CALIFORNIA GEAR UP “Round-Up” in Riverside, CA
Developed to meet the diverse and complex needs of California GEAR UP middle schools, the 2014 Regional Leadership Events provided a forum for school teams to problem solve together and learn from each other about school practices, challenges and solutions. The events were facilitated by Whole School Services Coaches with content designed to respond to the needs of each unique middle school community. Activities were customized to engage and support participating schools within each region aligned with target areas of growth identified in the School Self Assessment Rubric.
Goals of the Regional Leadership Events:
- Develop and expand working, cohesive school teams;
- Share and reflect on leadership and approaches for developing leadership;
- Network to share smart practices and opportunities for continued regional work;
- Reflect on progress in building a sustainable college-going culture using the SSAR;
- Use data to identify and address challenges to access and equity for All students;
- Develop implementation plans for of GEAR UP partner resources and services;
- Complete the PDAP and Communication Plan.
The North State Regional Collaborative hosted at the Tehama County Department of Education in Red Bluff offered leadership teams from GEAR UP middle schools and their feeder high schools a unique opportunity for vertical teaming and articulation. Participants gained a renewed sense of, and commitment to, vertical teaming as a successful strategy to improve student achievement and access to multiple educational pathways. This event offers great promise for the future of the region as many school practitioners had been operating in isolation without direct interaction and planning with their lower and upper grade counterparts.
Brad Trimble-California GEAR UP School Services Coach
Big takeaways: The exchange of ideas, events, projects, etc. as a result of the “reflecting on the past” exercise has been mentioned a number of times. One (GEAR UP) site contact returned to school and, using her notes, immediately drafted a memo of implementation listing ideas to share with the rest of her staff. The group-alike breakout sessions gave teachers, administrators, counselors and out of classroom advisers a chance to share job specific experiences in building a college-going culture. The regional event provided an opportunity for participants to work collaboratively and function as a learning community.
Jon Sides-California GEAR UP School Services Coach
Low-income students often have the greatest need for opportunities to make sense of their world and develop intellectual autonomy. Without these experiences it can be challenging for them to articulate their needs and views. Accordingly, it was a pleasure working alongside educators as part of GEAR UP’s early college access program so that we can rally around this common goal. They were passionate about this need for equity and work hard every day to make it happen.
Robert Kaplinsky-Featured Speaker
The mission of California GEAR UP is to develop and sustain the organizational capacity of middle schools to prepare all students for high school and higher education through a statewide network of support for adults who influence middle school students, specifically their counselors, faculty, school leaders and families. As a result of this expanded capacity, a higher proportion of students, particularly from backgrounds and communities that have not historically pursued a college education, will enroll and succeed in higher education. California GEAR UP is a program of the University of California Office of The President Education Partnerships department and has served whole school communities across the state since 1999.