Grade 9 Summer Symposium

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!

About the Grade 9 Summer Symposium

  • What: A two-day learning experience for schools looking to invest in Grade 9 as a lever to promote high school and postsecondary success.
  • When: June 26-27, 2023, from 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. each day.
  • Where: The Delamar Hotel, located at 1 Memorial Road in West Hartford, Connecticut. The hotel will provide on-site parking.
  • Who: The Symposium is designed for high school teams leading freshman success work; 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.
  • Cost: Teams of four or more attendees – $1,100/person; individuals – $1,150. (Registrants from schools participating in the Freshman Focus Network are eligible for a 20% discount).
  • Questions? Please contact

Symposium Overview

Grade 9 on-track achievement – meaning whether or not a student earns enough credits during freshman year to advance on-time to sophomore year – is the single best predictor of on-time graduation. A strong Grade 9 experience lays the foundation for high school and postsecondary success. However, for far too many students, the middle to high school transition is marked by challenges that produce decreased engagement. The good news is that through practical strategies and new ways of collaborating, school teams can build a culture of freshman success and improve Grade 9 outcomes, while also increasing graduation rates and preparing students for eventual postsecondary success.

Join the RISE Network for the Grade 9 Summer Symposium, a 2-day professional learning experience designed to support school teams in building and refining strategies and school structures to promote freshman success. Participants will:

  • Understand the importance of Grade 9 by exploring local and national research;
  • Reflect on current school structures, practices, and outcomes affecting freshman success; 
  • Establish a clear vision and actionable plan to improve student outcomes and close opportunity gaps; and
  • Form an energetic community of educators committed to reflection and improvement.

In a feedback survey after the 2022 Grade 9 Summer Symposium, 100% of attendees indicated they “would recommend the Summer Symposium to other educators, schools, and districts interested in advancing Freshman Success.” We look forward to another impactful Symposium and hope to see you and your colleagues there!


About the RISE Network

The RISE Network’s mission is to ensure all RISE high school students graduate with a plan and the skills and confidence to achieve college and career success. Founded in 2016, RISE partners with public high schools to lead networks where communities work together to use data to learn and improve. Through its core and most comprehensive network, RISE partners with nine high schools and eight districts, serving over 13,000 students in historically marginalized communities.

RISE has built our team’s capacity to use data to inform decisions and expand our efforts to ensure students are on-track for graduation.

High school administrator

RISE high schools work together to ensure all students experience success as they transition to, through, and beyond high school by using data to pinpoint needs, form hypotheses, and pursue ideas to advance student achievement. RISE high schools have improved Grade 9 promotion rates by nearly 20 percentage points, while also decreasing subgroup gaps and increasing schoolwide graduation and college access rates. In 2021, the RISE Network was honored to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s annual Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement recognition.