Rotary Club of Faribault

9th Grade Academy

     Last Wednesday October 23rd, Faribault Rotary listened to a presentation by FHS principal Jamie Bente and FHS Assistant Principal Joe Sage. This leadership team presentation focused on the 9th Grade Academy with some time at the end devoted to the seven-period school day for Faribault High School students. The 9th Grade Academy is a program designed to assist students with the soft skills needed for high school and to help them excel at being good students. Statistics have shown that students without support were flunking at an alarming rate. The 9th Grade Academy program adds the additional Academic Seminar which is a mixed set of classes that include Social Studies, English and Science.            
     Students are receiving support towards skill building on areas such as note taking and studying. Students surveyed said this was helpful and felt they had at least one teacher they could talk to and trust.  The "F" grades were reduced by 70% over the course of the first year. This is the 3rd year of the 9th Grade Academy and the staff continues to follow the progress of past students.  While not all of them continue to improve their grades, there was still an improvement in the majority of the letter grades compared to their past grade scores.
     Jamie Bente spent the last few minutes discussing the seven-period day. He explained further in depth how this will offer more credits to High School students by showing us the required credits in a year for each grade and using a very common example problem of students who want to participate in music and learn a language in high school. In 10th Grade for example the option for two electives doesn't exist. Students must take summer school in most cases summer after summer after summer to make room in their schedule for things they want to learn. The seven-period day would alleviate much of the need for summer school and then students would have the opportunity to gain eight more credits in their high school career with a seven-period day. This will help get them ready for the path of their choice after high school.