Summer 2006 | | September 21, 2006 at 4:57 pm

As a result of participation in the California GEAR UP program, middle schools are expected to take advantage of the resources provided, and make use of other resources available to the school, to achieve five outcomes for sustaining school improvement and a college-going culture. The Outcomes are listed below, along with the Resources provided by GEAR UP and the Results from Cohort 5 schools from 2002 through 2005, and from Cohort 6 schools from 2003 through 2006.

  1. A Leadership Team led by the Principal, which guides the school-wide development of a college-going culture within a wider school improvement effort, and whose members actively participate in California GEAR UP activities.

RESOURCES: Principal & Leadership Team Institutes and Forums, On-Site Facilitation, School Self-Assessment Rubric (SSAR), Perceptions Of Attitudes, Readiness And Commitment To Change assessment, Community Conference, Newsletter, Website.
RESULTS: Of the 29 Cohort 6 schools, 26 Leadership Teams held an average of 8.8 meetings in the past year.
“The Leadership Team has been involved in developing a college-going culture at the site and within the community by always stressing the importance of grades and school.” Cantua Elementary, Cantua Creek.

  1. Rigorous academic instruction for all students, with regular and timely support for struggling students, and an increased number of Advanced Courses, including PreAlgebra in Grade 7, and Algebra 1 in grade 8.

RESOURCES: College Board and AVID teacher workshops, Professional Development Action Plan.
RESULTS: Cohort 5 schools increased the percentage of Advanced Courses from 11% to 15%, and increased Algebra 1 enrollment from 22% to 63% in three years.
Cohort 6 schools increased the percentage of Advanced Courses from 19% to 23%, and increased Algebra 1 enrollment from 47% to 53% in two years.
“Trainings have reinforced and focused our current and standing efforts to provide rigorous, relevant and interesting instruction for ALL students.” Wilson IB Middle School, Pasadena.

  1. Academic counseling which includes an individual grade 7 – 12 Academic Plan for each student, based on their strengths and interests.

RESOURCES: Counseling Institute, ACT DISCOVER website and training.
RESULTS: Cohort 5 schools increased the percentage of students with Academic Plans from 26% to 48%.
Cohort 6 schools increased the percentage of students with Academic Plans from 23% to 33%.
“Our teachers are currently using the College: Making It Happen workbook to help students develop a plan for high school and college. Students are backwards mapping from their career interest, to college program offerings, to college entrance requirements to high school offerings.” Ranchos Middle School, Madera

  1. College and financial aid information for all students and families, including a College Corner in each school.

RESOURCES: Resources and Materials Clearinghouse, College: Making It Happen guide and video, Kids on Campus video, Complete Pocket Guide to California Colleges and Universities
RESULTS: Of the 29 Cohort 6 schools, 13 have established a College Corner in the school.
“Each class has a College Corner.” Fairgrove Academy, La Puente.

  1. Regular involvement of families in supporting excellence in learning and high aspirations of postsecondary education for their children.

RESOURCES: Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Family Initiatives Project (FIP), Educational Trust Awards.
RESULTS: Presented Educational Trust Awards to 3,750 students from 1999 to 2005, and 288 students in 2006.
GEAR UP Parent Survey. Parents completing PIQE and FIP workshops are well informed about college admission and financial aid, and expect their child to participate in postsecondary education.

  1. 78% have spoken to someone about college entrance requirements, and 64% about financial aid
  2. 96% have spoken to their child about college
  3. 66% think their child will achieve a 4-year degree or higher, and 27% expect they will attend some college
  4. 64% think their child can definitely afford to attend a public 4-year college, and 28% think they probably can

“Great program! Well received by parents. We offered classes that assisted them in being able to have better skills at directing their students for academic success.” McFarland Middle School, McFarland.
“GEAR UP has helped our administration and staff work as a team to plan and implement necessary tools to help all of our students be successful. We have had the opportunity to see what other schools are doing that is similar to our own school. GEAR UP has provided professional development through forums, new programs and College Board workshops to help teachers help students get their minds around going to college and developing a mentality that everyone can and should attend.” Delta Sierra Middle School, Stockton.
“The GEAR UP program provided the critical support that schools need to promote the college going dreams of students and their parents. The earlier we begin to encourage them and help them realize the requirements and their potential for reaching the requirements, the more successful students will become in achieving their lifetime goals.” Garfield Elementary School, Alhambra.
“Our school is very proud to be part of the California GEAR UP program. All of the above resources have been of great support in helping us build the so much needed college-going culture at our school.” Stevenson Middle School, Los Angeles.
Evaluator, Don Watson

Leave a Reply