Logo for: Rise Network
Grade 9 Summer SymposiumJune 24 - 25, 2024

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 24 – 25, 2024

9 A.M. – 4 P.M. each day


Delamar West Hartford
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/or Grade 9 administrator, a district leader, and a teacher and/or counselor involved in Grade 9 work.


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.



An amazing experience to learn more about the needs of grade 9 students and how to help improve their needs.

- Bridgeport, CT district leader

The Symposium is great if you are new or seasoned to Grade 9 work. You will receive priceless resources that make it easy to implement all aspects of the work.

- Worcester, MA teacher

Very well-organized and implemented professional learning experience that equipped us with actionable strategies.

- Middletown, CT assistant principal

Insightful, research based and powerful. Provides necessary information to support meaningful progress to a prosperous and equitable education for all students.

- New Haven, CT teacher

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