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Summer School: Bridge Programs for 8th Grade Transitions

Summer School: Bridge Programs for 8th Grade Transitions

More students fail 9th grade than any other grade level and this is likely due to the sharp increase in both expectations and rigor of high school coursework compared to that of middle school. Because a student's chance of graduating high school on time decreases by 30 percent for every course that is failed, many district leaders are taking targeted action to help students successfully make the leap from middle to high school. Typically, bridge programs are broken into three areas and time frames centering around the summer between a student’s 8th grade and 9th-grade academic years:

  1. Before Summer—Orientation Activities: These activities can start earlier than 8th grade and often include tours of high school campuses and exposure to high school procedures for students and parents.

  2. During Summer—Summer Programs: These are different than traditional summer school courses. Summer bridge programs focus not only on skill gaps but also on study skills, career exploration, and more to help students with the transition to high school.

  3. After School—Interventions: These are safety nets for the duration of the academic year that are built specifically for freshman to help catch them before they fail.

In fact, many states are beginning to implement early warning systems to identify the students who may benefit from a bridge program. These systems use data points such as attendance, behavior, and course -grade to help schools identify middle school students who are at risk and therefore most likely to benefit from a bridge program.

Although summer is on the horizon, you don't have to wait until school's out to start these types of programs. Check out the flexible learning options from Edmentum that can power your summer intervention, credit recovery, and enrichment programs. If you're interested in learning more about completely virtual options with state-certified teachers, check out Edmentum's EdOptions Academy.

This post was originally published April 2018 and has been updated.