Special Programs

National Honor Society

Selection Process and Criteria

The Gerald Chapman Chapter of the National Honor Society was originally organized in 1956. Membership in the National Honor Society is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a high school student. The NHS works to bring the accomplishments of outstanding students to the attention of parents, teachers, peers, and community. No student is inducted into the society simply because of high academic average. Rather, the NHS strives to recognize the total student, one who excels in scholarship, leadership, character, and service.

Candidates eligible for membership must be progressing successfully in The Foundation plus Endorsement or the Distinguished Level of Achievement. Students with a minimum scholastic cumulative average of 85 for 5 semesters (11th grade) and 7 semesters (12th grade) are eligible for consideration. The faculty council then judges those qualifying in this area on their service, leadership, and character.

A student must attend Rusk High School for at least one semester before consideration as a member of NHS. Students who transfer to Rusk High School as an NHS member in good standing from their previous school will be accepted as members.

The National Honor Society also accepts 9th and 10th graders as members. These students will be reviewed for admission at some time following the 3rd 9 week period of the current school year. Those students who have been on the all “A” honor roll at least one of the nine week periods prior to this time and are progressing successfully in the Foundation Plus Endorsement Plan are given an opportunity to apply. Admission will be determined upon review by a faculty board. Freshmen who are admitted to NHS will begin their membership in their sophomore year. Continued membership in NHS is based upon students maintaining the standards under which they were admitted as members. Membership is subject to review on a yearly basis. The entire policy for admission may be reviewed by submitting a request to the chapter sponsor.

Philosophy for Selection/Non-Selection of Members

The philosophy for the selection/non-selection of members to the NHS in the high school(s) of RISD has been guided by the standards for selection/non-selection set forth in the NHS Handbook. The following are excerpts from the Handbook that govern selection/non-selection.


  • Students may not apply for membership in the National Honor Society. Membership is granted only to those students selected by the faculty council in each school.
  • Membership should never be considered on the basis of grades alone, even though a faculty council may consider scholarship as the most important of the four criteria.
  • Evaluating potential members for leadership, service and character, the faculty council develops working definitions of these criteria. The leadership criterion is considered highly important for membership selection. Some faculty councils may wish to interpret leadership in terms of number of offices a student has held in school or community organizations, although it is important to recognize that leadership also exists outside of elected positions. Leadership roles in both the school and community may be considered, provided they can be verified.
  • The criterion of service if often defined is terms of value of contributions. Common questions are:
  • What contribution has the candidate made to school, classmates and community?
  • What is the student’s attitude toward service? All judgments should be free of hearsay and rumor.


  • Chapters are not obligated, however, to share with parents and students information concerning specific students not selected for membership in the Society. Technical errors might include the inadvertent omission of a student’s name from the list of those qualified for induction, the erroneous averaging of grades, or the like.
  • The principal must choose five persons in addition to the faculty advisor to serve on the faculty council in whom he/she can place a high degree of trust.
  • In the absence of specific evidence to the contrary, however, the principal must assume that the members of the council are exercising their discretion in a legitimate manner and with the good faith expected of them.
  • Reconsideration of a faculty council’s decision must be a rare occurrence if the council is to be expected to take its assignment seriously. It is important to uphold the integrity of Society standards and to recognize the potential danger of yielding to pressure tactics.

Honor Roll

The honor roll is published each grade period. To be listed on the Distinguished Honor Roll, a student must have earned an A in all non Pre AP/AP courses and at least a B in all PreAP/AP courses. To be considered on the Scholar Honor Roll, a student must have earned either an A or a B in all non-PreAP/AP courses and at least a C in all PreAP/AP courses. Earning a “U” (unsatisfactory) in conduct during any six weeks period will exclude the student from the honor roll for the nine week period in which the “U” occurred.

Honor Awards

Honor awards will be issued to students in grades 9-12 who meet the following criteria at the end of the third nine week period:

  • 1)Be enrolled in a minimum of one PreAP or AP course
  • 2)Must be named to the Scholar Honor Roll every nine week period through the third nine week reporting period. Honor students will be recognized at the Academic Awards Program in May. The school counselor is responsible for determining whether a student qualifies as an honor student.

Dyslexia and Related Disorders

In accordance with a program approved by the State Board of Education, enrolled students shall be tested for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times and any student determined to have dyslexia or a related disorder shall be provided with treatment.

Before an identification or assessment procedure is used selectively with an individual student, the District shall notify the student’s parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student.

Rusk Independent School District shall inform parents and guardians of students eligible under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 of all services and options available to the student under the statute.

Special Education

For students served by Special Education, graduation plan and course of study decisions are made in the ARD meeting. Questions regarding graduation, certifications and endorsements should be directed to the high school grade level counselor or special education representative.

Section 504

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly known in the schools as “Section 504” is a federal law passed by the United States Congress with the purposes of prohibiting discrimination against disabled persons who may participate in, or receive benefits from, programs receiving federal financial assistance. In public schools specifically, §504 applies to ensure that eligible disabled students are provided with educational benefits and opportunities equal to those provided to non-disabled students.

Under §504, a student is considered “disabled if he or she suffers from a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of their major life activities, such as learning, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, working, and performing manual tasks. §504 also applies to students with a record of having a substantially limiting impairment, or who are regarded as being disabled even if he/she are not truly disabled. Students can be considered disabled, and can receive services under § 504, even if they do not qualify for, or receive, special education services.

