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Information For 9th Grade Families

Welcome to East!

We are so excited to welcome you to East High School! The Class of 2025 will likely experience the most anticipated start back to school ever! At East, we are mission-driven and feel compelled to make sure that every student who joins our community feels safe and supported to thrive as a Leopard:

Our Mission

East High School is a student-centered and inclusive learning community. We are dedicated to a school culture that ensures each student has the supports and opportunities necessary to find an academic, social, and emotional place to be BEAST (brave, engaged, accountable, safe, thoughtful). At East, the dedicated teachers, staff, parents/guardians, and community members model what it means to be BEAST by putting students first in our learning and doing, striving for ongoing improvement, and keeping our minds, hearts, and doors open to collaboration.

The school year begins on August 24 in person.

School returns to our typical block schedule with alternating A and B days. Ninth grade students will generally be enrolled in 8 classes during the school year. 4 classes meet on A day and 4 meet on B day. It is unusual for a ninth grader to have any off periods, so holes in a ninth-grade schedule should be reviewed with a Connections teacher and Counselor.

Currently, masks are not required for high school students. East is paying close attention to the spread of the Delta variant and as such will continue to support students and teachers who choose to remain masked in the building. Our cleaning precautions will continue throughout the building with increased access to disinfectant and other preventative measures in place.


As part of our commitment to ongoing improvement, some shifts have been made to the ninth-grade academic core in the past two school years. These shifts have been researched and designed in an effort to continue to grow our most popular Pathway options. As an esteemed high school, it is no longer enough to graduate our students with just the credits they need to graduate. Instead, we believe that every East High Student must be given the opportunity to explore a meaningful progression of coursework that leads to a diploma that reflects each student’s passions and purpose. Here are some of the most popular Pathways currently offered at East:

description of courses students can take

East’s designation as an AP Capstone and Diploma school is one example of how our work is growing the rigorous upper-level courses we are able to offer. This year we have added AP Seminar for our 10-12 students. Next year we will add AP Research. Other examples are the addition of two new Concurrent Enrollment courses and the addition of DLI Spanish at East High school.


Foundational Pathway

Foundational Pathway is our core learning for all 9th Graders at East. It is a collection of 4 courses that are common for all freshmen: ELA, Math, Science and Social-Studies.

Example of previous offerings and new offerings


In order to prepare all students to opt into any Pathway they’d like, the ninth and tenth grade core have been updated to ensure more alignment across classes and teachers and to increase preparedness for advanced coursework. 9th grade students will be taking a high-level English Language Arts class and Social Studies class in Pre-AP and AP Human Geography. Utilizing the consistency of the College Board frameworks will deepen student learning. This framework keeps students and teachers focused on the skills and concepts essential for complex thinking and critical problem-solving. The new foundation we are setting for ninth graders will increase student opportunities to enroll in higher-level courses (e.g. AP and Concurrent Enrollment) and promote the pre-requisite knowledge necessary to excel in CTE Pathway programs as students advance at East.


East High Connections

Connections is an advisory type class for all East High students comprising about 25 9th-12th graders. Students will be assigned and remain with one Connections teacher for all four years. This class will be used to regularly check in on student’s individual goals and progress towards those goals.

What can I expect from my / my students’ Connections teacher?

once a month individual check-in



  • Teacher is parent’s contact person for questions and concerns about school 
  • Teacher is main hub for student concerns - if a student is doing poorly or having similar difficulties in several classes, Connections teacher checks in with other teachers, looks for patterns, and helps parents and students problem solve 
  • Teacher is main advocate for their Connections students at school 


What will the expectations be for me / my student in Connections?

students will attend a twice-a-week, 25 minute class period 

  1. One period a week will be a binder check/individual check-ins with students 
  2. One period a week will be a lesson on skills/topics that will help students be successful                                          

Grading will be Pass/Fail and based on participation 


What will be on my/my students’ Connections Canvas page? 
  • Reminder of what the focus of your student’s weekly check-in with teacher will be 
  • Resources for: food, internet, devices, Canvas help, tips for successful digital learning, general tutorials for core subjects 
  • School announcements



Contact for More Information

Laura Cheney

Organization Information

Teaching And Learning
Education Specialist

Contact Information

Work Email

Contact For More Information

Katie Nitka

Organization Information

Teaching And Learning
Education Specialist

Contact Information

Work Email