What is the impact of a ninth grade academy transition program in building resiliency in first year freshmen? Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Kimball, Elizabeth Paige
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Drawing from resiliency theory and literature regarding transition, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a ninth grade transition program in building resiliency in students measured by the students' individual growth on a standardized test, as well as, the program's stated goals regarding attendance rates and promotion rates. This study focuses on a Ninth Grade Academy, a transition program that applies a pyramid of interventions for all freshmen in one high school in one school district as the experimental group. It measures the participants' educational resiliency in comparison to students attending a second high school in the same district, the control group. The researcher applied Nan Henderson and Mike Milstein's (1996) profile of a resiliency-building school as a theoretical framework using three of six components of the resiliency wheel, two that address building resiliency in the environment: 1) provide caring and support, and 2) set and communicate high expectations. The third component of the resiliency wheel to be used, to increase pro-social bonding, mitigates risk factors in the environment. Specifically, this study utilizes the following data from each school's student database for students who were freshman during the 2005-2006 school year: academic change scores on the N.C. English 9 End-of-Course, race, gender, attendance, and promotion status. The data were analyzed to determine any statistically significant differences in outcomes for each group of students. Findings show that while all groups of students in the treatment group show academic resilience in that they exceeded growth scores they did not show a statistically significant difference than the control school. The treatment school's promotion rate was significantly higher than that of the control group. The attendance rate was high for both schools. Results from this study provide educators insight into one program that had a significant impact on the promotion rate of its first year freshmen. In order for high schools to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for the No Child Left Behind Act, the Cohort Graduation Rate has been included in the model. Schools will be held accountable for the percentage of students who graduate in four years. Practitioners will be searching for options to address the high non promotion rate for the ninth grade. This study provides some evidence that the concept of the Ninth Grade Academy, as well as, its use of the Pyramid of Interventions can have a positive impact and successful results in increasing the promotion rate for freshmen.
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