I thought that new – and veteran – readers might find it interesting if I began sharing my best posts from over the years. You can see the entire collection here.


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The American Institutes of Research just released a study finding that a program called Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) was very effective at improving academic progress for ninth-graders and enhancing their connection to school.

Here’s how Ed Week summarized the program:

…incoming freshmen are grouped into cohorts of about 30 students who take the same reading, math, and science classes together. They also receive a 30-minute lesson each week on social-emotional skills, taught on a rotating basis in a core class. Teachers meet every week for a check-in on every student in their cohort, evaluating weekly progress on both academic and social-emotional goals.

Our school happens to do all that, too, since we’re divided into Small Learning Communities and coordinate a ninth-grade focus, including common lessons, on Social Emotional Learning.

I’ve previously shared articles about the BARR program, and you can see them at The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Ninth-Grade For Students – & How To Support Them.