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Kansas Leads the Way in Individual Plans of Study

Education is changing at a rapid pace.  The core courses still make up the majority of what students are learning, but much emphasis is being placed on careers and learning pathways.   A great deal of time is devoted to identifying the interests of students and possible career options.  Students are exposed to many different examples of careers and also many paths to reach their career goals.  We now use Individual Plans of Study (IPS) for each student.  Kansas is one of the leaders in the country in Individual Plans of Study.   The approach is to provide tools for the students to find their areas of interest and then provide courses (pathways) for the students to reach their goal in their areas of interest.  

At Horton High School we use Edgenuity for more offerings and schedule conflicts; students take college classes, both in person and online; and students take classes at  Highland Vocational Center ½ day.  Students are involved in work study, job shadowing and in the future, internships, to assist them in determining their interest.   We offer 10 CTE Pathways that allow the students to learn and do projects in areas of interest that may develop into future careers/options.   Speakers are brought in to speak to the students about careers, education and pathways for their future.  We have increased the number of field trips, tours, career fairs and attended Sabetha Manufacturing Day.

KSDE Changing Requirements for Graduation

 The Kansas Department of Education Recommendation is exploring options to change the number of credits required for graduation and how those may be earned.  They are providing students with more opportunities to gain credit in more than one area if possible.

It is the recommendation that KSDE shall:

  • Define what constitutes the awarding of credit based on Mastery & Competency, using specific examples.

  • Establish criteria for alternative avenues to credit attainment.

  • Clarify the objective of IPS as part of high school graduation pathways.

  • Provide assistance, structures and resources for students and families to improve education engagement which better meets the needs of ALL students.

In addition to the HS Credits, each student must have at least 2 Post Secondary Assets.  These may be chosen from the following lists:

Career and Real World Examples

Youth apprenticeships

40 or more Community service hours

Client-centered projects

Workplace learning experience directly related to a student IPS 

Industry-recognized certifications

Seal of Biliteracy

CTE Scholar

Eagle Scout or Gold Scout

4-H Kansas Key Award

Two or more high school athletics/activities


90% attendance in high school 

Academic Examples

ACT composite (Score of 21 or higher)

WorkKeys level (Silver or higher)

9+ college hours   

State Assessment scores of 3 or 4 for math, ELA, science (demonstrating college readiness)

ASVAB per requirements of military branch selected 

Senior project/senior exit interviews

SAT score (1480 or higher)

Completing Board of Regents curriculum

International Baccalaureate Exam (4+)

Advanced Placement Exam (3+)

There will be more information coming from KSDE moving forward.  We will continue to try and implement the best offering of course, pathways and career opportunities for all the students developing Individual Plans of Study.  Horton High School is committed to meeting the needs of all our students and moving forward with Kansas into a new era of education.


Larry Mills, Principal

Horton High School