The 9th-Grade Experience
When asked to describe the impact of his ninth-grade experience at Rectory, a recent graduate replied thoughtfully, “That was the year I grew up.”
Designed to be the culminating experience for our students, the ninth-grade year at Rectory offers unique growth opportunities that cannot be replicated in a high school setting. Our “seniors” enjoy privileged status on campus, but they soon learn that with that status comes significant expectations and responsibilities. Navigating these expectations and successfully tending to these responsibilities will have life-long positive consequences.
Intellectually, the ninth-grade year offers a demanding course load and an academic setting where students are expected to challenge themselves, to perfect learning skills, and achieve at their highest level. The Ninth-Grade Capstone Project, where students present to the community the challenges and solutions to current issues of interest to them, epitomizes the ninth-grade academic experience where choice, challenge, relevance, and a growing demonstration of independence are infused across the curriculum.
But the rewards of the ninth-grade year extend far beyond the classroom. Rectory’s goal is for our graduates to be leaders in whatever fields and passions they choose to pursue, and the ninth-grade year provides invaluable opportunities for our seniors to explore and practice this concept of leadership. Whether serving as a member of the student council, supporting a healthy dorm experience as a student proctor, running the snack bar at the Wolf Den Student Center, sitting as first chair in the orchestra, or captaining an athletic team, our ninth graders play a central role in the life of the school. In doing so, guided by adults expert in the developmental needs of our students our ninth graders learn what it means to lead by example.
A sharp mind and a practiced hand are not enough. Young people also need confidence and an ability to self-advocate to achieve their dreams in life. The ninth-grade year at Rectory, where our seniors confront and reflect on their futures across the myriad of academic, athletic, artistic, and social opportunities afforded them makes our graduates not just ready for their next school...they are ready for life.