This summer, our rising 9th grade students participated in Elevate Oregon’s Ninth Grade Counts program, a summer transition program that prepares incoming 9th graders to start high school on the right track.
While several other organizations throughout Portland provided Ninth Grade Counts programs, Elevate Oregon provided the only session in Parkrose School District. During the program, students become familiar with the ins and outs of their new school, learning how to navigate the halls and checking out the curriculum. Throughout the session, students earn high school credit by building a portfolio which includes writing a personal essay and practicing public speaking skills.
Building relationships between students and Elevate’s professional mentors is a focus of the program. In addition to spending time in the classroom at Parkrose High School, students also go to know each other and our staff on several field trips. Thanks to a partnership with OMSI, students spent a day exploring the Life and Earth Sciences exhibits. The Ninth Grade Counts program doesn’t just help students prepare for success in high school, but also begins the conversation about post-secondary education as well. Students toured University of Oregon while learning about admissions requirements and a wide range of possible majors.
We are grateful to All Hands Raised for including us in the Ninth Grade Counts partnership again this year and to the Portland General Electric Foundation and the Jubitz Family Foundation for funding this valuable program for Elevate Oregon students. During the 2013 9th Grade Counts program Elevate set a key outcome goal that students maintain a 75% attendance rate in the program. As a result of building strong connections with students the attendance rate was 97% for the program. Additionally, Elevate used pre- and post-surveys to gauge the impact of the program. 100% of students reported a positive experience in the program, and 100% of students would recommend the program to a friend.