DPS ninth graders get introduction to high school in transition program

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

Incoming ninth graders throughout Detroit Public Schools are getting an introduction to high school this week through a new ninth-grade transition/eighth-grade bridge program.

The program, which began on August 23 and will end on Friday, is allowing students to meet their teachers, learn the layout of their schools, get their schedules and locker assignments and take classes in math, English, science and social studies. They are also taking pre-tests in math and English to assess their skill levels.

“We know from numerous studies that success in the ninth-grade year is critical to overall success in high school,” said DPS Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “The program will make the transition to high school much smoother and give students the skills they need to master not just the curriculum, but the many social pitfalls they might encounter.”

The program, which is being funded through federal Title I dollars, does not provide a meal, but some principals are providing lunch. Transportation is not included, but DPS is providing bus tickets for students who need them to get to school.

The programs are being designed at the building level, based on the needs of each school community. Workshops being offered include study skills, discussions on making the adjustment to high school life and the importance of strong class attendance.

“The transition program is consistent with our five-year Academic Plan, which will increase the amount of classroom time spent on reading and math and is essential to raising the level of achievement for many of our students,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. “The goal of a 98 percent graduation rate in five years requires a focused strategy that includes making sure our high school students start the year with a firm foundation.”

The district is distributing copies of Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” to each student, to help set the tone for their high school experience.

The students are expected to wear their uniforms or abide by their school’s dress code during the program.

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