Clover Park High School (CPHS) will institute a ninth-grade academy beginning in the 2009-10 school year as a means to further improve student achievement.
Crossroads Preparatory Academy—one of the high school’s smaller learning communities (SLC)—will be dedicated to ninth grade students. The SLC will focus on establishing “foundations of success” for each ninth grader. Crossroads will specifically emphasize high expectations and standards, habits of success and obtaining the social skills necessary for citizenship, career and college-readiness.
“The transition from middle school to high school is critical,” said John Seaton, CPHS principal. “Success or struggles in the first year of high school foretell a student’s academic future. Ninth grade is arguably a student’s most important year—grades matter and academic credits determine a student’s grade level advancement and graduation eligibility.”
Crossroads ninth-graders will have their own lunch period and their classes will be located in one zone of the high school to provide better oversight and monitoring of behavior, attendance and tardiness. The ninth grade academy will also allow teachers to communicate about students more efficiently.
“We’re really going to be keeping our eyes on them,” declared Seaton. “This is much more than students obeying school rules. It’s really about helping each student become an academic success story from day one. In the past, too many students have gotten into academic trouble early on. We’re working to end that problem.”
The new program will give ninth grade students extra supports so they will be more successful. In addition to core academics, 20 certificated staff members will teach students to integrate consistent academic strategies into all aspects of their daily routines. This includes note taking techniques, organizational skills, time management strategies, use of the agenda planner to thoroughly record assignments and other academic habits.
The new ninth grade academy also allows for increased partnering with parents regarding grade checks, attendance and students’ challenges and successes. Ninth-graders will continue to have clear expectations regarding appropriate attire and adherence to the school dress code, completion of homework and student behavior policies. Staff will also emphasize civil and courteous language.
CPHS will continue to have three SLCs. While Crossroads will focus solely on ninth grade students, Phoenix Academy and Powerhouse will provide a range of core classes and electives for 10th- through 12th- graders. Each of the school’s SLCs will have approximately 375 students.
For more information about Crossroads Preparatory Academy and the ninth grade academy, call CPHS at 583-5500.