Answers to some questions you might have . . .
and some things we think you might like to know about the KHS Speech &
Why speech and debate?
In a world where time and resources are finite, speech and debate education becomes more important than ever.
Students who are involved in forensics have a number of advantages over their peers:
• They demonstrate higher levels of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.
• They typically score higher on standardized tests and classroom assessments.
• They are more likely to graduate from high school and more likely to go on to college.
• They are more likely to earn at least one graduate degree.
Students who are involved in forensics garner a number of personal benefits:
• They are more likely to be self-confident and independent.
• They tend to feel more included and accepted socially.
often view their team as a surrogate family, offering affirmation and
support during the
tumultuous teenage years.
The effects of forensics extend far beyond the competitors. Communities which foster debate and speech programs grow as a direct result of the team:
• They have a supportive base of parents and volunteers who are committed to the community.
• They retain citizens who are passionate about their communities and anxious to get involved
• They see increases in community cohesion and accountability. This is especially true when forensics is used as a tool for intervention.
What is "Forensic"?
Forensic means “to give
evidence” and, in this context, can be used to mean both public speaking and
About those acronyms, what do they mean?
UIL is the University Interscholastic League. It is based in Texas and is the governing body over most extracurricular activities in Texas public schools. UIL state competition is held in Austin, Texas.
TFA stands for Texas Forensic Association. Students earn points at each TFA tournament to qualify for TFA state in their respective events.
is the National Forensic League. It
is the oldest forensic organization in the United States.
Students earn NFL points at every tournament they attend, and this
reflects on the national standing of the student, the school, and our district.
Honors and awards are given out throughout the year as students become
How many tournaments are there?
Our speech and debate team goes to
approximately 12 tournaments a year. NO ONE goes to all the tournaments. Most
students average less than 9 tournaments.
Where are the tournaments?
Most tournaments require us to travel
to locations around Houston and the surrounding areas. Most tournaments are
two-day trips. About 3 a year are overnight trips to places such as UIL State in
Austin or TFA state in Dallas.
Will I miss school for tournaments? And does it count against me to do so?
If you miss school for a tournament it is counted as a field trip. You are not counted as absent and your exam exemption is not affected. You are expected to make up all work you miss promptly, ahead of time if possible.
What are the rules while on tournaments?
Please read the tournament guidelines for all the rules on attending tournaments.
How do we get to tournaments?
We travel by school bus or van on most trips.
What are some ways parents can help?
We welcome parents to participate by
training and serving as judges, and by helping facilitate events in other
What about entry fees and hotel bills?
Initially students are not expected to pay for entry fees or hotel bills. However, students may be required to pay for some entry fees in the Spring semester. Students are expected to pay for their own meals. We do have fundraisers to help defray expenses, and we try to be sure all students have an opportunity to participate, no matter what their financial circumstances.
When is practice?
Speech practices are scheduled at the convenience of the individual students with Mr. Mason or peer coaches. Speech and Debate team practices are after school in Mr. Mason’s room.
Can I letter in Speech? Debate?
Yes, you can earn a letter in speech, in debate, or in both.
Can I get credit for competing with the Forensics Team?
Forensic and debate activities may be done either as an extracurricular activity or for academic credit. (The class is called Debate I and II. It carries the same credit as any other elective in the school.)
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