Grade nine is one of many milestone years in a student's education. The transition from junior high to high school is an exciting time, but not one without challenges. The grade nine den system is designed to address these challenges and provide a transition that is as comfortable as possible.
Listed below are the main features of the grade nine den system:
- Students are taught their core courses (Math, Science, English, and Social Studies) by the same two teachers, with the same classmates, all year.
- Core courses are taught in an integrated fashion all year.
- Elective/optional courses are completed within one semester (First Semester – Begins in September; Second Semester – begins in February).
- This structure provides students the opportunity to build relationships with teachers and classmates that they will have all year (similar to most junior high programs) while experiencing the semester system in their elective classes. This, along with the advocate system, provides students with more "familiar faces" to connect with during their first year in high school.
- If students are having difficulty in the first portion of the year, there is still ample time to demonstrate learning in core courses to attain credits.
- Teachers can decide when and how they will deliver content based on the learning needs of the students in the class. For example, a Math/Science teacher may work on a Math concept for two classes in a row, then a Science concept for two classes, and then integrate the knowledge in another class that week.
- Based on the feedback and data that has been provided over the years, the den system has supported increased student attendance, less students at-risk, and increased credit attainment.
Grade Nine Schedule Example:
|Slot (Time)||Semester One||Semester Two|
|A (8:30 – 9:45)||Elective Course #1||Spare/Study Period|
|B (9:45 – 11:00)||Math/Science||Math/Science|
|C (11:00 – 12:15)||English/SS||English/SS|
|Common Lunch (12:15 – 1:15)|| || |
|D (1:15 – 2:30)||Spare/Study Period||Elective Course #2|
|E (2:30 – 3:45)||Physical Education||Elective Course #3|