For the first time, Longview High School will award letterman jackets and patches to students for their academic achievements, an administrator said.

Dean of Instruction Linda Buie said the school’s administrative team has planned the initiative for several years.

“Students have been receiving letter jackets for sports, (University Interscholastic League competitions) and different extracurricular activities. We thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to support academics,” Buie said. “The intent is to order them at the beginning of the senior year, and then they would have them throughout their senior year.”

The school will pay for the jackets, she said. Students who already have jackets will receive academic patches that can be sewn on, Buie said.

The students would qualify for an academic jacket if they’re on target to complete certain criteria during their senior year, Buie said.

She said they can earn a jacket by achieving mastery on several end-of-course exams, or accumulating credits and certifications through the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, early college, dual credit and career and technical education programs.

“They will not actually have received credit for all of those hours until they graduate, obviously. ... If you’re an (International Baccalaureate) student, (for example), and you are registered in the seven full IB classes at the beginning of your senior year, then you are eligible for a jacket,” she said. “We feel like this would be an encouragement (or) may be an enticement for students to go that one step further to reach the criteria.”

Eligible students in the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs have been identified, Buie said. She said administrators are working through lists of career and technical education, early college and dual credit students.

Buie said the school plans to order the academic jackets and patches within “the next couple of weeks.” She said administrators are “thinking about doing something special to present those jackets.”

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