SHANNON, Miss. (WTVA) - We caught up with Shannon High School students returning to class after a break.
The ninth graders are in their own building, in a hallway with only fellow ninth graders, and in classrooms made up of students in their grade only.
It's called the Ninth Grade Academy.
Teachers say it's working for both them and students alike.
Teacher Amy Haygood said, "It's been really good for the ninth graders. It gives them an extra year to mature. It gives me an opportunity to get to know each child a little more individually."
At Shannon High School, it's the first time students from Plantersville Middle School and Shannon Middle School come together as one class.
Instead of the freshmen interacting with upper classmen throughout the day, they're instead in their own wing of the school.
They go to class together, and have break and lunch together.
Teachers say there's more of an opportunity for extra attention to be given to students who need help with their studies.
One student said, "Sometimes when she calls on me, I don't know what to say. But she's showed us the steps on how to do our work and I've learned to do the work."
Another student told us, "I think it's a lot better for the ninth grade to by by themselves. It's a lot easier for us to focus on what we're doing instead of what everybody else is doing."
The assistant principal, who heads up the Ninth Grade Academy, says in the last year discipline problems have greatly decreased while students' academic performances have greatly increased.
Assistant Principal Betsy Grubbs said, "The ninth grade year is a make or break year in their high school career. It's really important these students can come together and see success academically. Also, they need to see how things are done in a high school setting."
Grubbs says the students will then be better prepared to interact with other high schoolers in the years ahead and, above all, succeed.