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The 2014-2015 school year gets underway in just two short weeks, and incoming freshmen are understandably nervous, but a special program aims to help ease the way and increase their chances of success leading to graduation.

High school freshman cohorts, according to a story in The Journal Times, will divide freshman into groups beyond their subschool so students attend most or all of the same classes with the same teachers and accompanying staff.

The idea is that students will find a greater sense of community while receiving the attention and academic support they need to succeed during their freshman year and beyond. Cohorts was introduced at Horlick High School a few years ago with a random group of freshmen and will now be expanded to every Racine Unified high school this year to include all freshmen students.

Horlick Directing Principal Angela Apmann told the newspaper her staff was looking for something to improve first-year performance after nearly half of the school’s freshmen in 2009-2010 received at least one failing grade.

Cohorts was introduced in 2011-2012 with a random group of freshmen and because of the program, Apmann said, those students performed better overall and were on track to graduate compared with those who did not participate.

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