Avoiding schools of hard knocks
By Eva Ruth Moravec: Express-News
These days, more and more high school freshmen are avoiding upper classmen's pranks — and the embarrassments they incite — by spending their first year outside of a high school.
Southside High School ninth-grade annex Principal Gilbert Olivarri stands in the hall of what will be the new annex.
Jasso said a committee looked at studies and visited other school districts to come up with the model, which then was shared with students and parents.
Most of the city's districts aren't turning to ninth-grade campuses to curb dropout rates. Northside ISD, the largest in San Antonio, follows a traditional ninth-through-12th-grade model.
The change is easier for small districts like Southside with 5,000 students and Southwest with 11,000, but would be a logistical and financial nightmare for a district like Northside with 87,000 students.
“It would be cost-prohibitive to redesign and build separate ninth-grade facilities,” Northside ISD spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said. “Special efforts are made to address the issues of ninth-graders. We know if we can get them through the ninth grade, the students have a greater chance at graduating from high school.”