Northfield 9th Grade Academy Institute

Closing the achievement gap…one student at a time.

In 2009, Northfield High School committed to making a significant change that would have long-lasting effects on its students far beyond their high school years. Research on the long-term impact of failing coursework in 9th grade (Border, 2006; Kerr, 2002; Wheelock and Miao, 2005) was ringing true for staff. Their goal became to create a solution to support at-risk 9th graders, reduce the failure rate, and improve their chances for long-term success. The proof is in the data:

In 2009, 28% of Northfield High School 9th graders failed one or more courses. In 2013, that number dropped to 7%.

Video Testimonials »

KARE 11 Recognizes Northfield 9th Grade Academy


Would you like to learn how to do the same at your school?

Join us for an inspiring yet practical one-day workshop that will set you on the right course to improve learning at this critical juncture. Learn how to close the achievement gap for struggling students in your school by implementing proven techniques and strategies from experienced educators. The nominal workshop fee includes curricular materials, reproducibles and a continental breakfast.

Workshop Schedule

One day seminars are available from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the following dates:

  • June 13
  • June 14
  • June 15

All seminars will be held at St. Olaf College’s Buntrock Commons.


Your Team

The recommended team includes five people but each school is allowed to bring up to eight educators. Consider bringing:

  • Building principal
  • Core classroom teachers (English, Science, Social Studies) academybrochurephoto2016
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Special Education teacher
  • Appropriate support staff (Educational Assistant/Paraprofessional)

The optimal team for this workshop includes five or six educators, but is flexible enough to accommodate teams as small as two and as large as eight.

Download Brochure

Our Team

The Northfield Academy Institute is led by our 9th Grade Academy team. These outstanding professionals can provide you with frontline testimony and experience about what has made the approach so successful. Our professionals include:

  • Jill Kohel, Social Studies & Language Arts
  • Scott Stanina, English
  • TJ Wiebe, Science
  • Lisa Battaglia, Special Education
  • Kelly Foster, Educational Assistant

Read more about our Academy staff


A $750 fee per school (or $250 per person for individual registrations) is affordable for tight budgets. The fee includes curricular materials, reproducibles and a continental breakfast. Curriculum materials and reproducibles will be provided in digital format, unless otherwise requested. Binders with paper copies of the materials are available for a fee of $10 per participant.

A perfect setting…scenic Northfield, Minnesota.

The land of cows, colleges, and contentment can provide even more than quality professional development. Enjoy the remainder of your stay in Northfield, in a historical and vibrant downtown with unique businesses and fantastic restaurants.

Questions? Contact Jill Kohel.

Northfield Public Schools • ISD #659 • 1400 Division Street South • Northfield, MN 55057 • p 507.663.0600 • f 507.663.0611 •