Ninth Grade

The first year of high school focuses on questions of self and identity, as students navigate a new and more demanding environment. Guiding questions allow students to make connections between content areas and approach their own development in new and valuable ways. Ninth graders select a real-world problem to investigate and research from the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Students also explore clubs and leadership opportunities at school.

Theme: Self and Identity

Guiding Questions:

Who am I?
What choices can I make about my own identity?
How can my choices influence others?

Core Courses

English: World Literature I

This course is designed to hone student skills in comprehending literary texts, citing evidence, evaluating, and synthesizing information. Students will write short and extended texts using academic language. Over the course of the year, students will be engaged in reading, discussing, and writing about identity development, universal themes and conflicts, and the way authors express their ideas. Students will compose at least three major writing assignments, in addition to having multiple opportunities to present their work to their peers. Throughout the year, the following concepts will be addressed on a regular basis: analyzing author’s craft, rhetorical devices, and writing conventions. 

This is a core course worth 1 credit.

English: Foundations of Inquiry 

This course is designed to initiate and support ninth graders in developing inquiry-based problem-solving skills, and is the foundation for the four-year Inquiry sequence. Deeply rooted in writing, reading and research, students also develop strategies and skills in analyzing, questioning, collaborating, and presenting. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) Project will be the gateway through which students do this work. The end-of-year project will provide students with the opportunity to present to an authentic audience in the form of a Young Leaders Forum: Being the Change: My Proposal to Change the Future. 

This is a core course worth 1 credit.

World History: Ancient 

Students will begin by examining the concept of place and how it affects humans and human societies. The course then moves to the development of the first civilizations, continues with an examination of classical societies, and traces the expansion of trade networks and their global impact. This course emphasizes the key themes of interactions over time, shifts in political power, and the role of belief systems. While emphasizing the importance of historical and spatial thinking, all of the social studies practices and standards are included in the study of global history and geography.

This is a core course worth 1 credit. Students will be encouraged to take the Global History and Geography Regents exam.

Science: The Living Environment 

Within this introductory high school life science course, students will build up laboratory, research, and literacy skills as they learn more about the components, biological processes, and relationships that allow for life to exist. As 9th graders immerse in a year of “Identify & Self” across classes and advisory, this Living Environment course will honor that focus through learning more about how the human body physically works, maintains balance, and develops and prepares for the continuation of our species via the reproductive system. Beyond learning about the intricacies of their own body, students will delve into the interconnectedness of all living things. In a world with finite resources and a growing population, students will examine and analyze success stories for how individuals, communities, and countries can support a healthy and biodiverse planet. This introductory high school life science course will satisfy state standards and requirements in order to prepare all students for the NYS Living Environment Regents.

This is a Regents-based core course worth 1 credit.

Algebra I or Geometry 

GO-NYC uses Illustrative Math, a curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving over algorithmic memorization. Algebra 1 and Geometry are problem-based core curricula rooted in content and practice standards to foster deep learning and achievement. Students learn by doing math, solving problems in mathematical and real-world contexts, and constructing arguments using precise language. 

This is a Regents-based core course worth 1 credit.

Additional Courses

Electives | Health
PE | Choice: yoga, running, basketball, soccer
Arts | Choice: visual, theater, music, dance*


College Counseling

Ninth graders begin to explore their post-secondary options within the first semester of high school, visiting college campuses within walking distance from GO-NYC, and interviewing adults, particularly our Americorps Fellows, about their journey to and through college.