or open-enrollment charter school receives the decisions of the attorney general being challenged.
  2. A court shall grant a suit described by Subsection (a) precedence over other pending matters to ensure prompt resolution of the subject matter of the suit.
  3. Notwithstanding any other law, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not appeal the decision of a court in a suit filed under Subsection (a). This subsection does not affect the right of a parent to appeal the decision.
  4. If the school district or open-enrollment charter school does not bring suit within the period established by Subsection (a), the school district or open-enrollment charter school shall comply with the decision of the attorney general.
  5. A school district or open-enrollment charter school that receives a request from a parent for public information relating to the parent’s child shall comply with Chapter 552, Government Code. If an earlier deadline for bringing suit is established under Chapter 552, Government Code, Subsection (a) does not apply. This section does not affect the earlier deadline for purposes of Section 532.353(b) (3) for a suit brought by an officer for public information.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1335, § 8, eff. June 19, 1999.


  1. An employee of a school district must obtain the written consent of a child’s parent before the employee may:
    1. conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment, unless the examination, test, or treatment is required under Section 38.004 or state or federal law regarding requirements for special education; or
    2. make or authorize the making of a videotape of a child or record or authorize the recording of a child’s voice.
  2. An employee of a school district is not required to obtain the consent of a child’s parent before the employee may make a videotape of a child or authorize the recording of a child’s voice if the videotape or voice recording is to be used only for:
    1. purposes of safety, including the maintenance of order and discipline in common areas of the school or on school buses;
    2. a purpose related to a co-curricular or extracurricular activity;
    3. a purpose related to regular classroom instruction;
    4. media coverage of the school.

Board Policy EF. All instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of students.

No student will be required to participate in a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following topics:

  1. Political affiliations;
  2. Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or his or her family;
  3. Sex behavior and attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom students have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  7. Income (other than that required to determine a child’s eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program); without the prior written consent of the student’s parent or, if the student is an emancipated minor or an adult, without the prior written consent of the student. Any surveys that are considered for student response (required or voluntary) must comply with these legal requirements AND must have prior approval of the principal.


  1. A parent is entitled to remove the parent’s child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. A parent is not entitled to remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester.
  2. This section does not exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the school district and the agency.

Sec. 26.011. COMPLAINTS. The board of trustees of each school district shall adopt a grievance procedure under which the board shall address each complaint that the board receives concerning violation of a right guaranteed by this chapter.

Sec. 26.012. FEE FOR COPIES. The agency or a school district may charge a reasonable fee in accordance with Subchapter F, Chapter 552, Government Code, for copies of materials provided to a parent under this chapter.


  1. If the parents or guardians of at least 22 students at a school request a transfer for the same school year to another school in the district for the purpose of enrolling in an educational program offered at that school, beginning with the following school year the district shall:
    1. offer the program at the school from which the transfers were requested; or
    2. offer the program at the school from which the transfers were requested by teleconference, if available to the district.
  2. In this section, “educational program” means a course or series of courses in the required curriculum under Section 28.002, other than a fine arts course under Section 28.002(a)(2)(D) or a career and technology course under Section 28.002(a)(2)(F).

(NOTE: The request for a program must be made by March 1 of the previous school year to insure efficient course scheduling and teacher acquisition).

Physical Education

Texas requires that students in grades 6-8 accumulate Physical Education credit in which they participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day or 225 minutes over a two-week block. Students must also complete one year of Physical Education credit while in high school to graduate. Please refer to the individual campus handbooks or contact the campus counselor for specific information.

A student may have a temporary or permanent physical condition that prevents their full participation in physical education. There are two alternatives to full participation: restricted physical education and adapted physical education.


Dress for Physical Activity

Dressing out on a regular basis is a requirement to enhance skill development and physical activity while ensuring safety and hygiene. Fully enclosed rubber-soled athletic or tennis style shoes should be worn while participating. Additional requirements regarding jewelry, dress, and accessories may be enforced to ensure student safety during physical activity.


Participation Requirements

A student may have a temporary or permanent physical condition that prevents

their full participation in physical education. Non-participation for three days or less will be excused by a parent’s note; however any student not able to participate because of extended illness or injury past three days, must have a written excuse from a physician or a member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas. This written excuse must include the time span of inactivity, limitations, or appropriate activity levels.

A student may have a temporary or permanent physical condition that prevents their full participation in physical education. There are two alternatives to full participation: restricted physical education and adapted physical education.


Restricted Physical Education

A restricted physical education form is available through the campus website or district Physical Education Department and should be completed by a physician.  A student will be assigned to a general physical education class where the teacher will modify or use an alternate activity to accommodate the student’s physical limitations.  Examples of physical conditions which can be accommodated through restricted physical education include asthma, arthritis, and temporary orthopedic conditions.  Requests for restricted physical education should be made to the student’s physical education teacher or counselor.


Adapted Physical Education

A student will be assigned to an adapted physical education program if the student has a significant limitation in the psycho-motor domain which requires an individualized program and intensive interaction with an adapted physical education specialist. Examples of physical conditions which are appropriately accommodated in an adapted physical education program include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and severe orthopedic and visual impairments. Requests for adapted physical education will be referred to the Adapted Physical Education Lead Teacher.


Physical Fitness Testing Requirements

All students in grades 3–12, enrolled in a course earning physical education credit, must be assessed at least once annually for physical fitness. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) identified FitnessGram® as the program used by school districts. Parents may request in writing their student's physical fitness scores at the end of the school year from their PE teacher.



