Student Transition to Ninth Grade
The transition from 8th to 9th grade can be difficult for many students who graduate from middle to high school. In the ninth grade students are confronted with a new environment, rules, and culture. Course requirements are complex and demanding. The campus is challenging to navigate. Suddenly the student is the youngest kid on the block.
Schools lose many students in the 9th grade. The transition to a new school can be frustrating and overwhelming for the student.
Here are a few recommendations to help 9th grade students adjust to high school.
– Create a transition team to identify at risk students, monitor grades and attendance, and review progress of 9th graders especially the first nine months of school.
– Build structures that will give students the support, guidance, and resources necessary for success. Schools may have special academies, advisory times, etc. Create after school tutorial and support groups.
– Inform teachers, counselors, and other school personnel about effective ways to work with new students, particularly 9th grade students. Share strategies that will engage students. Ask counselors to connect with counselors from previous schools to gain additional insight.
-Personalize their experience. If necessary, assign a buddy system for classes. Also have adult mentors available during lunch time. Require students to sign up for clubs during orientation before the start of school.
-Communicate with the family not only about student progress but also about high school in general. Explain to parents the requirements and other demands of high school during orientation. Focus on the special needs of families new to the country and families without prior high school or college experience. The parents’ ability to understand the culture and demands of high school will allow them to further support their child.
-Develop special traditions and customs for 9th graders only that are repeated every year. The school will become known for these special activities. Incoming 9th graders will hear, in advance, about the special events and look forward to attending the school.