Stuarts Draft High School: Quantitative Study Evaluating the Ninth-Grade Transition Program
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The purpose of this study was to determine if a transition program had an effect on the academic and social issues that at-risk ninth graders face as they transition to high school. A case study approach based on archival data was used to explore differences in the treatment and control groups. These groups were measured by grade point average (GPA), absences, tardies to school, course failures, discipline referrals, verified credits, and dropouts.
Freshman retention, poor attendance, high failure rates, Standards of Learning (SOL) failures, and discipline problems are some of the issues facing at-risk ninth graders as they transition to high school. These issues can contribute to higher dropout rates, therefore making it more difficult to compete in today's workforce. As we prepare our students to compete in today's global economy, it is necessary to examine the current practices that high schools are utilizing to improve student outcomes, and to prepare more effectively for the higher expectations of today's workforce and educational institutions.
This quantitative study examined the success of the Academic Careers and Technology (A.C.T.) class at Stuarts Draft High School , a yearlong ninth-grade transition program designed for at-risk students that was first implemented in 2003. The A.C.T. program was designed to provide ninth-grade at-risk students with the skills necessary for making a successful transition from middle school to high school and for continued success in their remaining high school career. The curriculum included extended time on reading comprehension, writing, and organizational and study skills. Additionally, technology integration, conflict resolution, and an adult mentor program were included in the curriculum.