Placement of a student in Accelerated, Advanced, or Advanced Placement courses, or remediation may be determined by standardized test scores, teacher recommendation, or past performance of the student entry placement tests. Data collected from GT Program screening and assessment can assist in making placement decisions for GT students in Advanced, Advanced Placement, and dual credit courses. Students who take a STAAR/EOC test in a given subject are now included in the state-required HB4545 process.  Students not meeting standard (or who do not take a STAR/EOC test) in any STAAR assessment will enter the following grade under an Accelerated Instruction Plan with focused and monitored interactions, including a required 30 hours of targeted intervention for each course where the assessment standard was not met.

Course Selection

Northside ISD recognizes the value of student participation in advanced academic coursework and encourages students to graduate from high school with at least one advanced academic course credit as Advanced Placement/Dual Credit/UT On-Ramps. Therefore, equitable access is a guiding principle for Northside ISD's AP/Dual Credit/UT On-Ramps program and we encourage all willing and academically prepared students to take advantage of our wide variety of AP/Dual Credit/UT On-Ramps classes.

When new students are enrolled, they are placed in classes based on the information and records supplied at that time by the student and parents. If official records do not agree with verbal or unofficial information, student placement will be adjusted in accordance with the official records.


Regular Class Periods

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes assigned to them. Students are also expected to bring all of the necessary materials to class each day and are expected to participate in all class activities and complete all assigned school work. Students will be expected to conduct themselves in a proper manner and follow all classroom regulations.


Curriculum Diagnostic Benchmarks

Northside ISD has established consistent timelines and curriculum for each grade level, course and/or subject area. Students take district Curriculum Diagnostic Benchmarks (CDBs) after significant units of instruction. The results of the CDBs are used to guide new instruction and re-teaching, determine students’ strengths and weaknesses in the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), and determine whether instructional interventions are needed. Results of the CDBs may also be shared with parents during conferences to inform them of their child’s progress. At the secondary level, Curriculum Diagnostic Benchmarks are administered in the areas of English/LA, Math (high school utilizes unit exams), Science and Social Studies from grades 6th through 12th.


NOTE: This testing is sometimes referred to as “testing for acceleration.” It should not be confused with the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses and tests.

Students in grades 6 through 12 who believe they have already mastered the content of any academic course, either with or without prior instruction in the course, may apply for Credit-by-Exam testing. The students should contact their counselor to get the Credit-by-Exam application. The application may also be downloaded from the Testing website. This application must be turned in to the Testing office by the posted deadline.

Students are tested in appropriate subject areas. Credit-By-Exam tests are rigorous since the intent is to measure the student’s mastery of the content of entire courses. Northside ISD uses exams purchased from Texas Tech University K-12 to evaluate a student’s mastery of Texas standards for a given subject or discipline.

Credit-by–Exam tests for secondary students are administered throughout the year. Tests are administered on a Saturday in December, January, April, June, July, and August. A special session for middle school math only is scheduled for September.

A link to study guides for the subject area test to be taken will be sent to students along with confirmation of registration for the test.

Students who want to gain credit in a course without prior instruction must score 80% or higher on the Credit-by-Exam test in order to receive credit. At the high school level, this grade will be used in computing the student's grade point average (GPA). Students who want to receive credit from a previously failed course or who want to validate prior instruction in a course must score 70% on the Credit-by-Exam test in order to receive credit.

If the student passes the test, the score earned on the test will be entered on the student’s permanent record file unless the parent and/or student declines in writing to accept the score within 90 calendar days after receiving the exam results. This grade will be used in computing the student’s grade point average (GPA). Honors/Advanced/AP points will not be awarded for Credit-by-Exam grades.

Note: Students may not test out of a course in which they are currently enrolled or take a Credit-By-Exam test in an attempt to attain a higher grade on a course or Credit-By-Exam they have previously passed.

Note: According to 19 TAC 74.24 (c) (7), if a student fails to earn credit by exam for a specific high school course before the beginning of the school year in which the student would ordinarily be required to enroll in that course in accordance with the school district's prescribed course sequence, the student must satisfactorily complete the course to receive credit.

Performance courses such as physical education, band, choir and career and technical courses are not eligible for Credit-by-Exam tests. For more information regarding Credit-by-Exam, go to the Testing website.

Student Education Records

The school District maintains student education records at each elementary, middle, high or special school.  An education record generally includes: applications for enrollment; standardized achievement test scores; grades; attendance dates; scores on standardized intelligence, aptitude, and psychological tests; interest inventory results; health data; family background information; teacher or counselor ratings and observations; reports on behavior patterns or disciplinary actions; and graduation dates.



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s educational records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s educational records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.


Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at

Or you may contact us at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202-5920


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (eligible student) certain rights with respect to the student’s educational records.  They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 calendar days of the day Northside Independent School District receives a request for access.  Both parents, either married, separated or divorced (unless evidenced by court order, state statute, or legally binding document related to separation, divorce or custody revoking these rights) have access to a student’s education records until the student becomes 18 years of age and is no longer a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1964.  After the student becomes 18 years of age and he or she is no longer a dependent student, then the student retains sole access to his or her educational records.  A person having the right to review educational records should submit to the school principal (if student currently enrolled) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect.  The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the person making the request of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  If the student is no longer enrolled at Northside Independent School District, the request must be made to the Office of the Superintendent.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading.  Parents or eligible students may ask Northside Independent School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. They should write to the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the rights of privacy.  If Northside Independent School District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.  Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, parents and eligible students are not allowed to request amendment of a grade given for a student’s performance in a course.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.  One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.  Upon request, Northside Independent School District will disclose educational records, without consent, to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

A person who requests copies of a student’s educational records shall pay the actual cost of reproducing the records.  Reproduction cost is $.10 per page, exclusive of mailing costs.


Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Northside ISD, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s educational records. However, Northside ISD may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Northside ISD to include this type of information from your child’s educational records in certain school publications. Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
  • The annual yearbook;
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists;
  • Graduation programs; and
  • Sports activity sheets, such as football, showing weight and height of team members.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but  are  not  limited  to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local education agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses and telephone listings – for students in grades 9-12 unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.

