Memphis City Schools

Smaller Learning Community/9th Grade Academy


Cobra Academy Logo


The 9th Grade Academy was developed and implemented during the 2006-2007 school year as a small learning community to assist incoming students with the transition to high school. Research has shown that high school freshmen are in a very special position. They are use to the team concepts and once they enter high school, it becomes more individual, rather than team based.

Freshmen/9th Grade Academies address this problem.  The 9th Grade Academy promotes interpersonal skills, effective use of resources and a high degree of accountability. Students learn that there are no excuses for poor attendance, incomplete school work, or inappropriate behavior. 

With a freshman academy, students are housed in one general area of the building, they share a group of core teachers who share a common plan time, and they move from class to class as a group as well. Teachers share a common planning time to discuss lesson planning, meet with students who are experiencing difficulties transition from middle to high, and develop activities that are specifically for freshmen.

9th Grade Academy Fast Facts

  • Nationally, more ninth grade students fail the ninth grade than any other grade.
  • Poor and minority students are twice as likely as others to be retained.
  • Students who repeat at least one year are three times more likely to drop out of school than students who have not failed a grade.
  • Among 1 - 15 year-olds who struggle with basic reading and math skills, 20% drop out of school within two years.
Source: Southern Regional Education Board

Freshmen Academy Information


Memphis City Schools does not discriminate in its programs or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, handicap/disability, sex, or age.  For more information, please contact the Office of Equity Compliance at (901) 416-6670.
Memphis City Schools homepage