The purpose of the Notice is to inform parents and students of the rights granted them under § 504. The federal regulations that implement section 504 are found at Title 34, Part 104 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and entitle parents of eligible students, and the students themselves, to the following rights:

  1. You have a right to be informed about your rights under § 504 (this document represents written notice of rights as required under section 504). If you need further explanation or clarification of any of the rights described in the Notice, contact appropriate staff persons at the District’s § 504 office and they will assist you in understanding your rights.
  2. Under § 504, your child has the right to an appropriate education designed to meet his or her educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met {34CFR 104.34}.
  3. Your child has the right to free educational services, with the exception of certain costs normally also paid by the parents of non-disabled students.
  4. To the maximum extent appropriate, your child has the right to be educated with children who are not disabled. Your child will be placed and educated in regular classes, unless the District demonstrates that his or her educational needs cannot be adequately met in the regular classroom, even with the use of supplementary aids and services {34CFR 104.34}.
  5. Your child has the right to services, facilities, and activities comparable to those provided to non-disabled students {34 CFR 104.34}.
  6. The School District must undertake an evaluation of your child prior to determining his or her appropriate educational placement or program of services under §504, and also before every subsequent change in placement {34 CFR 104.35}.
  7. If formal assessment instruments are used as part of an evaluation, procedures used to administer assessments and other instruments must comply with requirements of § 504 regarding test validity, proper method of administration, and appropriate test selection. {34 CFR 104.35}
  8. The District will consider information from a variety of sources in making its determinations, including, for example: aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, reports of physical condition, social and cultural background, adaptive behavior, health records, progress notes, parent observations, and scores on EOC exams, among others {34 CFR 104.35}.
  9. Placement decisions regarding your child must be made by a group of persons (a 504 committee) knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of the evaluation data, possible placement options, and the requirements that to the maximum extent appropriate, disabled children should be educated with non-disabled children {34 CFR 104.36}.
  10. If your child is eligible for services under § 504, he or she has a right to periodic evaluations to determine if there has been a change in educational need. Generally, an evaluation will take place at least every three years {34 104.35}.
  11. You have the right to be notified by the District prior to any action regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child {34 CFR 104.36}.
  12. You have the right to examine relevant documents and records regarding your child (generally documents relating to identification, evaluation, and placement of your child under § 504 {34 CFR 104.36}.
  13. You have the right to an impartial due process hearing if you wish to contest any action of the District with regard to your child’s identification, evaluations, or placement under § 504 {34 CFR 104 36}.
  14. If you wish to contest an action taken by § 504 Committee by means of an impartial due process hearing, you must submit a Notice of Appeal or a Request for Hearing to the District’s §504 Coordinator at the address below:

Theresa Gates

203 East 7th Street, Rusk, Texas 75785


A date will be set for the hearing and an impartial hearing officer will be appointed. You will then be notified in writing of the hearing date, time, and place.

  1. If you disagree with the decision of the hearing officer, you have a right to seek a review of that decision before a court of competent jurisdiction (normally, your closest federal district court).
  2. With respect to other issues surrounding your child’s education that do not specifically involve identification, evaluation, or placement, you have a right to present a grievance or complaint to the District’s section 504 Coordinator (or their designee), who will then investigate the situation, taking into account the nature of the complaint and all necessary factors, in an effort to arrive at a fair and speedy resolution.
  3. You also have a right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education. The address of the OCR Regional Office that covers Texas is:

Office for Civil Rights, Region VI
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 2600
Dallas, Texas 75201

Gifted and Talented

“Gifted and talented student” 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 exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area, possesses an unusual capacity for leadership, or excels in a specific academic area.

Students shall be identified as gifted and talented by on-going screening and selection of students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkable high levels of accomplishment. Assessment measures will be collected from multiple sources according to areas defined in the Texas State G/T Plan for the education of gifted/talented student. Procedure for assessment and data collected will ensure that students from all populations in the district have access to assessment and, if identified, to services provided for the gifted and talented program.

A committee of at least three local district educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students will be designed to make provisions for final selections. This committee will develop provisions regarding furloughs, reassessments, and exiting of students from program services, transfer students, and appeals of district decisions.

Students may be nominated for referral to the gifted and talented program at any time by teachers, counselors, parents, or other interested persons. Conferences shall be held with nominated students and their parents to determine if the students are interested in the program. Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the screening and identification process. All student information collected during the screening and identification process shall be an educational record, subject to the protections set out in policies at FL.

Parents and students shall be notified in writing upon selection of the student for the gifted program. Participation in any program or services provided for gifted students is voluntary. The district shall obtain written permission of the students and the parents before a student is placed in the gifted program.

Rusk ISD provides instruction geared toward the needs of our gifted and talented students. The policy for placement in the program as mandated by the State of Texas is available upon request through the counselor.

Rusk High School students will be offered gifted and talented instruction through PreAP/AP English 1, 2,3, and 4, PreAP/AP Biology 1 and 2, PreAP Chemistry, Physics, PreAP Algebra 2, PreAP PreCalculus, and Calculus.

Rusk High School also provides extra-curricular activities including the Academic Decathlon, UIL Academic Event participation, UIL Band Event participation, and UIL One-Act Play participation to meet the special needs of G/T students.