If you do not want Northside ISD to disclose directory information from your child’s educational records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District (the principal of the student’s school) via the ‘Parent-Student Authorization Form’ within two weeks after initial enrollment each school year. Northside ISD has designated the following information as directory information: student’s name, address, telephone listing, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.

The ‘Parent-Student Authorization Form’ is included towards the end of this handbook. If you do not want Directory Information to be released for your child, you must complete the form and return it to your child’s campus.


Rights Under The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

PPRA affords parents certain rights regarding the conducting of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).
  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  8. Income, other than as required by law to determine eligibility.


  • Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of –
  1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and,
  3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.


  • Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –
  1. Protected information surveys of students;
  2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
  3. Instructional material used as part of the education curriculum.


These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.

Northside Independent School District will directly notify parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below, and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey.   Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys.  If you wish to review any survey or instructional material used in connection with any protected information or marketing survey, please submit a request to your child’s campus principal.  The principal will notify you of the time and place where you may review these materials.  You have the right to review a survey and /or instructional materials before the survey is administered to a student.


Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement:

  • Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
  • Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by DOE.
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.


Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20202-5920

Summer School

The purpose of summer school generally is to provide remediation or acceleration. It is recommended that students not take a core course (Math, English, Science and Social studies) for advancement without express permission from the student’s counselor. Such permission will only be given for serious reasons. Students may take other courses offered, usually electives, for advancement or enrichment.

Summer school provides an excellent opportunity for students who may wish to make up credits because of time lost from an extended illness, failure of a subject, or a desire to review a subject in preparation for more advanced work. Students wishing to attend summer school should seek information and approval from their counselor.

High school students may earn up to 1-1/2 units of credits in summer school. (See -Retrieving Credit Through Repetition of Courses in the High School Section.)

Only passing grades of 70 or higher will be accepted for a previously earned failing grade.

Instructional Materials

All instructional materials, including Chromebooks, are the property of Northside Independent School District. The use of these materials is the right of every student in Texas, but this right carries with it the basic responsibilities of proper use and good care.

Students will be issued instructional materials for each subject they are taking if available and needed. It is the responsibility of the student to take excellent care of any materials issued to them. Any damage to the instructional materials will result in a fine. If a student is unable to locate or return any of the materials, they will be required to pay for it before another is issued.

Northside ISD utilizes a barcode tracking system for instructional materials. When they are checked out, a link is established between the material and the student. When it is turned in, credit will be given to the student for returning the material originally issued. If the bar code is unreadable, the student returning it will be liable for the full price of the issued material.

Students should know where materials issued to them are at all times. It is poor practice to permit other students to “borrow” these items, especially since students are responsible for the condition of them and any damage which may occur.

Calculators which are issued to students for their personal use are District property. If a calculator is damaged or lost, the student is responsible for the repair or replacement fee.


Transcripts of a student’s high school academic achievement record (AAR) must be requested online at Transcripts are $3.00 each for current NISD students and $5.00 each for alumni. Transcripts do not include SAT and ACT scores; therefore, students must request those scores to be sent directly from the testing center to the recipient. It is the responsibility of the current or former student to verify the delivery method that is acceptable to the university, college, employer or agency prior to ordering.   The state of Texas considers a transcript to be “official” only if sent directly from Northside ISD to the recipient school, employer, or agency.


Tutoring may be provided by a certified teacher in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science before and/or after school or during advisory in special situations. As service to the school, some honor societies offer peer tutoring to students throughout the school year. Students should contact their counselor or Academic Dean for further information about tutoring.

Waiver of Fees

Upon receipt by the District of reliable proof that a student and their parent or guardian are unable to pay a fee or deposit required by the school, such fee or deposit shall be waived. The student and their parent or guardian must present evidence of their inability to pay to the appropriate principal who shall determine eligibility for a fee waiver.

Withdrawing from School

When it becomes necessary for a student to withdraw from school, they should report to the attendance office with a parent/guardian stating the reason and date to be withdrawn. When verified, the student is issued a withdrawal form to be filled in by each of the student’s teachers. After this form has been completed, the student reports back to the office for the signatures of a principal, a counselor, and the attendance secretary. In cases of extenuating circumstances, the school principal should be contacted.

It is imperative that every student who withdraws from school follows all of the necessary procedures and obtains all of the necessary signatures pertinent to withdrawal. Failure to do so will delay the student’s transcript being sent to other schools, jobs or military service.

Middle School

National Junior Honor Society

All of the middle schools in the Northside Independent School District sponsor a chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. Seventh and eighth-grade students who have attended the same Northside school for the equivalent of one semester, and who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, character, citizenship, and service will be considered for membership. Students may not apply for membership. Past faculty councils have required a cumulative grade average of 90 or above for 7th and 8th (if applicable) grade work for a student to be considered for membership.

A faculty council is appointed annually by the principal. This council determines final selection for membership by reviewing an assessment of each scholastically eligible student according to criteria based upon qualities of character, citizenship, leadership, and service.

Membership in the National Junior Honor Society is both an honor and a responsibility. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue to demonstrate those qualities. Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.

A National Junior Honor Society member who transfers to another school and brings a letter from the former principal or chapter adviser to the new school adviser shall be accepted automatically as a member in the new school’s chapter. Transfer members must meet the new chapter’s standards within one semester in order to retain membership.

San Antonio Prep Program

NISD students may apply to attend the Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) that is held at UTSA and other sites during the summer. Students are required to pay tuition to participate in this program, with a reduction in fees for qualified students. If students successfully complete the program they can be awarded up to four high school credits, one for each summer of completion. During the fall after each summer session, parents may complete an online form and pay a fee to the PREP Central Office to request a transcript be sent to NISD. UTSA will only post P or F (Pass or Fail), which will not count toward GPA rank points. If the PREP grade is received by NISD, it shall be posted to the student's transcript and cannot be removed for any reason.

