Information: Incoming Freshmen for the 2013-2014 School Year

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The administration and faculty of John Marshall High School are excited about a brand new school year.  We will have over 750 9th grade students next school year who will bring their gifts and talents to the Marshall family.  In an effort to better serve the incoming freshman class, we want to support their ability to be leaders on campus and encourage their involvement in extracurricular activities. 

Today’s research and best practices designed to support high school learning recognize that the transition into ninth grade is a critical phase in students’ lives and academic careers. The move to a larger environment, the reduction in personal support, and the greater academic challenge posed by high school courses, is too often problematic for rising ninth-grade students.  Difficult ninth-grade transitions can result in weak academic performance, poor attendance, potential dropout rates, and reduced on-time graduation.  Because the research is clear that the first year of high school is pivotal, we are moving all of our 9th grade students into “houses”. 

A “house” will be composed of a Math, Science, English, and Social Studies teachers who will share the same students at some point during the day.  These teachers will meet on a weekly basis to discuss successes and challenges they may be having in their classroom.  This will help increase communication with parents because one teacher can give parents a bigger picture about what is happening at school. 

Our students will also be in either GT, AVID (students enrolled in 2 or more Pre-AP classes), Math Leadership, or Principle’s of Information Technology (students enrolled in 3 or more Pre-AP classes may opt out of any of the 4 course above and choose a different elective).  Principles’ of Information Technology is a technology course that will focus on: exploring career goals, applying research, improving academic behaviors, critical reading and writing skills, effective communication, and intellectual curiosity.   All 9th grade students will be assigned a mentor, with whom they will visit one time per week.  This mentor will be a senior who has shown leadership capabilities over the past 4 years and is learning about government and servitude.

Finally, we want all of our 9th grade students to be involved in some type of extra-curricular activities.  Hence, they may choose from Athletics, Band, Orchestra, JROTC, Dance, Student Council, Choir, and many other organizations on campus.  Students who are not sure what they want to be involved in will spend at least one semester in our JROTC program.  Students in JROTC will learn leadership while getting at least half of their P.E. credit.    By working together as a team we can effectively offer the best support for your child.  We look forward to working with you and your child next year.

Thank you,

Anthony Jarrett
John Marshall High School