How high schools break up the ‘9th-grade bottleneck’ to help students graduate on time

Incoming freshmen and families attend a welcome night Thursday at West Seattle High. Classes start Wednesday. The school, with nearly $1.4 million from the city, is adding support to prevent freshmen from failing even one course. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)
(Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

As research increasingly shows that ninth grade is a make-or-break year, educators around Puget Sound are reinventing the freshman experience to help all students early and often.

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Education Lab is a project of the Seattle Times that spotlights promising approaches to persistent challenges in public education. Our team reports on issues like improving school discipline, parent education, math instruction and more. Our goal? To connect parents, students and educators to drive innovative solutions.