Washington, D.C., will open nine ninth-grade academies in the fall, which will enroll only first-time freshmen and keep them separated from those students who already have failed the grade at least once. The goal, officials say, is to better nurture incoming ninth-grade students by separating them from older students who may have become disengaged. Meanwhile, the district is working to create other solutions for the "repeater" students, including after-school "twilight academies" and other credit-recovery programs designed to provide alternative paths to graduation.

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