Connections for 9th Graders


"No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship."
Dr. James Comer

What is Connections?

Connections is a program designed to help incoming 9th grade students smoothly transition into high school. The program will enable freshmen to belong and contribute to the Clark High School community while learning about its rules, traditions and activities. It is based on the NISD Pillars of Character focusing on encouraging relationships, goal-setting, team building, school involvement and academic success.

Got Questions? Connections has answers!!

  • Where are my classes? Who do I ask if I can't find them?
  • When can I go to my locker?
  • Where is my locker?
  • Will I have time to go to my locker between classes?
  • Will my classes be hard?
  • Are the teachers as mean as I have heard?
  • Will I get the same teachers as my siblings?
  • Where do I eat at lunch? Can we sit anywhere we want?
  • Where is the nurse?
  • Why is high school so different than middle school?
  • Are the semester exams hard? Can I ever be exempt from them?
  • What is Wednesday school that I have heard about?
  • What are PreAP/AP/Dual Credit classes like? What is the difference between them?
  • What kind of tests do teachers give in high school?
  • What kinds of clubs are there for me to join?
  • Where do I catch the bus?
  • Is summer school helpful?
  • Are there websites that can help me do research and homework?
  • Is there a school e-mail that I can use?
  • Can I save computer work at school and get to it at home?
  • Is there a computer lab that I can come to before or after school?


  • "Growing Up Online" (Online activities that can be done with a one-computer classroom and TV) More than one day could be spent on some of these topics.
    • Visit the NISD Digital Citzenship Site for topics and 21 lessons to choose from on the following important topics:
      • Digital Rights and Responsibilities the privileges and freedoms extended to all digital technology users, and the behavioral expectations that come with them--subtopics

        Social Networking
        Online Safety and Internet Predators

        Digital Communication
        the electronic exchange of information

        Digital Access
        full electronic participation in society
        Digital Etiquette
        the standards of conduct expected by other digital technology users

        Digital Security
        the precautions that all technology users must take to guarantee their personal safety and the security of their network--subtopics:

        Wireless Safety


        Digital Literacy
        the capability to use digital technology and knowing when and how to use it--subtopics:

        Acceptable Use
        Reliable Resources
        Urban Legends


        Digital Law
        the legal rights and restrictions governing technology use--subtopics:

        Copyright and Fair Use
        Identity Theft

        Digital Health and Wellness
        the elements of physical and psychological well-being related to digital technology use

        Digital Commerce
        the buying and selling of goods online--subtopics:

        Internet Scams
        Online Shopping

  • More About Cyberbullying That's Not Cool
  • Videos for Teens by the State of Texas
      • Being Safe OnLine
      • Getting Help
      • Being a Leader
      • Staying Out of Trouble (Show during Red Ribbon Week)
      • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Goal Setting and Careers
  • A Word A Day Do a word a day
  • SAT Question of the day Do the question together as a group
  • SAT Vocabulary game Do a word or two a day
  • Astronomy picture of the day with explanation Do one a day
  • Online Research Tools (a lab would probably be better for each of these so that they could use the site, but it could be done with a one-computer classroom) Spend a day on each of the following sites from the handout: (Questia is a site that is more complicated and would need Mrs. Ratliff to help you with in a lab.) I listed some of the ones that I really like from the handout (sites we pay for) and some good free ones.
  • Mini Computer Lessons that would need a lab
    • Parent Connection--Have students set up their own parent connection account using their Gaggle account or their home e-mail account.
    • Student Storage--spend a day to make sure that all students know how to use their online storage from home.
    • Audacity--A free program that allows students to record audio and edit it. A very fun and easy program.
    • Adobe Photo Shop Express--free website to edit pictures.
    • Photo Story--A free program to tell a story using pictures. A very fun and easy program.
    • Using a digital camera. They could take pictures one day in the classroom and spend another day putting them into Photo Story.