Yesterday, the State Board of Education approved rules to advance the Ninth Grade Success Grant Program. You may recall this grant program was created through legislation Stand for Children championed last legislative session. The grant application is now open. Schools can find more information about how to apply here.
Our executive director testified before the State Board in support of the administrative grant rules. If you missed it, here’s what she said:
I am Krista Spurgin, with Stand for Children Colorado, here in support of the rules for the 9th grade success grant program.
Research has shown that if students are On Track at the end of their 9th grade year, they will be more likely to stay on track throughout high school and 4 times more likely to graduate on time.
9th Grade On-Track work refers to regularly providing information on students’ Behavior, Attendance, and Grades to a team of teachers who meet bi-weekly to support each other in creating interventions to any student who is off or about to be off-track. The evidence of success behind this work is based on over 20 years of research out of the University of Chicago that identified 9th grade as a key indicator of a student’s ability to graduate on time.
The bipartisan bill sponsors ensured this modest grant program would be focused on the students and schools who are most in need by prioritizing the lowest 20% of schools for a 4yr graduation rate.
The program will be run through student reengagement grant to promote coordination and took important steps to reduce the local match for rural and small rural schools and alleviate any burden for them to apply.
I also want to point out the 5-year sunset that will provide us the opportunity to ensure the program is working and we are seeing the outcomes we expect.
I have had the chance to sit in on a few 9th grade teams and was amazed at the level of attention each student who was about to be off track got. By identifying vulnerable students and using targeted supports, I believe we will be able to increase graduation rates across the state of Colorado for those students who need our support the most.
I hope you will join me in support of this program.
Thank you for your time.
If you're interested in learning more about our new Center for High School Success click here.