Melissa High School
2023-2024 Academic Planning Guide
About the Guide
The goal is for all graduates of Melissa ISD to be college-ready and career-ready. All students will work closely with their campus counselors to make detailed plans for their high school years and beyond. The Academic Planning Guide (APG) is intended as an initial resource to help students begin achieving their goals. Melissa ISD encourages students and parents/guardians to research admission requirements at prospective institutions to assist in course planning during high school. There can be a difference between state requirements, school and program requirements, and the expectations for college admissions and/or specific majors.
Each section of this guide contains extensive information about key areas of the academic planning process. We encourage parents and students to read the information carefully and consult with a counselor if additional guidance is needed. Our counselors' contact information can be found in the "Guidance & Support" section below.
Mission, Vision & Core Values
Mission: Melissa ISD International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes* will develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are prepared to lead in the development of a better future. Through challenging and rewarding programs in academics, athletics, CTE, and the arts, each student will be encouraged to cultivate their highest potential. As part of the Cardinal family, it is our aim to listen to one another with respect and to inspire one another with integrity, loyalty, honesty, humility, and hope each and every day. (*Melissa ISD is in the process of becoming an IB district. For the latest information visit WWW.MELISSAISD.ORG/IB.)
Vision: Melissa High School students will learn how to transform thoughts into ideas, ideas into actions, and actions into results.
Core Values: Knowing that we are committed to being child centered, we will act with and instill: Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Humility, and Hope.
Table of Contents
The purpose of the Melissa High School Academic Planning Guide (APG) is to assist students in selecting courses and academic plans for the future. All information can be accessed using the navigation menu at the top of each page. The guide is divided into six sections: Overview, Graduation Planning, GPA & Class Rank, Grading, UIL & Exams, Course Offerings, and Scheduling. To get an idea of what you will find in each section, please refer to the information below.
IntroductionAbout the GuideMission, Vision & Core ValuesMelissa ISD Graduate ProfileMelissa High School WebsiteTable of Contents
Guidance & SupportAlpha Counselors
Scheduling ProcessReview the Academic Advising ExpectationsReview the Course Offerings & Select Your Desired CoursesFinalize Your Schedule & Request Changes
Grade LevelsGrade Level Classifications
State Requirements for GraduationEarning Your High School DiplomaCourse CreditState-Mandated Assessments (STAAR EOCs)Course & Credit Requirements for GraduationTop 10% EligibilityPerformance AcknowledgementsEarly GraduationAutomatic Admission EligibilitySummer Programs
Endorsements & Career PathwaysWhat is an Endorsement?Endorsement AreasCareer PathwaysCTEArts & HumanitiesMultidisciplinary StudiesNon-CTE STEMTEA Graduation Toolkit
Transfer StudentsTranscript Evaluation GuidelinesTranscripts from Non-Public SchoolsInternational Transcripts
Scholarships & Financial AidScholarshipsMelissa Education FoundationScholarships WebsiteFinancial AidFAFSAState Aid
Your ExperienceConsiderations for Each Year of High SchoolFreshman Year (9th Grade)Sophomore Year (10th Grade)Junior Year (11th Grade)Senior Year (12th Grade)
GPA & Class Rank
GPA at a GlanceWhat is a GPA?What courses will impact my GPA?Core Courses by Tier
Weighted vs. Unweighted GPAWeighted GPAWeighted GPA & Class Rank ScaleWeighted GPA Calculation ExampleUnweighted GPAUnweighted Numerical Grade Range ScaleUnweighted GPA Calculation Example
Class RankWhat is class rank?Calculating Class RankValedictorian & Salutatorian Honors
Grading, UIL & Exams
Grading ProceduresGrading PoliciesGrading PracticesGrading Chart for Daily & Major AssignmentsMake-up WorkLate WorkRetest GuidelinesRetests in Electives & Weighted Courses
UIL EligibilityUIL Side-by-SideGrading Requirements for UIL ParticipationIneligible to Participate
Semester ExamsSpring Semester Exam ExemptionsExemption CriteriaNumber of Possible Exemptions
Home Access Center (HAC)Accessing Grades in the HAC
Core CoursesEnglishMathScienceSocial Studies
CTEBusiness & IndustryPublic ServiceSTEM
PE & Health
ProgramsAdvanced ProgramDual CreditProgram OverviewRegisterESLGTIBSpecial Education
Course Request Cards9th Grade10th Grade11th Grade12th Grade
9th Grade Registration Overview
10th-12th Grade Registration Overview
Transcript Review Tool
Guidance & Support
The Melissa High School counselors are available to answer questions and provide additional guidance as requested. Our Alpha Counselors serve students according to the first letter of the student's last name. For additional counseling information and resources, visit the HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING WEBSITE.
