California GEAR UP Completes Statewide Events

It was a busy month for California GEAR UP. Throughout the state, participating GEAR UP middle schools attended strategic planning sessions that are the core of the professional development services. Institutes and Forums involving all School Leadership Team members, Regional Coordinators, GEAR UP staff, and partners.

The two-day Institutes use the SSAR and offers strategies and techniques for focusing on the school-determined needs. It provides opportunities to learn about successes and challenges from other school teams.

This year selected GEAR UP schools making strides to implement college-going culture in their schools were chosen to be ‘Schools on the Move’. The Schools on the Move presented successful strategies at each of the Principal and Leadership Team Institutes. Participating schools and topics include:

Pixley Middle School: In order to establish Rigorous Academic Curriculum, Pixley  Middle School implemented GEAR UP in four specific areas: the structure of our school schedule, common classroom strategies, college centered campus and classrooms, and college awareness activities.  These four areas helped students become more aware of the requirements to get into college and at the same time created an environment of interest to attend college. Also, this new college bound environment lessened the apathy our campus was experiencing.

Pleasant View Elementary: Presentation topics: Offering Rigorous Instructional Programs, and Reflective Rigorous Instructional Practice, Response to Intervention, Parent Involvement & Articulation into High School.

Upland Junior High School: Building a College Going Culture With a “We Can Do It!” Attitude, including: Ideas for building school and college excitement, lessons to build student understanding about getting to college, Upland Junior High’s scholarship application process, Procedures that support student achievement and establish high expectations for all students, how we communicate with our families and include them in the education process.

La Cumbre Middle School: The strategy shared is school wide weekly homework accountability system. Developed several years ago, this easy system really provides weekly feedback to students, staff, and parents. They are happy to share their strategy which has kept students accountable, teachers accountable, and provided a climate of academic success.

Davidson Middle School: The presentation is about how Davidson redesigned every system and structure in the school to conform to the vision of high achievement for every student, one school community, and increased parent involvement.

Pacoima Middle School: Presentation focus on school wide strategies Pacoima Middle School staff developed and implemented to strengthen areas of academic rigor identified on the GEAR UP SSAR.  With GEAR UP and other community-based resources, staff worked smarter in departments and teams, to increase academic rigor and student access to algebra and other rigorous courses. Data-driven instructional practices, department collaboration, and instructional leadership contributed to successful outcomes, including a 47-point gain in the Pacoima Middle School 2010 API scores.

Cali Calmecac Language Academy: Presentation will focus on the use of data analysis to drive instruction and determine the type and need for intervention as well as the effectiveness of the Two-Way-Bilingual Immersion Model. Also address the impact of a Parent Participation requirement for all families and the effectiveness of PIQE workshops for participating families.

Harden Middle School: Sharing our successes and challenges for creating a sustainable college bound culture and aligning these with focus on rigor.  Presenting slides and short segments from our Husky TV that highlight many of our accomplishments and practices.  We will share school changes over a 3 year period.

Tincher Middle School: Presentation of on-going academic success, data driven instruction, successful intervention strategies and use of technology to support the instructional program. The data assessment presentation will include information on action plans and PDSA plans, use of School Loop, communications, transition/articulation meetings, Baldrige approach and data driven instruction, and promoting a scholarly, ‘geared up for college’ environment is a top priority.

All presentations concluded with a question and answer session and time for attending schools to discuss how the Schools on the Move strategies can be taken back and implemented.

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