Promotion and Retention of Students

Middle school students must attain an overall average of 70 or above for the year in all courses taken. In addition, students shall attain an average of 70 or above in all but one of the core academic areas.

  1. Language Arts
  2. Mathematics
  3. Social Studies
  4. Science

If a student fails to attain the previous criteria they will be retained in that grade level. Parents of these students should be included in the retention decision. However, the final decision rests with school officials. Students should be encouraged to take advantage of opportunities such as remediation, tutoring, summer school, etc. to ensure they remain at grade level.

Subject Requirements

Generally, the course schedule for each grade is:

Grade 6

  • ELA 6/Advanced 
  • Math 6/Accelerated Math 6
  • Science 6 
  • Soc. Studies 6 
  • P.E. / Healthy Habits 
  • Elective

Grade 7

  • ELA 7/Advanced
  • Math 7/Accelerated Pre-Algebra/MS Math Bridge
  • Science 7/Advanced
  • TX History/Advanced
  • P.E. or Athletics 
  • Elective

Grade 8

  • ELA 8/Advanced
  • Pre-Algebra/Adv MS. Algebra
  • Science 8/Advanced
  • U.S. History/Advanced
  • MAPS & Comm Apps
  • P.E. or Athletics
  • Elective

In middle school, students will take eight classes a day. One course in Fine Arts must be completed during the three years in middle school.  Fine Arts electives include: Band, Choir, Orchestra, Dance, Art and Theater Arts.

Other electives differ across campuses. Not all middle schools offer all electives. Contact your student's counselor for information about campus specific offerings.

Sixth graders will take one semester of Physical Education and one semester of Healthy Habits. Healthy Habits focuses on developing skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for students to improve quality of life through goal setting, decision making, interpersonal communication, self-management, and self-advocacy.   

All 8th grade students have the opportunity to take one semester of Methodology for Academic and Personal Success - MAPS (0.5 HS Credit) in the fall and one semester of Communication Applications - Comm Apps (0.5 HS Credit) in the spring. MAPS is a key transition course that provides 0.5 high school elective credit and Comm Apps satisfies the Speech credit requirement for NISD graduation. Students identified as gifted complete Innovative Thinkers 3 in 8th grade, in lieu of MAPS and Communication Applications, where they will fulfill the requirements for the high school Speech credit.

Students who do not meet standard on the STAAR assessment in Reading and/or Math may be enrolled in a supplemental course in lieu of an elective.

Testing Program (Middle School)

All eligible students will participate in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). The content of the STAAR tests is rigorous and includes portions of the College/Career Readiness Standards.

The tests will include:

  • 6th Grade: reading and math
  • 7th Grade: reading and math
  • 8th Grade: reading, math, social studies and science

Middle school students who take Algebra I will take the STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) test. This test is a rigorous assessment.  Students taking the EOC must be aware that there is an EOC requirement for high school graduation. If a student fails to meet the passing standard set for the EOC test, the student will receive accelerated instruction and will have to retake the test.

As required in Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §101.3011, students who have completed a high school end-of-course assessment while in middle school must take either the corresponding ACT® or the SAT® while in high school to fulfill federal testing requirements. Northside ISD offers all 11th grade students an SAT administration on a school day free of charge.

Parents are urged to have all students present during all testing programs and to encourage their students to do their best on every test. The results provide valuable information to the students, their parents, teachers, counselors and NISD policy-makers through evaluation of individual, classroom, campus and District performance.

Students are to bring their Northside provided Chromebook (fully charged) and charging cable to school on testing days. Students who have not checked out a Northside Chromebook will be provided a device on testing days. Students are not allowed to use personal technology devices including cell phones during state assessments.

Students who do not meet the standards on one or more STAAR assessments will receive targeted academic support in the content area(s) where they did not demonstrate proficiency.

For additional information, go to

High School

Classification of Students

For freshmen enrolling for the first time in high school in 2007-08 and all years thereafter need 26 credits to graduate from the District in grades 9-12, promotion to the next grade shall be based upon the student’s accumulation of credits earned and core subject area courses successfully completed toward graduation. Students shall meet the following credit totals and the mandatory subject area requirements:

  • Grade 9 0-4.5 credits
  • Grade 10 5-10.5 credits (5 credits must include 1 credit in English and 1 credit in either mathematics or science)
  • Grade 11 11-16.5 credits (11 credits must include 2 credits in English and a minimum of 3 credits in mathematics and science and 1 credit in social studies)
  • Grade 12 17 credits (17  credits must include 3 credits in English, 2 credits in mathematics, 2 credits in science, and 2 credits in social studies) In addition, students must be enrolled in all remaining courses required for graduation.

All students in grades 9-12 shall be enrolled in an English, mathematics, science, and social studies class. Students in grade 12 who have not passed all four sections of the EOC tests shall also be enrolled in the appropriate core course to ensure their passing. Students must make a deliberate effort to retrieve credits through credit retrieval, or summer school in order to be classified at the appropriate grade level.


Students enrolling in 2011-2012 and all years thereafter will need 26 credits to graduate

For freshmen enrolling for the first time in high school in 2011-2012 and all years thereafter, they will need 26 credits to graduate from the District in grades 9-12.  Promotion to the next grade will be based upon the student’s accumulation of credits. Students shall meet the following credit totals:

  • Grade 9 0-5.5
  • Grade 10 6-11.5
  • Grade 11 12-18.5
  • Grade 12 19

All students in grades 9-12 shall be enrolled in the appropriate courses in order to ensure success in the End-of-Course tests.  Students in grades 9-12 shall take the 5 End-of-Course tests in the courses in which they are enrolled.


