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Washington State's Ninth Grade Success Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Stand for Children's Center for High School Success (CHSS), has shown promising results in improving graduation rates for ninth grade students.

According to new data from a forthcoming study, schools participating in the initiative between 2019 and 2022 experienced a 6.69 percentage point increase in the number of ninth grade students who passed all their classes compared to neighboring schools in the same county. The project focuses on supporting students during the critical transition to high school, recognizing that ninth grade success strongly predicts on-time graduation.

CHSS works closely with over 50 schools across Washington State, assisting them in using data on student discipline, grades, and attendance to develop targeted interventions and establish Ninth Grade Success Teams. Each school district tailors its strategies to address the unique needs of its students. The initiative has fostered positive changes, including improved student-staff relationships and the adoption of effective teaching practices.

An initial study conducted by OSPI staff in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington also highlighted these successes. The project has been funded by state funds and approximately $5 million of OSPI's federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

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