Time to Support our 9th Graders to Success!

Legislation | 04/12/2019

Eura Chang
State Operations Coordinator

The following are excerpts from testimonies as prepared for Colorado House Education Committee hearing on HB19-1262: Ninth Grade Success Program. 

Acacia Simental, mother of 3 

Me acuerdo que mi hija mayor lucho mucho su primer año para salir adelante y acostumbrarse a el cambio de escuelas y la alta cantidad de trabajo, se quedaba después de clases para hacer trabajo extra porque estaba determinada a ir a la universidad. No todos los niños tienen la determinación que ella tenía y yo no tenía la información necesaria como madre para apoyarla en casa. Tuvimos suerte. Este programa quita la suerte y hace una realidad que todos los estudiantes tengan las mismas oportunidades para salir adelante y nos ayuda a nosotros como padres ayudar a nuestros hijos a llegar a donde quieren ir en su vida profesional.  

Este programa les dará a los jóvenes un apoyo y enfoque en este tiempo tan difícil para que puedan seguir en camino para graduarse a tiempo.  

I remember my oldest daughter struggled a lot her first year in high school to get used to the changes and the new pressures. She would stay after school to do extra work because she was determined to go to college. Not all kids have the drive and determination she had, I did not have enough information as a parent when she was in high school to support her. We were lucky. This program will take luck out of it and will give every student the same chance to succeed and will set us up, the parents to help our children get to where they want to go in their professional life. 

This program will provide our students will focus and a necessary support in this difficult time so they can continue in the track to graduate on time.  

Eulalia Mateo, mother of 4

Me gusta la individualización de este programa que les dará la oportunidad a los maestros a saber cómo van a manejar a cada uno de sus estudiantes y mantener a los padres informados de el plan y el progreso. Nosotros como padres en mi casa ahora mismo no tenemos la información necesaria para saber ni cómo le va a nuestro hijo en el colegio y si esta de camino para ir a la universidad cuando se gradué de la escuela. Nosotros ayudamos a nuestros hijos como podemos, pero queremos el mejor futuro para ellos y este programa nos dará mejor chance, no solo en mi casa, pero sino a todas las familias del distrito, especialmente a familias latinas como la mía.

I like the individualization of this program that will give teachers the opportunity to know how they will manage each of their students and keep parents informed of the plan and progress. We, as parents, do not have the necessary information to know how our son is doing in school and if he is on his way to college when he graduated from school. We help our children as well as we can but we want the best future for them and this program will give us a better chance, not only at home, but also to all families in the district, especially Latino families like mine. 

Krista Spurgin, Executive Director - Stand Colorado

If we want to improve graduation rates and increase college readiness, it is important that we don’t just focus on the later years – we need to start from their first day in high school. If we look at 9th grade with the same intensity as we do 12th grade – we will likely be able to ensure our students become the strong, self-sufficient, college and career-ready people we know they are.

A student that finishes freshman year “on-track,” (meaning with one quarter of the credits needed to graduate and without more than one F in a core subject) is four times more likely to graduate on time. But for students who fall behind in these early months, the scramble to catch up can be too much as each lesson builds on content they never learned. Ninth Grade On-Track programs focus on this critical transition period, and provide individualized supports to students in real-time, helping to keep them on track to graduate before they have the chance to fall behind.

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