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What does the research say about this transition? Predictors of failure in high school: The increased number of students on a large high school campus can create: Fear and trepidation Feelings of being lost and not being connected A strong sense of anxiety, resulting from newfound anonymity.
The importance of a systemic policy approach to 9th grade transition: Programmatic approaches to addressing dropping out are popular because they are easier to implement than systemic reforms, and they target students who clearly need support. But besides being impractical in schools where most students go off-track, they rarely are found to be effective.
A 'second chance' or 'skimming off' strategy does little for students at risk for future failure, and it does not address problems of average and high-performing students performing below their potential. Too many disconnected programs can also decrease coherence in the instructional program of the school.
Flexibility and tailored programs for a few students should not substitute for critical evaluation of schools' instructional programming, and all programs should be developed to align coherently with the general instructional plan of the school. Allocate resources to support and oversee the 9th-grade transition Within many urban communities, resource allocation disadvantages incoming 9th grade students.
The focus and priority of many schools is placed on juniors and seniors as they prepare for graduation. However, the cumulative influences of family and school are not negated by the strong influence of peer networks; rather, they exist in constant competition.
Students in the study who were more successful in negotiating a balance between the competing spheres of influence were those students who reported early success in their academic pursuits.
The challenge of negotiating these multiple influences is heightened for many urban students because of their doubly marginalized status of being both poor and of color. Educate families about the importance of the 9th-grade transition When parents have not had formal or positive educational experiences, it is difficult for them to properly guide their child in the process.
The importance of a smooth transition from 8th grade to 9th grade cannot be emphasized enough, as this transition will determine a student's success in high school as well as decisions about their post-secondary school life.
Therefore, there must be an effort made to inform parents of the importance of this transition, especially those who have no formal educational training at this level. Urban schools must place an explicit focus on "over-determining" success Over-determining success is an idea that, while many evidence-based activities and programs can stand alone and lead to enhanced outcomes, when placed together they can have a multiplied effect on student success.
Over-determining success involves creating and in the case of many 9th graders, exposing them to opportunities to participate in multiple, evidenced-based activities and programs that enhance academic success and college awareness. Such activities would include cultural and social skill-enrichment, mentoring and access to technology.
Schools must be able to demonstrate to students the importance, advantages and realities of postsecondary education by providing an explicit focus on "over-determining" success. Over-determining success consists of providing students with the resources and information necessary to pursue postsecondary education in amounts that exceed those usually considered to be adequate to accomplish such a goal.
Students must be encouraged and prepared to move beyond the educational levels of their families and reconcile both their fears of failure and fears of success. Urban schools must work in partnerships with families to build supportive and nurturing, yet challenging learning environments that help students transition into high school, college and beyond with ease.
What might supportive approaches and policies look like? Allocate resources to support and oversee the 9th-grade transition Dollars might be targeted toward summer "catch-up" programs or other interventions for students who have not achieved at grade level.I was lucky to have had great creative writing teachers when I was in high school.
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