New tool helps high schools strengthen the ninth-grade transition for English language learners
During the transition into high school, incoming ninth-grade students face increasingly demanding literacy expectations, academic content, and social challenges—a situation that, without the right support systems in place, often leads to course failures, absences, behavioral problems, and higher dropout rates. In the United States, one in ten ninth-grade students are also English language learners (ELLs)—students who have to navigate the myriad complexities of high school without the benefit of English proficiency. In fact, many of these students are not only in the early stages of English language development, but they may also be recently arrived immigrants or refugees struggling to adjust to a new and bewildering culture. In addition, the school communities that these students enter may have little to no experience with English language learners, and they may not have the infrastructure, programs, resources, or staffing in place to serve ELLs adequately.
Ninth Grade Counts is a three-part guide developed to help districts and schools strengthen programs and practices for students entering ninth grade. Ninth Grade Counts: Strengthening the High School Transition for English Language Learners, the second installment of the guide, is designed to equip educators with insights and research-based strategies they can use to strengthen support programs for ELLs.