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for Success in
Ninth Grade
As a student
from Middle
School to
High School
“ Students “have declining
academic performance,
increased absences, increased
behavioral disturbances, and
decreased participation in
extracurricular programs” during
their transition to a new school
(Fritzer & Herbst, 1996, p. 7).
Ninth graders have a

22% repeat rate due
to these factors
(Lang et al, 2009).

Literature Review
What can
be done
Purpose Statement
The purpose of this study is to
investigate interventions needed for
freshmen who did not culminate from
middle school to high school to ensure
that they remain on track for completing
60 credits with A-G requirements so
they will stay on track for graduating
with their class.
▪ Culmination
▪ TEAM 9
▪ Chiron
▪ A-G Readiness
Setting for Project
• Suburban high school on Westside of Los Angeles, CA
• Small school district serving 6,800 with one high school and one middle school
• 2,200 students in high school; 550 in freshmen class
Overarching Inquiry Question
What interventions
are needed to
support freshmen
students who did
not culminate from
middle school in
completing 60
credits aligned with
A-G requirements
so they will stay on
track for graduating
on time?
Ethical Plan

• Approval from high school principal for the

• Students were asked to participate in the
surveys and provided with Opt-out choice
• Researcher coded data and shared results with
the critical friends
• Critical friends - TEAM teachers, Intervention
Coordinator, & site administration provided
input and maintained honesty in reporting

Study Methodology • Mixed-methods
• Qualitative
• Quantitative
• In Vivo coding
• Triangulation
What does the
research indicate?
“Ultimately, it is the high
schools that bear the most
immediate responsibility for
putting in place the curriculum,
school organizational feature,
and strong teachers who will
increase a ninth grader’s
Leader in LAPD Cadet Program
100%chances of making a good
School Attendance
Popular to high
Among Classmates school”
& Teachers

(Neild, 2009, p. 72).

Literature Review – Cycle One
Remediation needed
50% of students reading at 6th grade level;
18% of incoming freshmen reading at or above
grade level (Emmett & McGee, 2012)

rather than Academies Remediate
English & Math
space (Emmett (Emmett & McGee,
& McGee, 2012) 2012)

Team of teachers,
Houses counselors, admin
(Fritzer & (Fritzer & Herbst, 1996)
Herbst, 1996)

planning time
curriculum (Fritzer (Neild, 2009)
& Herbst, 1996)
Summer Bridge
• Introduce physical
campus & staff (Neild,
• Pair students with
upperclassmen to
introduce activities and
create bond (Frank,
• Remediation of English &
17 math
Peer Mentors

• Upperclassmen as peer mentors (Fritzer

& Herbst, 1996
• Encourage students to become involved
in school (Fritzer & Herbst, 1996)
• Check and Connect program (State,
Harrison, Kern & Lewis, 2017)
• Link Crew orientation
• Peer mentoring club

Teachers, Counselors, Support

• Creating a bond (Frank, 2011)

• Ninth grade teachers – less experienced
(Frank, 2011)
• Targeted professional development
(Neild, 2009)
• Reading opportunities across the
curriculum (Lang et al,, 2009)
Ultimate Goal: Graduating A-G Ready with one’s class.

You can insert graphs from Google Sheets

Steps in Cycle One
1. Literature Review
2. TEAM student, parent & Chiron Dinner Event
3. Focus Group TEAM committee
4. Surveyed TEAM 9 students, parents,
Chirons, and former TEAM students
5. Focus Group new TEAM committee
6. Attended AVID conference

Resources for high school freshmen & teens

ANDROID Place your screenshot here

Show and explain your
web, app or software
projects using these
gadget templates.

Students took a Place your screenshot here
computerized survey to
determine the
strengths/needs of the
Team 9 program.
ANDROID Place your screenshot here

Show and explain your
web, app or software
projects using these
gadget templates.

