Our Approach


High school students who are on-track to graduate after 9th grade – meaning they complete a quarter of the credits needed to graduate – are four times more likely to graduate than their off-track peers. By re-focusing graduation efforts on success in 9th grade, Chicago Public Schools raised their graduation rate from 61% to 74% in the decade following their shift in focus to Freshman On-Track as a leading indicator for on-time graduation.

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature approved a $250,000 pilot program to implement Ninth-Grade On-Track strategies in five districts. At Stand for Children Washington, our team is on the ground partnering with school districts across the state to implement Freshman On-Track in high schools. Research has identified ninth grade success as the most important predictor of high school graduation, so our goal is to help educators better support students during the critical freshman year transition.


One-on-One Support: CHSS coaches provide job embedded coaching to a team of teachers and support staff on using data to identify, design, and effectively implement supports for students showing early off-track indicators.

Data Analytics for Continuous Improvement: CHSS provides partner districts and schools with:

  • Access to an advanced 9th Grade Success data system allowing real-time access to actionable student behavior,attendance and grade data;
  • Regular trend analysis summaries and point-in-time 9th Grade Success data reports;
  • On-going support with analyzing, synthesizing, and acting on data findings;
  • Direct support with development, implementation, and evaluation of testable interventions

A Network of Support: CHSS facilitates demonstration site visits, and quarterly network collaboratives where participants learn from fellow educators in the region about what tactics are yielding the best results.

Cutting-Edge Research: CHSS provides access and analysisof the latest research and best practices through:

  • Quarterly professional development workshops ledby expert practitioners;
  • Opensource access to a library of multimedia resources explaining the latest and most relevant research findings.

Why Ninth Grade?

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