two high school students weeding a raised garden bed at Phillips Academy; blue sky
May 18, 2022

Reimagining the 9th and 12th Grade Education

How can we better support students in transitions?
by Susannah Poland

At the Tang Institute, we have been inspired by the ways that schools are transforming education to better support 9th and 12th grade students.

We have connected with educators who are redesigning curricula, assessment systems, community-building practices, pedagogy, and deeply restructuring programs so that all students are prepared to succeed in their future years. We share their appreciation for the importance of transitions from middle to high school, and from high school to college or work—and we recognize that our usual ways of schooling suit some better than others.

Faculty at Andover, with the support of the Tang Institute, are rigorously rethinking education for students entering into and graduating from high school. We discuss issues like:

  • What types of assessment are most relevant and useful to students in these stages of development?
  • How do we build communities that are inclusive of students with all backgrounds and identities, and how do students’ individual differences become community strengths?
  • With the right support, students can shape their own education toward their own goals. As they approach graduation, how can we give them agency and support their self-leadership?

We are convinced that together, students and educators have the insight and skills to improve their own schools.

To push our imagination, share insights, and build momentum for change across schools, the Tang Institute is hosting a conference June 16 & 17 titled Reimagining Transitions: Reflections on Belonging, Curriculum, and Identity. The conference will highlight educators who are leading inspiring initiatives in public and private schools. They will share their insights and practical wisdom from experiences:

  • Moving to a schoolwide Mastery Transcript curriculum
  • Supporting trans and non-binary students
  • Developing summer programs to help first-generation students
  • Designing cross-course learning outcomes
  • Reimagining 12th grade with interdisciplinary, place-based learning

Please join us. This conference is designed to help you imagine possibilities for your home schools and begin developing strategies to improve your own practice. Conference attendees who are interested in deepening their work are also invited to join a year-long action research program led by Dr. Rebecca Stilwell of Teachers College, Columbia University. This cohort of educators will receive training in action research and ongoing support for projects throughout the coming academic year. Members of the research cohort will meet monthly and reconvene in spring 2023 to share their learning. Participants will receive a $2500 stipend in recognition of their time and research.

Registration and details at

If you have questions about the conference or program, please email Susannah at [email protected].

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