Review the Academic Advising Expectations
In accordance with TEC § 28.02121, Melissa ISD encourages students to actively plan for the future. The knowledge base and work habits developed over the course of high school lay the foundation for the successful pursuit of postsecondary success. While every student’s journey is unique, our beliefs, mission, and graduate profile shape our academic advising expectations. We believe that the following expectations will provide the most secure base for navigating the changing world of work.
Melissa ISD believes that all students need to be college, career, and/or military ready. As encouraged in TEC § 28.002 (g), we expect students to continue in core courses each year of high school even if all minimum state graduation requirements have been met. Moreover, we have an expectation for students to complete courses such as Algebra II, Physics, and English IV so that they will meet a broader selection of college and university admission requirements and will have better preparation for success once postsecondary studies have begun.
Students should select courses with their interests, abilities, outside commitments, and personal goals in mind. While varied interests and program participation can be stimulating, students should reflect on the amount of time that is necessary to perform successfully in multiple strands of advanced coursework, extracurricular involvement, volunteer work, and other activities. Strong attention to advance planning will help students set goals, make decisions, balance priorities and maximize the benefit of their high school experiences.
Melissa ISD supports several options for students to engage in academic challenges and rigorous learning experiences, including:
the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme;
dual credit courses to experience a college-level curriculum;
a sequence of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses to explore careers and seek certifications and licensure as available;
four (4) or more years of a language other than English to prepare for a global workplace; and
multiple years of excellent programming in areas such as fine arts, computer science, and athletics.
Review the Course Offerings & Select Your Desired Courses
Course offerings are organized in this guide by subject area, or discipline.
Each course listing includes the course name, grade-level requirements, weighting for grade point average (GPA), and number of credits associated with the course.
Where applicable, course listings will include information about recommended preparations and any requirements for prerequisites, applications, fees, transportation, and/or program director approval.
Each academic year, counselors will work with students to complete a course request card, otherwise known as a Personal Graduation Plan (PGP). This document will assist the student and parent/guardian in goal-setting, indicating desired courses, and selecting alternate courses.
If the student’s first-choice course selection is unavailable or if schedule conflicts occur, then alternative course selections will be used.
Course selections should consider graduation requirements, student abilities and interests, and desired college and career outcomes.
Please be aware of the course selection card due dates, application deadlines, and other registration deadlines.
Finalize Your Schedule & Request Changes
Students will have the opportunity to verify their course selections and request changes to their daily schedule for the upcoming school year. Schedule change requests must be submitted by the deadline and will always be subject to course availability. Requests to exit from Advanced courses (Tier II) into grade-level academic courses (Tier I) are subject to the Advanced Weighted Course Agreement.
Requests for schedule changes after the deadline can be initiated ONLY during the first five (5) days of each semester, and are limited to when the student:
has failed a required course and must make room to repeat the necessary course;
is erroneously enrolled in a specific course for which they have already earned credit;
is a senior and needs to drop a course in order to enroll in a course needed for graduation; and/or
has not completed the necessary prerequisite course to proceed in the enrolled course.
Applications Open for Application-Based Courses
In January, students may apply for courses that require an application. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
To access the applications click on the links located under the SCHEDULING tab.
Dual Credit Introductory Meeting | JAN. 24 @ 6PM
Students who plan to take Dual Credit courses for the first time are strongly encouraged to attend a virtual introductory meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. For a list of Dual Credit courses offered at Melissa High School through Collin College, please refer to the DUAL CREDIT PROGRAM OVERVIEW in the Academic Planning Guide. Join the meeting using the information below.
Meeting ID: 824 7831 4653
The Academic Expo and meeting for incoming freshmen have been canceled due to the weather. Additional information will be shared once available.
Academic Expo & Meeting for Incoming Freshmen | UPDATED
The Melissa High School Academic Expo was canceled due to the winter weather and hazardous road conditions. The expo will not be rescheduled. Students should utilize the Academic Planning Guide for their course planning.
Current 8th grade students and parents/guardians are invited to attend a Scheduling Information Night for Incoming Freshmen at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Melissa Arts Center (Get Directions). Counselors will provide a brief overview of the scheduling process for freshmen, and there will be opportunities to speak with staff and ask questions.
In April, students will begin to verify course selections and can complete a schedule change request to indicate any desired changes.
Deadline for Schedule Change Requests | MAY 12
The priority deadline to submit a schedule change request for the 2023-2024 school year is May 12, 2023.