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Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students Off to a Good Start in Grade Nine Gene Bottoms Senior Vice President

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Presentation on theme: "Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students Off to a Good Start in Grade Nine Gene Bottoms Senior Vice President"— Presentation transcript:

1 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students Off to a Good Start in Grade Nine Gene Bottoms Senior Vice President Redesigning the Ninth-Grade Experience Reduce Failure, Improve Achievement and Increase High School Graduation Rates grade_redesign.pdf

2 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start2 How to Identify At-Risk Students Look for those incoming ninth- grade students who: have poor attendance experienced repeated disciplinary problems did not meet standards on the eighth-grade state assessment failed one or more courses in grade eight (or failed the entire grade) have repeated one or more grades

3 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start3 Does your school need to redesign the ninth grade? Survey

4 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start4 Why are we concerned with reducing failure rates in the ninth grade? The failure rate in grade nine remains higher than the rate in any other grade level. Students who are unprepared for high school and fail in the ninth grade are far less likely to graduate. Nationally, at least 25 percent of students fail to complete high school. Forty-five percent of dropouts reported that they entered high school unprepared for rigorous studies. Each high school dropout costs a state between $3,000 and $5,000 per year. After age 25, dropouts lose $10,000 each year in income.

5 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start5 What students need to be inspired to make the effort to succeed: Goals developed through exploring career and educational options A sense of their own value from the relationships developed with adults at their school through the teacher-adviser program Clearly defined standards for quality work and adequate support to achieve these standards An understanding of the relevance of curricular content and skills to their future

6 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start6 Goals for a Redesigned Ninth-Grade Experience By the end of grade nine, students should: complete college-preparatory English and Algebra I declare a goal beyond high school that they can visualize and commit to achieve establish a connection with an adult who will assist and support them throughout high school develop effective study, relationship and time management skills and other habits of success develop an understanding that, through smart effort, they can improve their achievement

7 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start7 Components of an Effective Ninth-Grade Redesign Work with middle grades schools to orient students to high school life. Provide a summer bridge program for students. Establish a ninth-grade academy in which at- risk students take double periods of English and mathematics. Enroll students in career exploratory courses. Participate in a teacher-adviser program to help students receive extra help and set career and educational goals.

8 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start8 Early Orientation and Preparation in the Middle Grades What would an effective orientation and preparation in the middle grades look like?

9 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start9 Early Orientation and Preparation in the Middle Grades Familiarize students with high school expectations. Align the middle grades core academic curriculum, classroom assignments and assessments to high school readiness standards. Send regular messages to and meet with parents and students. Correct misinformation and alleviate students’ fear of high school.

10 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start10 Summer Bridge Program What are the characteristics of an effective summer bridge program?

11 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start11 Summer Bridge Program Addresses specific academic deficits particularly in language arts, reading and mathematics Assists students in acquiring coping, study, relationship and time management skills Introduces students to the important role of high school in achieving their goals Career exploration Four to six weeks in length Taught by the best 8 th - and 9 th -grade teachers Uses an out-of-box approach to instruction

12 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start12 The Grady Approach Attitudes Toward Learning (ATL) Week-long summer program Reviews English and math academic skills Strengthens study skills Provides team-building activities

13 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start13 The POLYTECH Approach Four-week summer program Help students meet standards for college-preparatory English and Algebra I Integrated instructional approach  CT teachers teach math with a hands- on, real-world approach

14 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start14 Ninth-Grade Academy What makes an effective ninth- grade academy?

15 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start15 Ninth-Grade Academy Small learning communities Quality teachers Low student-to-teacher ratio No higher than in other grade levels Make best teachers team leaders Strong leadership Common time to plan interdisciplinary activities, project and themes

16 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start16 English Catch-Up Course What would an effective reading/English catch-up course look like?

17 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start17 English Catch-Up Course Multi-day units designed around essential standards and literacy strategies High-interest and grade-level reading content Opportunities to apply communication skills Intentional teaching of the reading, writing and study strategies students can use to succeed in all classes Use of technology and software applications

18 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start18 Mathematics Catch-Up Course What would an effective mathematics catch-up course look like?

19 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start19 Mathematics Catch-Up Course Multi-day standards-based units designed around essential knowledge and skills Opportunities to apply algebra and pre-algebra skills to solve real-world problems Opportunities for group learning Use of technology Varied classroom assignments

20 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start20 The Parkview Approach Enrolled 144 of 299 ninth-grade students in the math catch-up course in fall and Algebra I in spring. Algebra I failure rate decreased by 25 percent Percentage of white students above Proficient on Algebra I EOCT increased by 7 points and increased by 30 points for black students. Achievement gap on Algebra I between white and black students decreased from 26 points to 4 points

21 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start21 Career Exploratory Course Why enroll students in a career exploratory course in grade nine?

22 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start22 Career Exploratory Course What would a ninth-grade exploratory course that is designed to advance reading and mathematics achievement look like?

23 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start23 Career Exploratory Course Utilizes technology Blends rigorous academics in reading, writing, mathematics and science with career content Requires students to apply academic learning to authentic projects typical of the career field Develops the skills that employers desire of new employees Provides opportunities to participate in job shadowing, tour local businesses and interview leaders in the career field

24 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start24 Schedule What would a ninth-grade schedule aimed at catching up at-risk students and getting more students to meet grade- level standards look like?

25 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start25 Schedule Fall TermSpring Term Catch-Up English*College-Prep English Catch-Up Mathematics*Algebra I Science/Social Studies Lab and Project-Based Career Exploratory Course *Students not needing the catch-up course take another elective or a college-prep course.

26 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start26 Guidance, Advisement and Support Why is it important to connect each student to an adult adviser? What would an adviser do?

27 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start27 Guidance, Advisement and Support First line of defense against the disengagement that leads to dropping out Advise students and meet with them weekly to help them adjust to the demands of high school Call parents when students are absent Involve and train parents in supporting their children’s education Ensure students’ work is meeting course standards Connect students to extra help

28 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start28 Guidance, Advisement and Support Why is it important to adopt a grading policy in which success is the only option?

29 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start29 Guidance, Advisement and Support Failure does not motivate at-risk students. If you fail the ninth grade, your chances of finishing high school are nominal. Passing students who do not meet standards does little to help them.

30 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start30 Guidance, Advisement and Support What conditions are necessary for a no-failure option?

31 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start31 Guidance, Advisement and Support Implementation of a credit recovery program A student who fails a course may use online or regular instruction during a study period or an elective period before or after school time or on Saturdays to pass the course. Extra help and extra time built into the schedule Teachers agree on what grade-level assignments and work looks like

32 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start32 Guidance, Advisement and Support Implementation of and support for a no-zero policy Give students an “I” (incomplete) instead of a D, F or zero Sends the message that all work is important and must be completed at a certain standard Teachers believe that success, not failure, motivates

33 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start33 Getting Started: Actions to Take Now How do you get started in achieving greater success in grade nine with at-risk students?

34 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start34 Getting Started: Actions to Take Now Convene middle grades and high school leaders. Develop policies and methods to track ninth-grade failure rates and student achievement. Set target improvement goals. Send teams of teachers to professional development. Provide resources to modernize career/technical labs.

35 Southern Regional Education Board HSTW Getting At-Risk Students off to a Good Start35 Getting Started: Actions to Take Now Establish a block schedule. Create incentives for teachers to teach ninth-grade courses. Encourage school and teacher leaders to visit schools implementing an effective redesign. Urge teacher teams to meet. Train teachers to serve as teacher- advisers.


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