Roadmap for 9th Grade Success

Data Access

  • Assess district data system capacity and enhance where needed 
  • Establish district-school data partnership 
  • Designate school level data champion(s) 
  • Establish a district and school data reporting calendar 

Data Literacy

  • Assess school and district staffs’ data literacy skills 
  • Articulate a plan for developing teams’ data literacy skills 
  • Build understanding of how to use relevant quantitative and qualitative data
Version 2022

Establish Foundational Structures And Conditions for 9th grade on-track work

  • Articulate team purpose and working agreements 
  • Establish a calendar of meetings 
  • Establish understanding of 9th grade success research 
  • Participate in training and networking 
  • Establish a 9th Grade Success Team with cross-disciplinary membership and clearly defined roles 
  • Appoint team lead 
  • Appoint dedicated 9th grade administrators and counselors 
  • Schedule common planning time 
  • Establish a calendar of triangle meetings

Establish Systems and Processes for operationalizing the work of the 9th grade team

  • Routinize the use of action-oriented agendas 
  • Utilize discussion protocols 
  • Examine and respond to trend and student level data 
  • Establish short, medium and long term 9th grade success goals and benchmarks 

Systemize 9th grade success by recruiting and engaging all stakeholders

  • Identify and connect systems 
  • Train all stakeholders 
  • Communicate goals and progres 

Cultivate a Growth mindset in Adults

  • Provide training on the impact of discourse on results 
  • Provide ongoing training on building and sustaining student-educator trust and family-educator trust 

Establish Data-Driven Intervention and referral systems and processes

  • Operationalize Key Performance Indicators 
  • Train staff on tiered structures and systems 
  • Articulate clear referral processes and protocols 
  • Utilize data to monitor and adjust interventions as needed 
  • Track student movement between tiers at regularly scheduled intervals as a key measure of efficacy 
  • Establish a Tier 3 team 
  • Reflect on the relationship between Tier 1 gaps and Tier 2 interventions 
  • Identify and respond to root causes 

Implement Proactive and high leverage intervention strategies

  • Provide competency-based credit retrieval opportunities 
  • Amplify student voice through empathy interviews and student surveys 
  • Provide explicit instruction and ongoing supports to 9th graders on how to “do school” well 
  • Systematize regular check-ins with students 
  • Implement restorative practices 
  • Provide high dosage tutoring to identified students 
  • Provide focused instruction on core social emotional learning competencies 

Create a personalized and supportive environment for 9th grade students

  • Build a developmentally responsive master schedule
  • Establish cohorts of 9th graders that share same courses and core teachers
  • Establish a 9th grade academy structure 
  • Establish 9th grade advisories or seminars 
  • Conduct student-led conferences 
  • Establish mentorship for all 
  • Engage 9th graders in community building activities

provide early preparation for high school entry

  • Institute an 8th to 9th grade orientation 
  • Institute a high-impact summer transition program
  • Establish ongoing parent engagement 
  • Conduct summer activities 

provide proactive supports

  • Prioritize 9th grade when making teaching and counseling assignments 
  • Establish an early warning intervention system 
  • Provide supervised study hours 
  • Provide access to 8th grade data 
  • Set early timelines for high school admission 
  • Review data on incoming student 
  • Develop ongoing partnerships between key middle and high school personnel 
  • Provide proactive, targeted counseling supports

Implement Fair Grading Practices

  • Create a proportional grading scale 
  • Encourage retakes and re-dos 
  • Accept late work with no penalty 
  • Grade student work, not behavior
  • Consider use of incomplete instead of F and support pathways to demonstrate competency before end of year 
  • Implement standards-based grading 

Develop Learning Centered Professional Communities

  • Embed literacy instruction
  • Develop culturally responsive, standards-aligned curriculum
  • Administer common assessments 
  • Analyze student work to inform ongoing improvement 
  • Establish peer collaboration, observation & feedback loops 

Develop Student-Centered Learning communities

  • Integrate academic and social-emotional learning competencies 
  • Design lessons to accommodate for learner variability 
  • Develop learning partnerships with students
  • Implement a standard set of rituals and routines