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Challenges of the Ninth Grade Transition . Values - Grade 9 Ekamai International School. 1. What are the challenges of the Ninth Grade? 2 . W hat does the statement mean… “ Begin with the end in mind ” - Steven Covey - Cite at least one example.

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challenges of the ninth grade transition

Challenges of the Ninth Grade Transition

Values - Grade 9

Ekamai International School


1. What are the challenges of the Ninth Grade?

2. What does the statement mean…

“Begin with the end in mind”

- Steven Covey

- Cite at least one example.


“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.” – Cooper, R. & Markoe‐Hayes



Transition– is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.


passage- change - crossing - transit

high school developmental needs

High school is the final transition into adulthood

  • The world of work as students now separates from parents and explore independence.
  • Students are deciding who they are.
  • What they do well.
  • What they will do when they graduate.
  • Students are evaluating their strengths, skills, and abilities.
  • The biggest influence is their peer group.
  • Searching for a place belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback.
  • They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors
High school developmental needs:
why concerned about students transition to ninth grade

“Students are 3‐5 times more likely to fail a class in the ninth grade than students in any other grade.”

Southern Regional Educational Board (2002) Opening Doors to the Future: Preparing Low‐achieving Middle Grades Students to Succeed in High School.

Why concerned about students’ transition to ninth grade?

“Students with inadequate academic preparation face the greatest risk of course failure, but even those students who we might think are immune to failure based on their prior achievement can face challenges during the during the ninth grade year.”

Nelid, R. (2009)


“In a study of 115,000 Chicago Public School high school students, researchers… found that “almost one quarter of students in the top quartile of their eighth grade class were off track by the end of the ninth grade.”

-E. and Easton, J.Q. (2005)


“Failure to graduate high school is strongly associated with ninth grade course failure. Research shows that between 70 and 80 percent of students who fail in the first year will not graduate from high school”.

Wyner et al (2007). Achievement Trap: How America Failing Millions of High‐Achieving Students From Lower‐Income Families. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation


“Students in the Chicago study who had no “F’s” in ninth grade had a high school graduation rate of 83%, whereas students who had just one “F” in ninth grade had a graduation rate of 60%.”


“Research shows that students who are under‐prepared academically are most likely to fail one or more courses and those students who are well‐prepared academically and previously high‐achieving can face considerable hurdles when they enter high school”.

why is the transition to ninth grade so challenging for students

More academic demands placed on students.

  • More rigorous academic expectations.
  • Dramatic changes in the classroom and school environments.
  • The number of classes, peers and teachers increases.
  • The content and skill demands of courses increase significantly.
Why is the transition to ninth grade so challenging for students?

Students are experiencing more independence and declines in academic support

  • “Increased in academic rigor, ninth grade students face changes in the school culture that can cause feelings of anonymity, alienation and isolation”.
challenges in the ninth grade

Increased academic demands

  • Larger, more anonymous & bureaucratic school environments
  • Socially challenging school cultures
  • Students’ limited knowledge about courses & skills they will need in HS

Increased personal disorganization

  • Losing some capacity for sustained concentration
  • Growing more socially preoccupied with peers.
  • Acts less inclined to please parents
  • Too many distractions

“1/5 of surveyed middle school students reported that they did not receive any information about the courses, content and skills they would need to know in 9th grade”.

Bottoms, G. & Timberlake, A. (2007). Giving Students a to Achieve: Getting Off to a Fast and Successful Start in Grade Nine. Regional Education Board.

what can be done to support students to overcome the challenges of ninth grade and beyond

Ensure students understand what a college‐prep curriculum entails and help students navigate that curriculum.

  • Monitor students’ academic progress and make sure students get the support they need.
What can be done to support students to overcome the challenges of ninth grade and beyond?

3. Educate students about what the high school environment will be like.

4. Teach students the skills and habits they will need to thrive in an academically rigorous high school environment.

5. Create and maintain trusting relationships with students throughout high school.

just a reminder

Do your homework, don’t ignore them.

  • Study for test! Some classes offer NO recovery!
  • Submit project on or before deadlines
  • Complete class work
  • If lost, get help. Find a tutor.
  • Talk to teacher or counsellor
Just a reminder:
needed skills

problem‐solving skills

  • time management skills
  • organizational skills
  • self‐advocacy
  • understanding where and when to seek help
Needed skills:

“In order to be successful in high school, and later in college, “students must have strong norms for their work effort and achievement in class and effective coping and help‐seeking techniques that allow them to persevere when facing difficulty. Students need to become “learners” rather than “attendees,” who can manage their own learning, assess their progress and status, and rely on a set of core strategies for success.”

Roderick, M. (2006) Closing the Gap: Implications for School Reform. CCSR.


In pair, do a short interview of

- 1 teacher

- 1 student

- parents, seekingtheir advice as what would you do as freshmen students.

  • Write your interview in an A4 size paper.
  • Write their names, grade level, and date of interview
  • Prepare to share it in class next meeting.
s ource

as of July 30, 2012