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Final Report on the Study of Promising Ninth Grade Transition Strategies: A Study of Six High Schools


This study, contracted by the Smaller Learning Communities Program (SLCP), was conducted to identify the key elements of promising approaches to facilitating the successful transition and completion of the ninth grade. Through analyzing the practices of six high schools that have received federal SLCP grants, the study attempts to provide a descriptive conceptual framework and matrix to help practitioners better understand the constellation of practices that schools and districts can implement to help ninth graders make a successful transition into high school. This study also served as a foundation for the subsequent Ninth Grade Counts series (see below).

Ninth Grade Counts
A Three-Part Guide to Strengthening the Transition into High School

About the Tool

Ninth Grade Counts was created to help high schools identify weaknesses in their ninth-grade programs, and then develop a purposeful, proactive plan to strengthen this critical educational transition. Focusing on a selection of effective strategies and practices, the three-part guide equips districts and schools with a comprehensive, step-by-step process they can use to build a high-impact ninth-grade action plan. Specifically, the guide will help districts and schools:

  • Engage in self-reflective discussions about ninth-grade success—what it takes to make sure all students are on track academically and on target to graduate prepared for college by the end of tenth grade.
  • Isolate both strengths and weaknesses in their ninth-grade programs.
  • Identify high-impact instructional and support strategies likely to increase the educational achievement and attainment of ninth-grade students, including English language learners.
  • Determine action-plan priorities that will help schools achieve their distinct goals for ninth-grade success.

Ninth Grade Counts: Strengthening the Transition into High School<>
Webinar Slides
Webinar Transcript

This guide was created to help schools diagnose systemic weaknesses in their ninth-grade programs, and improve the practices they use to support students entering ninth grade.

Ninth Grade Counts: Strengthening the High School Transition for English Language Learners
Webinar Slides
Webinar Transcript

The second installment of the guide, this tool equips educators with research-based insights and strategies they can use to strengthen support programs for English language learners.

Ninth Grade Counts: Using Summer Bridge Programs to Strengthen the High School Transition
Webinar Slides
Webinar Transcript

The third installment of the guide, this tool will help school develop or improve summer bridge programs designed to eliminate learning gaps and prepare students for success in ninth grade.

Last Modified: 12/07/2015