The End-of-Course tests will be administered in the following areas:

  • English I, English II
  • Algebra I
  • United States History
  • Biology

College Readiness

Northside ISD is building a college-going culture. The entrance requirements of colleges vary. The individual student should check the catalogue of the college he plans to attend and follow the particular recommendations of that college. The College and Career Readiness Center maintains a library of college catalog for students’ use. Students may write the college of their choice for additional catalogs. The counselors will assist the individual student in selecting a college that best meets their particular requirements.

College bound students should plan their high school curriculum in order to be well prepared for college entrance. A typical college preparatory program would include: English 1-4, algebra 1-2, geometry and 1 additional math course, and one of the following (math independent study, precalculus, statistics, or calculus), international language 3 years, 4 science courses including biology, at least one physical science course (IPC, chemistry, physics), and additional science credits to total four, world geography, world history, U.S. history, U.S. government, economics and 1 unit in fine arts. Additional coursework should be at an equal or greater level of difficulty and tailored both to the student’s interest and selection of college.


College Prep Courses in Math and English

In accordance with House Bill 5, Section 10, Northside ISD has partnered with UTSA , Texas A&M San Antonio and the colleges of ACCD to develop the College Prep courses in Math and English. These courses are for college-bound 12th grade students who have passed the STAAR test, but who do not have qualifying TSI, SAT or ACT scores.  Students who successfully complete a College Prep class with a 75% or higher will be certified as ready for entry-level college coursework and will avoid being placed in remedial, non-credit bearing Math or English courses their freshman year in college.


College Entrance Examinations

Most colleges require an entrance examination - either the ACT (American College Test) or the SAT(Scholastic Assessment Test). These examinations are given at various test centers throughout the city during the year. Students should consult the catalog of each college to determine which entrance exams are required and whether the college requires additional achievement tests.

The SAT will be administered in the spring semester for juniors at each high school and magnet school. Students  are advised to re-take the SAT or take the ACT college entrance exam in the summer following their junior year or early in the fall of their senior year to improve their scores. Registration materials are available in the Counseling Office and College, Career, and Military Advisor's office. Deadline for registration is approximately one month in advance of the test.

SAT Preparation Course

All secondary students have access to an online test preparation course and tutorial program Learning Express Library. While teachers will assist juniors with some of the preparation, it is critical each junior arranges to begin preparation for this test early in the junior year.

Additionally, Northside offers a live online, instructor led, SAT Prep course that is open to all juniors currently enrolled in an NISD high school. The SAT Prep course is offered during the second semester, in the weeks leading up to the SAT School Day Test.  Students can choose between weekday classes and Saturday classes. There is a nominal fee for Northside students. Contact the school counseling office and College, Career, Military Advisor for more information about dates, times, and locations for the course.


College Night

NISD College Night is held for all Northside seniors each Fall semester.  Numerous colleges and universities are available to provide valuable information. Contact your campus counselor for specific details.


J.D. Miller Memorial Student Aid Library

The J.D. Miller Memorial Student Aid Library has a collection of catalogs from every college and university in the United States as well as Canada and Mexico. A career library of occupational literature is also available. The information center provides general information about sources of financial assistance, scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. This library, funded by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, is located at GPM South Tower, Suite 530, 800 N.W. Loop 410. Phone 525-8494.


NCAA Athletic Eligibility

Students who plan on attending NCAA Division I colleges as eligible athletes must meet the following requirements:

  1. Achieve a cumulative minimum grade point average of 2.00 (based on a maximum of 4.00) in a core curriculum of at least 13 academic courses including:
    • 3 years English
    • 2 years Math
    • 2 years Social Science
    • 2 years Natural or Physical Science
    • 4 years of additional core academic units
    • Only courses that are defined as “academic” will be counted. Remedial, special education, vocational, developmental, and basic courses will not qualify. Courses must be at the regular or higher level of instruction.
    • For students entering college after Aug. 1, 1996, course requirements for Division I will include 4 years of English and one year of both Algebra and Geometry.
  2. A combined score range of 700-900 on the SAT I verbal and math sections or a composite score of 17-21 on the ACT, dependent on the student’s GPA from 2.00 to above 2.5.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to see that appropriate verification of course and grade point average forms are requested. The NCAA frequently revises standards and effective dates, so the student should contact your prospective college for current information.

College Visits

In NISD, one of the goals of our secondary schools is to create a college going culture. To this end, NISD high schools allow students in their junior and senior years to go on college visits.  As long as these visits are given prior approval, documented and do not exceed two (2) school days per school year, college visits are considered excused absences.  Any days missed for college visits in excess of two (2) per school year will not be excused.

For seniors who wish to be exempt from spring semester exams, up to two (2) days of college visit can be taken in the spring semester with prior approval and documentation. These two (2) days would not count toward the maximum of three (3) absences to be eligible for exam exemptions.  Any days in excess of two (2) for college visits would count toward the senior exam exemption total.  If a senior takes two (2) college visit days in the spring these will count as the two (2) per year mentioned in paragraph one above.

Correspondence Courses

Units of credit may be taken by correspondence, applicable toward graduation, upon approval by the counselor. A student must enroll for such subjects prior to October 1st of the current school year. Only courses from correspondence schools approved by the Texas Education Agency will be accepted for credit.

Correspondence work, if it is to be counted toward graduation, must be completed on or before April 1st prior to May graduation. Successful completion of such work is the responsibility of the student and the institution from which the work is scheduled. (See Substituting Grades Earned in Summer School or by Correspondence.)

Graduation Exercises

Only those students who have completed all requirements for graduation will be permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies.

Alternate Graduation

A student who completes graduation requirements in summer programs, by correspondence course, or state test requirement may participate in the next graduation ceremony. The student will work alongside the counselor to verify that the requirements for graduation are complete.

