The Purpose

It has been indicated by research that ninth grade is by far the most important year of high school. It has been dubbed education’s “make or break” year! This is the year when the thoughts of students differ from any other. Someone posed the questions, “Why? What makes freshmen so dissimilar from other students?”

Making the transition from middle to high school can be an exciting, albeit intimidating process. The school is most likely a new environment, and the students have more autonomy and more homework. Youths are entering an intimidating institution that is high school. They explore independence and the discovery of the sense of self, and oftentimes become more distant and less trusting of adults.

For all intents and purposes the need of adults as mentors, coaches, and advocates is still essential in the life of a freshman. Freshman will be faced with making many pivotal decisions which will require adult support and guidance, which will ultimately result in better decision making skills by the student.

Washington D.C. psychoanalyst, Dr. Linda Stern states that,  “students entering high school-just at the time brains are in flux-still have the propensity to be impulsive and are prone to making mistakes.” Add raging hormones, normal academic pressures, and meeting a whole new group to be judged by, and you have the makings of a perfect storm.

This is the year that will set the stage for whether or not a student will graduate or even be ready for college. Essentially, the freshman year is an important chance for a “fresh” start. Grades and attendance guidelines differ from what students are accustomed to and its beginning  can dictate its finish.

So, the support of the academy will encourage students to make academics a priority, get to school on time and not cut class, and most importantly, ask their teachers for help. No matter how much ninth grade students believe they are too old to need any adults, they are not equipped to fully support and care for themselves. Adequate encouragement and support at this crucial stage will often give students opportunities that they otherwise may have difficulty recognizing.

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