Why Ninth Grade Can Be a Big Shock For High School Students


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High school is an important time in the life of any teen: hormones are raging, social cliques are forming and the pressure is on to develop a college résumé. Teens gain more independence as they get older, but adults also expect more from teens without providing as much of the nurturing and guidance of their earlier years. Starting high school is a big transition and, it turns out, the ninth is the grade a pivotal moment for teens’ potential success or failure in high school.

When students enter ninth grade at a traditional high school, they experience “ninth grade shock.” Kids experience a “dramatic drop” in their academic performance once they transition to high school, according to research conducted by Nikolas Pharris-Ciurej while at the University of Washington.

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