24 Team 9 students, parents, and Chirons survey results

• 88.9% of TEAM 9 students in the Freshmen Intervention class feel
they improved as a student

• 100% of former TEAM 9 students feel they improved as a student

• 33% of parents feel their student improved

• 71.4% of the Chirons feel their mentees improved as a student

English Math

TEAM 9 student 44% 55%

Former TEAM 9 student 89.7% 100%

TEAM 9 Parent neutral 25%

Chiron 71.1% 57.1%

TEAM Focus Group
Intervention Coordinator, Place your screenshot

Former TEAM 9 teacher,

Future TEAM 11/12
Future TEAM 9 teacher
AVID Summer
Learn AVID strategies
to imbed into TEAM Place your screenshot here

Where do I go from here?

• Create a TEAM 9 Teacher

• Visit La Serna High
• Schedule TEAM 9
students with like-teachers
• Schedule Fall and Spring

Literature Review – Cycle Two
Author Student Teachers Parents
Bohnert, A.M., Aikins, J.W., & X X X
Arola, N.T. (2013)
Chen, W. and Gregory, A. (2016) X X X

Ellerbrock, C.R. (2012) X X X

Nunez, J.C., Suarez, N., Rosario X X X

P., Vallejo, G., Valle, A., & Epstein

Pharris-Ciurej, N., Hirschman, C., X X

& Willhoft, J. (2011)
Roybal, V., Thornton, B., & X X X
Usinger, J.
What was done?
• TEAM 9 students scheduled with
like-teachers for English and
Social Studies
• TEAM teachers, Intervention
Coordinator and administrator
visited La Serna High School to
gather resources
• Fall TEAM student/Chiron/parent
evening held
What was done?
• TEAM Teacher Focus Group
• Parent questionnaire

• A Pause & reflection

Teacher Focus Group
• Study Skills resources
• Technology resources
• TEAM teacher guide & support

Parent Questionnaire
▪Distributed – web survey & paper survey
▪3 parents completed the survey

▪100% of the respondents did not know anything

about the TEAM program
▪100% of the respondents feel their student is
supported in the TEAM program
▪Requests – meetings each semester, feedback on how they can
help their student

“Will this be available in grades 10-12?”

“I am pleased with the program.”

Where do I go from here?

• Research study skills for

freshmen students
• Create resources for
TEAM teachers

Leadership Learning

• Change your questions (Adams, 2009)

• Leaving a Legacy (Galford & Maruca, 2006)
• One can lead from any chair (Zander & Zander, 2000)
We need to internalize this idea of
excellence. Not many folks spend a
lot of time trying to be excellent.
-Barack Obama

You can find me at:
▪A look at tiered interventions in high school. (2010). Educational Leadership 68(2).
▪Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E. (2002). Reframing the path to school leadership: a guide for teachers and principals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
▪ Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
▪Culver City. (n.d.) Retrieved from
▪Emmett, J. & McGee, D. (2012). A farewell to freshmen. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues, and Ideas 85(2): 74-
79. doi: 10.1080/00098655.2011.619592
▪Frank, N. (2011). Rallying behind at-risk freshmen. Educational Leadership 68(7): 66-69.
▪Fritzer, P. J. & Herbst, P.S. (1996). Make yourself at home: The "house" concept in ninth grade transition. American Secondary Education
25(2): 7-9.
▪Lang, L., Torgesen, J., Vogel, W., Chanter, C., Lefsky, E., & Petscher, Y. (2009). Exploring the relative effectiveness of reading
interventions for high school students. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness 2(2): 149-175.
▪McCallumore, K. M. & Sparapani, E.F. (2010). The importance of the ninth grade on high school graduation rates and student success.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review 76(2): 60-64.
▪McIntosh, K., Flannery, K. B., Sugai, G., Braun, D. H., Cochrane, K. L. (2008). Relationships between academics and problem behavior in
the transition from middle school to high school. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 10(4): 243-255. doi:
▪Morgan, P. L. & Hertzog, C. J. (2001). Designing comprehensive transitions. Principal Leadership: High School Edition 1(7): 10-18.
▪Neild, R. C. (2009). Falling off track during the transition to high school: What we know and what can be done. Future of Children 19(1):
53-76. doi:
▪State, T. M., Harrison, J. R., Kern, L., Lewis, T. J. (2017). Feasibility and acceptability of classroom-based interventions for students with
emotional/behavioral challenges at the high school level. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 19(1): 26-36.
▪Zander, R. S. and Zander, B. (2000). The art of possibility. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.