***Post written by Don Rentz, Scholarship Chair for WSPA***

This is my second year working at a high school. I have previously worked many years at the middle school level. I have noticed that 9th grade boys are overrepresented in student earning failing grades. They represent approximately 15% of the student body population, but sadly represent approximately 30% of the failing grades. In other words, if you’re a 9th grade boy, your chances of failing a class are twice what they should be.

My numbers and stats aren’t likely the most accurate, but I’m just trying to prove a point.

I have a few hypotheses or observation.

  1. They don’t (or don’t know how to) study for exams.
  2. They don’t retake quizzes when available.
  3. They spend more time on video games than their peers.
  4. They (along with other populations) are encouraged (by the high school and parents) to enroll in advanced/AP classes when they’re clearly just an average student.

I’m sure there are many more items that can be added to this list. Some of these items are more easily addressed through school-wide interventions. Change in how we do things is not always easy. But, hopefully, armed with some more specific data and information to take to the building MTSS team, we will be able to make changes to help this specific popular – which, will likely end up helping other populations as well.

Wish me luck!