A Final Letter to Our Amazing California GEAR UP Schools

June 2017

California GEAR UP Schools,

On behalf of the California State GEAR UP program, I wish to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with your schools. Since 2011, we have been inspired by you and your dedication to making a difference for All students. Your success has been shared broadly throughout California and with the national GEAR UP community.

As we near the end of this grant cycle, we are proud of the experiences and lessons learned on this journey with you. Because of your dedication, we have had broad systemic effect beyond the 48 schools that participated in the program. Our story is unique and it is important that we share the lessons that we have learned collaboratively with schools, partners, and other college access and community-based programs. Each of you has received a copy of The California State GEAR UP Program: An Innovative Model for Educational Equity and Postsecondary Preparedness. The report documents the evolution of the GEAR UP Whole School Services model for establishing a college-going culture at selected middle schools throughout the State.

We know that school-centered reflection is the heart of our Whole School Services model. GEAR UP School Service Coaches have established critical relationships with your school leadership teams and become integral to the school community. The attached document Impact and Insights highlights the actions that we have taken together and, in particular, the role of GEAR UP Coaches in your schools. These “lessons learned” underscore California GEAR UP’s impact as well as may inform future programming.

Looking forward, there is good news for GEAR UP: the United States Department of Education has formally announced a competition for 2017. Along with many other states, we have submitted an application for a new grant that would continue our efforts from 2017-2024 with announcements anticipated by Fall 2017. The State grant will remain focused on ALL students and the development and sustainability of a college-going-culture. If the grant is funded, the current cohort of 48 schools will be contacted and invited to apply for participation. For information on the application and activities of California GEAR UP, visit our website: www.castategearup.org or contact our office at (510) 587-5139. Additionally, many of your students have received Education Trust Awards. Please direct any questions you may have to Crystal Robinson Crystal.robinson@ucop.edu.

We are indebted to you, your school site contacts, school leadership teams, and staffs for your contributions that reflect the breadth of collaboration with schools, families and students. We know that you will continue to Make A Difference for ALL Students and we are proud to have collaborated with you to achieve this important goal.

With sincere gratitude,

Shelley Davis, Director-California State GEAR UP Program

University of California Office of the President


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