9th Grade – The “Make or Break” Year

9th graders are three to five times more likely to fail a class than students in any other grade.1

When 9th graders fail, they lose self-esteem and begin to think they’re not smart enough for high school and don’t belong.

The Center for High School Success helps partner schools substantially increase the number of students who finish the make or break 9th grade on track, which greatly improves their odds of on-time graduation.

How We Help

CHSS partners with high schools committed to becoming communities where all students excel academically and race and socio-economic status do not predict success.

We help our partner high schools significantly increase the number of 9th graders who finish the year on track to graduate on time with:

Testimonials

"The Center for High School Success has helped me become a better teacher and advisor. We've had deep conversations about interventions, equity, and student success. I want to be a part of the team because our work is meaningful, and the results are there to prove it."

Payton Parrish,
Physical Education/Health Teacher
Grandview High School, Grandview, WA

“Our team is having much needed deeper-level discussions about equity and it that truly looks like. We can tell from those conversations (and the follow-up actions we take) are working. We are finding that we have success with the students we work with, and most of our interventions appear to be helpful.”

Claire Hunter
9th Grade Team Lead / 9th Grade ELA Teacher
Grandview High School, Grandview, WA

“The coaching I’m getting from the Center for High School Success is making a tremendous difference. From helping me review my school’s data effectively, to observing our meetings and giving me feedback on how to run them more effectively, our coach has helped our staff achieve our school’s goal of keeping more of our 9th graders on track.”

Cicely Dunigan Brooks-Wright,
9th Grade Team Lead
Hamilton High School, Memphis TN

“The Center for High School Success helps us monitor student achievement data in real-time, creates opportunities and space for 9th grade teachers to collaborate, and provides supports for individual 9th grade students. The tools and techniques learned from the Center for High School Success have allowed us to unlock the potential in each of our 9th graders.”

Mike Anderson,
Assistant Principal
Reynolds High School, Portland OR

“The value of getting a comprehensive view on the importance of the 9th grade year - and the need for an equity lens to drive our work - was significant. The guided process of meaningful conversation, data work, and application gave us next steps for immediate action and make a difference for students at Poudre High School.”

Cassie Poncelow
School Counselor
Poudre High School, Ft Collins, CO

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"The Center for High School Success has helped me become a better teacher and advisor. We've had deep conversations about interventions, equity, and student success. I want to be a part of the team because our work is meaningful, and the results are there to prove it."

Payton Parrish

Physical Education/Health Teacher
Grandview High School, Grandview, WA

“Our team is having much needed deeper-level discussions about equity and it that truly looks like. We can tell from those conversations (and the follow-up actions we take) are working. We are finding that we have success with the students we work with, and most of our interventions appear to be helpful.”

Claire Hunter
9th Grade ELA Teacher
Grandview High School, Grandview, WA

“The coaching I’m getting from the Center for High School Success is making a tremendous difference. From helping me review my school’s data effectively, to observing our meetings and giving me feedback on how to run them more effectively, our coach has helped our staff achieve our school’s goal of keeping more of our 9th graders on track.”

Cicely Dunigan Brooks-Wright,
9th Grade Team Lead
Hamilton High School, Memphis TN

“The Center for High School Success helps us monitor student achievement data in real-time, creates opportunities and space for 9th grade teachers to collaborate, and provides supports for individual 9th grade students. The tools and techniques learned from the Center for High School Success have allowed us to unlock the potential in each of our 9th graders.”

Mike Anderson,
Assistant Principal
Reynolds High School, Portland OR

“The value of getting a comprehensive view on the importance of the 9th grade year - and the need for an equity lens to drive our work - was significant. The guided process of meaningful conversation, data work, and application gave us next steps for immediate action and make a difference for students at Poudre High School.”

Cassie Poncelow
School Counselor
Poudre High School, Ft Collins, CO

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Current 9th Grade Success Network

The Center for High School Success is currently partnering with 128 high schools in 50 school districts across five states to increase their 9th grade on track rates.

The Research

Students who are “on track” at the end of their 9th grade year — earning at least a quarter of the credits needed for four-year graduation and receiving no more than one “F” in a core course — are as much as four times more likely to graduate from high school than their off-track peers. In fact, the 9th grade on track metric is more predictive of a student’s likelihood of graduating than race, ethnicity, poverty level and prior test scores combined.2


1 Southern Regional Educational Board, 2002
2 Allensworth, 2013