Students that are wanting to participate in the graduation ceremony may request a letter of completion that they may use to enroll in college, work programs, or the military. If a student wants to receive the diploma prior to the graduation ceremony, they may do so, but will not be eligible to participate in the commencement exercise.


Mid-Year and Three-Year Graduates

In order for a student to graduate in less than four years from the District, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The student will have earned the total number of units of credit as prescribed by the Board of Trustees.
  2. The parents and the student, or the student if 18 or over, will submit a written request to the principal of the high school the student is attending, indicating that the student intends to graduate early. This request shall be submitted during the first two weeks of the semester in which graduation requirements will be met. The high school principal and the student’s counselor will review the request and, if the criteria are met, the student will graduate at the end of the appropriate semester. The deadline to request mid-year graduation is September 18. The student will be allowed to participate in that year’s graduation exercises subject to compliance with the administrative directions of the principal of the high school.


Mid-Year Graduation

Northside will hold a Mid-year Graduation Ceremony. The date and time will be announced.


Awarding of Diplomas to Senior Students Transferring Out of District

Any senior high school student, having been enrolled for a minimum of six weeks of the student’s senior year and having completed at least 10 units of credit in a Northside high school, who transfers out of the district may request approval to receive a Northside District diploma upon completion of all requirements for graduation from a Northside District high school. Such requests should be directed to the principal of the Northside high school attended by the student prior to the transfer. The student will not be permitted to participate in commencement exercises or other senior activities after transferring.

The following rules will apply:

  1. Student initiates request in writing to his Northside high school principal for a Northside diploma.
  2. Student submits evidence that the school he is transferring to will provide the appropriate courses necessary to meet Northside district requirements.
  3. Principal reviews request.
  4. Student is notified of approval or denial of request by principal.
  5. Diploma will be sent to receiving school upon submission of the student’s transcript of credits earned at the receiving school.
  6. Student will be responsible for requesting copies of transcripts for forwarding to colleges or employers.


Distinguished Level of Achievement: Students graduating on the Foundation Graduation Plan are encouraged to select courses that enable the student to graduate with a distinguished level of achievement and lead directly to either a 2 or 4 year college setting. The distinguished level of achievement requires all the credits necessary for the Foundation Graduation Plan, successful completion of four math courses including Algebra II, four science courses, and an endorsement. Note: a student must graduate with a distinguished level of achievement in order to be considered in the 10% of the graduating class and to be eligible for automatic admission to a Texas state college or university.

Performance Acknowledgements: Students may earn a performance acknowledgement for outstanding performance in one or more areas of study or achievement. Performance acknowledgements can be earned in the following areas:

  • Successfully complete 12 or more college hours in dual credit courses
  • Bilingualism and biliteracy
  • Score of 3 or better on an Advanced Placement exam
  • Earn a nationally or internationally recognized business or Industry certification or license

Find more Course, Endorsement, and Graduation Information on the NISD website.

Human Growth and Development

Information concerning human growth and development and sexuality is taught in a number of high school courses. District programs of instruction support traditional values and promote sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage as the expected standard in terms of public health and the only effective way to prevent crisis pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. All students are required to take one-half unit of Health. HIV education and prevention will be part of this course. Upon parent notifications and approval, students may either receive the instruction or complete an alternate assignment.

Contraceptive information will not be introduced in Biology during instruction concerning human anatomy and reproduction. Instruction about methods of contraception presented from a medical or scientific perspective will be presented in AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Health Occupations, and Health Education.

Parents will be informed through teacher notification about course content and choices available in Child Development, Principles of Human Services, Human Growth and Development, Interpersonal Studies and Parenting Education for School Age Parents.

Instructional materials are available for parent review where specific courses are taught. Parents who wish to request alternative assignments during such instruction must so notify the teacher in writing in a timely manner (TEC 28.004).

Human Sexuality Instruction

As per S.B. 283, Northside provides the following content regarding the District’s human sexuality programs for middle and high school grade levels:

Middle School

Sixth grade students are offered a 5 day abstinence-centered Human Sexuality program that is presented to students during their Healthy Habits course.  Parent/Guardian is given the opportunity to review the materials and attend parent previews. As per H.B. 1525, parent/guardian must give active consent to have their student participate. Parent/Guardian must opt - in by returning a signed permission form to the school.  Parent/Guardian is given the opportunity to review the materials and attend parent previews. Eighth grade students are offered a 5 day abstinence-centered Human Sexuality program that is presented to students during their physical education or athletics classes. As per H.B. 1525, parent/guardian must give active consent to have their student participate. Parent/Guardian must opt - in by returning a signed permission form to the school.

High School

Students enrolled in high school Health are taught a unit on Sexuality Education which includes reproduction, pregnancy and fetal development, risks of adolescent sexual activity, teen pregnancy, and methods of protection. The program is abstinence-centered and condoms are discussed as an option to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies. Parent/Guardian is required to sign a permission form in order to have their student opt - in to participate in the program. More information can be found on the NISD Health and Physical Education website.

The above programs have been approved by the Northside ISD School Health Advisory Council. Parents are invited to attend the parent previews and are encouraged to be involved in the development of student programs.

National Honor Society

Each high school campus has a chapter of the National Honor Society. In order to be eligible, a student must have junior or senior standing, have spent at least one semester at the school, and have achieved the minimum cumulative average set by the faculty council. Students who are eligible are rated by faculty members on service, leadership and character. Election of eligible members is decided by the faculty council. Students who are inducted as members are expected to maintain the standards of the National Honor Society. Failure to do so may result in suspension and/or dismissal from the organization.

A National Honor Society member who transfers to another school and brings a letter from the former principal or chapter adviser to the new school advisor shall be accepted automatically as a member in the new school’s chapter. Transfer members must meet the new chapter’s standards within one semester in order to retain membership.

