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High school sophomores do work on laptops during class.

Sophomore year lacks a clear identity but is well-positioned to be a time of intentional development for high school students.

The purpose of this report is to help build an organizing purpose for sophomore year by developing a research-based organizing set of indicators for sophomore educators. Using Freshman OnTrack and more nuanced definitions of freshman success, sophomore educators can better target intervention and support from the beginning of sophomore year; and using similar sophomore success indicators, they can monitor and support students during sophomore year.

The Forgotten Year Report

In Chapter 1 of the report, we review existing research and practice around Freshman OnTrack. In Chapter 2, we review how CPS has defined Sophomore OnTrack and consider the relationship between Freshman OnTrack and Sophomore OnTrack. In Chapters 3 and 4, we propose a more nuanced set of Freshman and Sophomore Success Categories that allow educators to better monitor students’ progress. Finally, in Chapter 5, we look closely at different groups of students’ freshman and sophomore success.

Highlights from The Forgotten Year

This booklet contains highlights from the full-length research report. The booklet also sheds light on a research-based set of indicators for sophomore year, building from the lessons of the district’s work around Freshman OnTrack. The focus of these data insights also extends beyond high school graduation to include the more ambitious goals of college and career readiness.

Practitioner Guide: Sophomore Success Data

High school graduation rates have been steadily increasing, yet each year there are students who were on-track as freshmen but did not graduate. Sophomore year is a powerful time. This practitioner guide provides a system to help educators better understand their sophomore students who may need additional support during their sophomore year to be successful. Each line of the table defines a category and shows the likelihood that students in that category will experience key outcomes.

The Forgotten Year Webinar and Presentation

The presentation on the report "The Forgotten Year" rounds up what we know about the importance of sophomore year and how educators can better monitor students during sophomore year to support them. Watch the video to hear the authors of "The Forgotten Year" present their research, or download the Powerpoint the authors present in the video below.

Why Sophomore Year Matters More Than Ever

Although the data in our report is drawn from school-years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings have important implications for the upcoming school-year since this year’s sophomores may face even more challenges than usual. Read the op-ed "Why Sophomore Year Matters More Than Ever" to learn more.

Looking for more? Read a summary of this report’s findings on the importance of providing support after freshman year and sophomore year myths that we must debunk. Learn why To&Through researchers believe The Forgotten Year report findings have important implications for future school years while students navigate learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.