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Education is a fundamental right for every child in both developing and developed countries. However, some grades such as the ninth grade highly challenge most students, making them repeat or even to drop out before reaching the average levels. This paper pays high attention to the reasons why ninth-grade transitional groups are needed and useful in high school settings.
During this transition period, most students are usually at the onset of their puberty stage of development, which is associated with social, intellectual, physical, and emotional challenges (Craig & Baucum, 2002). These developmental challenges make them fail to attain the required points of succeeding to the tenth grade, which in the long run force most of them to repeat or drop. However, this high retention rate creates a ninth-grade bulge, a situation where few students are promoted to the next grade, and many are retained in the initial grade. For example, between 2004 and 2005, 14% of North Carolina students repeated their ninth grade (Cook, Fowler & Harris, 2008). However, school dropouts are associated with unemployment, incarceration, engaging in high-risk behaviors, income deficiencies and loss of state revenue (Fairchild & DeMary, 2011).
Moreover, due to the increased retention rate, most teachers seek alternative means of reducing transition challenges, but are restricted by the hindered by the increased workload (Christie & Zinth, (2014). Generally, these factors call for the need of transitional groups in the school settings.
Value Of Ninth Grade Transition Groups
Transitional groups would provide ninth graders with of guidance and counseling services, aimed at improving their mental and emotional health, skills of attaining performance achievements, career developments, enhancing teacher-student collaboration, among others. These would in the long run reduce retention and drop-out rates. For example, studies depict that schools that have these groups experience school drop out of 8%, compared to 24% among those which do not have transition groups (Cook, Fowler & Harris, 2008).
These transitional groups are associated with some drawbacks. For example, implementation of these programs would require institutions to have a strong financial foundation, which is a limiting factor to most schools. Moreover, this study focuses on the students’ retention and dropout rates but others factors such as the educational level of teachers and geographical location of schools are not considered (Cook, Fowler & Harris, 2008).
However, most readers would asked concerning the sexuality of students who highly repent or drop out of school, whether teachers would be consulted whether they require transitional groups in their schools, and whether the introduction of these groups would really reduce students repetition in the consecutive levels or not.
It is, therefore, evident that ninth-grade transitional groups are needed in the school settings. These groups would facilitate in reducing students` retention and dropout rates.
Chapman, C., Laird, J., & Ramani, A. (2010). Trends in high school dropout and completion rates in the United States. Retrieved from, nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011012.pdf on September 24, 2011.
Christie K., & Zinth K., (2014). Ensuring Successful Student Transitions from the Middle Grades to High School. Retrieved from, http://www.adlit.org/article/32116/
Cook, C., Fowler, H., and Ty Harris, (2008). Easing the transition of 9th graders to high schools. State board of public instruction, North Carolina
Craig, G. J. & Baucum, D. (2002). Human Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Fairchild, T. T., & DeMary, J. L. (2011). The turnaround mindset: Aligning leadership for student success. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Education.