All National Honor Society chapters are governed by the national constitution. Local needs and conditions are addressed through the chapter bylaws and the faculty council.

Number of Classes

All students must be enrolled in at least 240 minutes of classes per day. In a traditional 7-period day schedule, students must be enrolled in five (5) classes per day. In a block schedule, students must be enrolled in three (3) classes per day.

Rank in Class

Class rank is determined by a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). Grade Point Average is the average of all semester grades awarded credit by the State of Texas. Although correspondence courses meet the graduation requirements, grades from correspondence courses are not computed in the GPA. Official class rank and GPA are recorded on the Student’s Academic Achievement Record (AAR) at the end of the sixth semester and then again at the end of the seventh semester which holds as the final GPA and class rank for graduation. A student’s AAR is an official school record of all courses and grades, and once recorded, they cannot be removed. When sixth semester GPA’s and ranks are released, a one- semester grace period will be afforded for the purpose of legitimate grade changes.

Courses designated as Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement/Dual Credit, or Dual Enrollment (UT OnRamps) are weighted eight points per semester for the purpose of class ranking and grade point average only. Courses designated as Honors/Dual Credit, Advanced/Dual Credit, Advanced, or Honors, are weighted five points per semester for the purpose of class ranking and grade point average only.  When a student changes course levels that results in a change of weighted points, points will be awarded based upon semesters completed. Students who transfer to Northside from other school districts will receive the above weighted points as delineated regardless of the weighted points they received from their previous school district.

No student will be considered for the top two class rank positions unless that student has been continuously enrolled in a Northside high school for the four consecutive semesters immediately preceding graduation. Only Spring graduates will be eligible for the top two rank positions. Selection of these top two class rank positions will be made at the end of the seventh semester.

Traditionally, the positions of valedictorian and salutatorian are awarded to the two top ranking students. However, a student may be disqualified or removed from either position by failure to maintain high standards of scholarship, attendance, conduct and responsibility. Students who enroll in a Northside high school after three years (beginning on the first day after the end of the third year) may not displace a Northside student who ranks in the top ten students at graduation. Such newly enrolled students will be double ranked and the top ten will be expanded to include such students.

Honor students will be considered to be all students with an average of 90.00 and above at the end of the seventh semester of high school.

Three-year graduates will be considered honor graduates with an average of 90.00 and above at the end of the fifth semester of high school.

Honor students graduating Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude will receive special recognition during the graduation ceremony.

Repeating a Course for Strength

If a student wishes to repeat the same full year course previously taken and passed to strengthen knowledge or to improve the grade earned, she/he may do so within the next twelve months after completing the course. Courses being repeated for strength must be taken at a Northside school. Although all grades are posted, credit is awarded one time only. The higher grade achieved, whether as a result of the first or second time the course was taken, is substituted for the lower grade and is used in calculating the student’s grade point average.

Retrieval Credit Through the Credit Retrieval/Acceleration Program

Note: Non-traditional courses may affect NCAA eligibility.

The purpose of the Credit Retrieval/Acceleration Program is to reduce retention rates, reduce drop-out rates and increase completion rates by giving students additional opportunities to gain credits.

The program is available before school, during the school day and after school to offer flexibility in meeting student schedules. The program is offered at all comprehensive high schools during the school year and during designated times in the summer.

Students retrieve credits a half-credit at a time. Credits are retrieved through a variety of methods that include computer based learning, packet based learning, or a combination of both. Students who successfully complete the course work prescribed will be awarded the appropriate course credit with a grade of 70. The grade will not replace the prior failed grade, but will be shown as a separate grade and credit completion. Students who complete coursework for credit acceleration are awarded the grade earned.

For more information regarding the Credit Retrieval/Acceleration Program contact your campus Academic Support Teacher or Campus Academic Dean.

Retrieving Credit Through Repetition of Courses

Students who fail both semesters of a full year course must repeat both semesters and obtain an average grade of 70 or better for the two semesters combined to receive credit. If a student fails both semesters of a full year course, such grades may not be averaged with grades earned when the course is repeated in regular school, night school, summer school or correspondence program.

Students who pass one semester of a yearlong course will receive credit for the semester passed. Students who fail a semester of a yearlong course and do not receive credit for that semester may repeat the failed semester through an approved regular school, night school, summer school or correspondence program.

The following shall apply:

  1. Students desiring to repeat a failed semester of a course that they have completed must obtain permission from their counselor.
  2. Seniors desiring to repeat a failed first semester of a full year course prior to completion of the second semester of that course must obtain permission from their counselor. Seniors who have passed the first semester of a full-year course and who are failing the second semester may enroll in the second semester of the course in night school or correspondence course with permission from their counselor. The student will remain enrolled in their home campus course until successful completion of the course in night school or correspondence program.
  3. Upon completion of the repeated semester, only passing grades (70 or higher) from the regular school, night school summer school or correspondence program will be accepted for credit for a previously earned failing grade.
  4. When a student repeats a failed semester through an approved regular school, night school, or summer school, both the failing grade and the passing grade earned by the repeating semester will be counted when the overall grade point average for determining rank in class is calculated. (Note: Although a student receives credit(s) for passing correspondence grades, correspondence grades are not computed to calculate a student’s GPA.)

Methods For Validating Credits

Students enrolling in high school who have been homeschooled or who come from an unaccredited high school may validate course work through procedures outlined in -Administration Regulation, SEC-10.

Requirements for Students Holding Offices and Position of Honor

In order to obtain the best possible student leadership and to prevent interference with scholastic achievement, all students must have the approval of the appropriate faculty members before consideration by the students for election or appointment to a student office or position of honor.

