Logo for: Rise Network
Grade 9 Summer SymposiumJune 26-27, 2023, West Hartford, CT

Building the Foundation
For High School and Postsecondary Success

Join the RISE Network and school teams from around the region for a 2-day summer symposium to invest in Grade 9 on-track achievement as a key lever to improve high school graduation rates and postsecondary success! Together, we will transform high school experiences and student outcomes through replicable and impactful strategies.

Symposium Overview


June 26-27, 2023

9 A.M. – 4 P.M. each day


The Delamar Hotel

1 Memorial Road, West Hartford, CT 06107


School teams committed to Grade 9. We encourage schools to send teams of 4 to 6 people, including the principal and Grade 9 administrator, a district leader, and a teacher and/or counselor involved in Grade 9 work.

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Participant Experience

Over the Symposium’s two days, attendees will reflect on research connected to the Grade 9 transition, explore practices for promoting freshman success, plan for enhancements to Grade 9 strategy, and gain motivation from collaborating with a community of engaged fellow educators.

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Symposium FAQs

RISE has worked to promote Grade 9 success in a wide range of schools and districts since 2015, and the Grade 9 Summer Symposium has been a productive, enriching, and enjoyable professional learning experience for educators in diverse roles.

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Most of the strategies we implemented this year we learned about at the Symposium and we researched over the summer so that, when we came back to school, we had a solid frame of reference and basis from which to argue the necessity of a lot of these strategies.

- Waterbury, CT teacher

A robust experience! I walked away feeling hopeful that the knowledge and learned protocols could be extremely helpful to the ninth graders at my school, and the overall school climate.

- Norwalk, CT social worker

The Symposium was thoughtfully structured, with care taken to switch between different activities. I had a TON of fun, and found that I was more present and engaged than I have been during any other PD/conference since I started my role.

- Baltimore, MD central office leader

This was a great opportunity to learn specific strategies to focus on 9th grade (or any grade level) with tools.

- Denver, CO principal

The Symposium was well-organized and filled with relevant information that we could use immediately. A great blend of presentation and collaborative time!

- Bristol, CT assistant principal

This was a great opportunity to work together with teachers and administrators and come up with actionable plans and solutions.

- Bridgeport, CT teacher

The Symposium included a great overview of work with some specific strategies that are easily adoptable as well as ones that will require more thinking and planning.

- Norwalk, CT principal

I learned about the importance of 9th-grade success and had a chance to reflect on strategies that have worked for other schools and districts.

- Baltimore, MD central office leader