Navigating Ninth Grade: Essential Tools for Success

New Program Helps Students Transition from Middle to Upper School
The transition from Middle School to Upper School can be a daunting experience for our ninth graders. To ensure a smooth and successful transition, we are launching a series of workshops for the ninth grade that will help students acclimate to the Upper School community and develop essential skills for success in school, college, and career.
Program Overview:
This series of workshops is designed to focus on helping students develop the skills for success, such as executive function, time management, public speaking, organization, and communication. The program also delves into responsible citizenship and introduces students to resources available to them in our Upper School. 

We launched the program with a class meeting titled “All Aboard,” providing an overview of upcoming workshops with highlights that included:
  • “Using your Compass” with Ms. Saucedo, Ninth Grade Lead Advisor
  • “Learning the Ropes” with Ms. Glenn, Assistant Head of Upper School for Academics
  • “Ship Shape: Wellness Resources” with Dr. Estrada, Director of Wellness
  • “Batten Down the Hatches: Safety Procedures” with Ms. Crane, Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Life
Students then get more in-depth sessions on a specific topic during half of their study hall every day 7 or 8. In-depth sessions that have already taken place include: 
Setting Sail: Planning for Success 
This session focused on organization strategies, planning, working with deadlines, and self-advocacy skills. Ms. Donahoo, Director of Counseling and Learning Support and Ms. Glenn, Assistant Head of US for Academics, encouraged students to use Office Hours, to understand the importance of subject-specific study tips, and to use data-backed strategies to help with test anxiety.
Steering Your Way: A Culture of Courtesy/Presentation Skills 101
Ms. Wiggins, Director of Teaching and Learning, partnered with English teacher and Learning Support faculty member Mrs. Amini for a deep dive into how to be an effective community member, including how to be a good audience member during performances and presentations. Students also learned 7 rules for presentation skills to take their public speaking and digital slideshows for classes and clubs to the next level.
Students and Parents can access the Navigating 9th Grade Topic Tile to see what has been covered in these sessions so far and access the many resources there now and throughout this semester.

Future sessions this semester will explore how to read textbooks efficiently; how to use rubrics to prepare for assessments; how to communicate effectively; how to employ emotional intelligence skills in academics, athletics, and social life; and how to study for exams.
The transition to being an Upper Schooler is a pivotal moment in any student's life. At Cooper, we’re dedicated to ensuring that our ninth graders have all the tools, resources, and support they need to approach this new chapter with confidence so that their Upper School journey is smooth sailing.

From Curiosity to Wisdom
The John Cooper School is an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory day school. Our mission is to provide a challenging education in a caring environment to a diverse group of select students, enabling them to become critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators, responsible citizens and leaders, and lifetime learners.

The John Cooper School seeks to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds to its faculty, staff, and student body. The School does not discriminate against any individual in admissions, educational programs, personnel policies, general practices, or employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, physical disability, or age.