The areas suggested to the teachers for consideration and approvals are:

  1. Scholarship
  2. Citizenship
  3. Dependability
  4. Cooperation
  5. Conduct

Causes for Disqualification

Students seeking or holding class, student council or club office or honorary positions may be disqualified or removed from holding office or the position of honor for the following reasons.

  • Suspension from school
  • Failure to comply with rules and regulations of the school
  • Lack of interest in fulfilling duties of the office
  • Lack of cooperation with sponsors
  • Failure to maintain the grade average required by the organization
  • Conduct/discipline or attendance problems

Removal from office will be subject to administrative review.

Schedule Changes

Northside ISD high schools build their master schedules according to students’ selections of courses. The course selection process is designed to encourage careful decision-making by students and their parents based on information regarding graduation, college entrance and career requirements. Once students have indicated their preferences, teachers are employed and assigned to meet those needs.

In order to ensure the integrity of each student’s decisions and of the master schedule thus developed, individual schedule change requests will only be considered according to the following guidelines and in the given time frames.

  1. Parent signatures are required for all course or level change requests.
  2. Changes needed because of clerical errors will be made upon recognition of the error.
  3. Decisions concerning schedule changes will be made based on careful consideration of their impact on the student’s academic standing in their class.


Guidelines by Category and Time Frame

Elective Changes and Time Frame

  • For valid reasons - From pre-registration through first week in June
  • For urgent / substantiated reasons: i.e., low probability of success, physical problems, failure to meet prerequisites of course - Prior to PREP Days


Level Changes and Time Frame  

  • Up, e.g., regular to honors/Advanced - From PREP days through the 3rd week of progress report of the first grading period.
  • Down, e.g., Advanced/honors to regular/ Advanced - After the 3rd week progress report of the first grading period following 


The NISD policy is stated in the section entitled Withdrawal From Courses (Page B-17).

If a parent/guardian feels a request for a schedule change has not been satisfactorily resolved at the campus level, the parent/guardian has the right to appeal the campus decision to the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction.

An NISD student who passes the STAAR EOC tests will be exempt from the Spring Semester Exam in the course in which she/he is enrolled.

Spring Semester Exam Exemptions

Students enrolled in courses earning high school credit (full-year or semester) may be exempt from the spring semester exam if the following criteria are met:

  1. The student has three or fewer absences in the course for the second semester, excluding school business absences. Seniors can have 2 previously approved and documented college visit days not count against their exemptions.
  2. The student’s second semester final average is 80 or higher.
  3. The student’s conduct grade in that class is satisfactory or better.
  4. The student is in attendance during the scheduled exam time.

A student who is eligible for exemption may take the exam if they desire.

Testing Program (High School)

All eligible students will participate in the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness. All eligible high school students will participate in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. These tests students will take End-of-Course tests in the core courses in which they are enrolled. The five EOC tests include the following:

  • English I and II
  • Algebra I, Biology, and U.S. History

Regardless of enrolled grade level, students should take STAAR EOC assessments (Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History) as they are completing the corresponding courses since these assessments are required for high school graduation based on TEC §39.025. Parents are urged to have all students present during all testing programs and to encourage their students to do the best on every test.  The results provide valuable information to the students, their parents, teachers, counselors and NISD policy-makers through evaluation of individual, classroom, campus and District performance.

Students are to bring their Northside provided Chromebook (fully charged) and charging cable to school on testing days. Students who have not checked out a Northside Chromebook will be provided a device on testing days. Students are not allowed to use personal technology devices including cell phones during state assessments.

Students who do not meet the standards on one or more STAAR assessments will receive targeted academic support in the content area(s) where they did not demonstrate proficiency. For students in grades 3, 5 or 8, an Accelerated Learning Committee will meet to develop a plan of academic support.


College Preparatory Testing Programs

NISD encourages 10th and 11th graders to take the PSAT. Students classified as 10th graders take the PSAT as a practice opportunity for the 11th grade exam. In the 11th grade, the PSAT is known as the National Merit Qualifying Test and the scores are used to qualify high-scoring students for scholarships in the National Merit Program. The district will cover the cost for students to take the 11th grade exam. In addition, NISD will administer the SAT (known as 'SAT Day') in the spring to all 11th grade students at no cost to the students.

Withdrawal From Courses

All high school students are expected to maintain a full course load leading to graduation at the end of their fourth year. A student must obtain counseling, administrative and parental permission to withdraw from a course. Permission to withdraw from a course may be granted, but delayed because of grade reporting or UIL eligibility complications.  In the case of a full year course, with consultation, a student may drop the class within the first 10 school days of the second semester.

After the last day for dropping courses, a course change request will not be considered until consultation with parents (guardians), teachers, department coordinators, counselors and administration has occurred and final approval is granted by the appropriate administrator. Students dropping courses will be assigned a study hall, where available.

Work Periods

Those students who are enrolled in a career preparation class or in an approved off-campus educational program supervised by a counselor or teacher at the student’s high school will be permitted to leave the campus prior to the end of last period or block on a regularly scheduled daily basis. A senior who needs fewer than seven credits to graduate and who is not enrolled in a cooperative work program or an approved off-campus educational program may request a work release if she/he expects to have a job requiring early dismissal from school. She/he may also request to have a work period first period and start the school day beginning with the second period. All seniors must be enrolled in a minimum of five credits at a 7-Period day high school and six credits at an A/B block high school.

Work releases cannot be granted after the student receives his/her schedule in the fall. If a student drops from a cooperative work program or an approved off-campus educational program, that student will be expected to resume a full-class load and remain on campus for the required minimum number of class periods or blocks for the remainder of the school year.

Students with scheduled work periods (blocks) are to be off campus during this time. Failure to leave the campus promptly can result in disciplinary action. Any student enrolled in a work program who receives Home-Based Assignments (HBA) or In-School Suspension (ISS) will forfeit the right to work during the time of the disciplinary assignment.