9TH GRADE CLUSTERS
9th grade Clusters aim to ease the transition to high school and to promote connections between and among students and teachers. We currently have two Clusters that include over two-thirds of the ninth-grade class and those students’ teachers in History, English and Science. Clusters are designed to foster consistent communication among teachers, students, parents and counselors. The goal of the collaboration during weekly meetings is to help students meet the ninth-grade expectations in History, English and Science. We hope to expand this program in the future.
Advisories are groups of approximately sixteen to eighteen students that meet several times a week to get to know one another and a teacher in a non-academic setting. These groups, which stay together for all four years of high school, provide support for one another through the transitions that are part of high school, work on improving the school climate through community service projects, do activities that foster respect for human differences, and last, but not least, have fun together by playing games and relaxing.
J-Block is at the end of the academic day on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and is a time when students can meet with their teachers for extra help or to make-up work. Full-time teachers are required to be available to assist students during two of the three J-Blocks. Meeting with teachers during J-Block takes precedence over all other activities.
DEPARTMENT HELP CENTERS
Department Help Centers are located around the school and offer students the opportunity for assistance during the school day. Currently, help centers are available in English (the Writing Center), Mathematics (Math Center), Science (Science Help Center), and World Language (World Language Peer Tutoring Center). For more information, talk to your subject area teacher or the appropriate department head.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
The After School Program and Homework Club meet twice a week from 3:30 – 5:00 on Mondays and Thursdays. Ninth and tenth grade students are invited to the After School Program when they earn a D or an F in a major academic course. Program enrollment is assessed at the end of each term based on term grades. The program offers support in English, math, physics, chemistry, Spanish and history. Students who are not formally enrolled in the program are invited to access the same after school supports on a “drop-in” basis by attending the Homework Club, which also meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 – 5:00, and is open to students at all grade levels.
STUDENT SUPPORT CENTER
The Student Support Center is a classroom that is open every block of the week for Small Studies. Students are referred to Small Studies (instead of Directed Studies with 20+ students) based on a recommendation from a teacher in a subject where they are either struggling to keep up, or simply need an opportunity to re-learn specific material in order to understand the concepts. During Small Studies, students either work on assignments sent by their teachers in a small focused study group (5-7 students with one teacher), or they work one-on-one with a peer tutor. The students’ progress is re-evaluated every eight to ten weeks.