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ERIC Number: EJ774271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug-29
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Pittsburgh Building "Nation" of 9th Graders
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v27 n1 p1, 14-15 Aug 2007
Bitter experience has shown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that if students are going to leave school, they are most likely to do it between the 8th and 9th grades. To combat that problem, the school district has launched a full-on campaign to get its rising freshmen into high school and keep them there. Two weeks before school opened, the district welcomed more than 800 incoming 9th graders--about one-third of the class--to an unusual orientation. It was not the typical high school program, in which freshmen spend a half-day or so getting acquainted with their school's floor plan and programs. The idea was to target not just the teenagers' heads, but also their hearts. A week of getting used to their new schools, befriending their classmates and teachers, and undertaking adventures together was designed to forge what district officials are calling a "9th Grade Nation"--a freshman class that moves through high school feeling supported and confident. The 9th grade part includes instituting a more effective and positive approach to discipline, offering extra academic help to struggling students, providing a mentor for each student, and assigning truancy officers to work with families whose children are often absent. The 9th Grade Nation will also involve itself in civic projects in Pittsburgh as part of a year-long social studies course designed to help students see how they can improve their community.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania