Editorial: The importance of ninth grade

08/01/2014 3:14 PM

08/01/2014 3:16 PM

Arguably the most important year in any student’s career comes in the ninth grade.

The transition from middle school to high school is a daunting one for both parents and students.

The ninth grade is when the rubber really starts to hit the road.

If little Johnny things he wants to go to college, the grades he earns beginning in ninth grade are the ones college admissions officers will pore over. It little Susie wants to go to work after graduation the best shot she has for any kind of job is doing well enough in high school to earn that diploma.

Ninth grade is where students make decisions – intentional or not – that will impact the rest of their lives.

That seems like a lot of pressure to put on a 14-year-old. And educators know all that.

So there is a serious focus on student performance in the ninth grade. Some schools have freshman centers. Other schools sponsor freshman orientations that allow teachers and administrators the opportunity to outline the challenges freshmen will face in high school and the resources that are available to help them.

There’s little school officials can really do to fully explain the differences ninth-graders will see.

That makes it doubly important that parents maintain an active role in their child’s education. Parents can guide their children by setting reasonable limits and promoting high expectations.

Those are two important parenting tips for any time in a child’s life, but they are especially important as their child heads off to high school.

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