9th Grade Teams

9th grade teams are designed to offer a supported transition into high school by fostering strong relationships between a common group of students and teachers. The SLPHS 9th grade teams will be made up of a team of core content teachers (English, Science, Social Studies) and about 100-120 students. 9th grade teams are designed to offer a supported transition into high school by fostering strong relationships between a common group of students and teachers. Along with building strong relationships with each student, the teachers work to personalize student learning based on their understanding of their students as learners. The students in SLPHS teams may have a schedule that allows greater flexibility throughout each day, week, and trimester. 

To be part of our 9th grade teams, please check the box on your registration sheet. This will tell our administration and deans that you wish to be part of this experience. Students are not required to be in a 9th grade team, this is optional. 

Innovation Spotlight: Ignite

The Ignite Program was piloted in the 2017-2018 school year and brought together a team of four teachers – one from each of the core areas of math, science, language arts/English and social studies – and about 130 ninth grade students for the entire year. The success of Ignite led to us creating 9th grade teams. Watch this video to learn more about Ignite.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ignite

What is the Ignite program?

Ignite was piloted in the 2017-2018 school year and placed 130 ninth grade students on a team. The program uses research-based teaching and creative scheduling to place a greater emphasis on personalizing learning for each student. Four teachers are assigned to students in the Ignite program, which will help build relationships between teachers and students.

What is the focus of the program?

The focus of the program is to:

  • Develop authentic relationships between staff and students
  • Provide choice and flexibility to students on how to learn
  • Develop academic and life skills to encourage each student’s potential
  • Empower each student to become a self-directed learner
  • Provide a foundational support system that will last through the student’s high school career and beyond

Who are the teachers involved?

There are four teachers working in the Ignite program: Shannah Anderson, language arts; Jennifer Craft, math; Kyle Greene, science; and Felicia Kelly, social studies.

What courses will students take?

Students in Ignite will have the same core courses and learning outcomes as other ninth grade students and will also be able to participate in electives such as band, choir and a foreign language. Over time, subject areas in Ignite will be blended as part of projects assigned to students will become multi-disciplinary. For example, students might work on a project that includes learning outcomes from language arts, math, science and social studies.

How was this program created?

The program was created by the four teachers as a way to think differently about how to more effectively engage students and to personalize learning for each student. The district has been and continues to encourage teachers to develop innovative ideas.


Steve Brady
Associate Principal

Ignite students

How will Ignite be different than a traditional ninth grade schedule?

In the first few weeks of the program, the schedule for Ignite students will look similar to most other ninth grade students. As the program evolves, time will be used more flexibly rather than in 50-minute blocks of the typical schedule. Courses will be blended together as well as students given more choice in how to use their time to complete their projects and other learning.