GEAR UP: 10 Years of Making a Difference

California GEAR UP Celebrates 10 Years of creating college-going culture across the state of California. Our partner organization, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, produced a great video highlighting the success of the last 10 years and laying out GEAR UP plan for the future.

Watch the video here:

NCCEP 10 YEARS VIDEO

Tincher GEAR UP Has High Expectations

California GEAR UP school Tincher Preparatory recently completed their Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) family program. California GEAR UP provides PIQE to all of their schools to engage families in the college access initiatives already going on as part of being a GEAR UP school. PIQE provides a nine week coursework that teaches families about college, financial aid, student advocacy, and positive education community activism. Upon completion of the coursework, families celebrate with an awards dinner where certificates are presented to families that guarantee a place in a CSU school as long as they meet the schools admission requirements.

See the article here in the Press Telegram of Long Beach.

Caroline Alquitela holds her 11-month-old son, Miles McNaught, as she receives a Parent Education certificate from Tincher Preparatory School in Long Beach from school principal William Vogel. (Steven Georges/Press-Telegram)
Caroline Alquitela holds her 11-month-old son, Miles McNaught, as she receives a Parent Education certificate from Tincher Preparatory School in Long Beach from school principal William Vogel. (Steven Georges/Press-Telegram)

To learn more about California GEAR UP partnership and services including PIQE, please visit our website.

California GEAR UP announces ‘Building Bridges’ Event

California GEAR UP presents ‘Building Bridges’, a partnership with local school districts and Sacramento State University to bring Valley High Students together with Oakridge Elementary school students to Sac State for a unique and engaging day of activities. This event is part of a shadowing program in which the elementary students shadow the high school students to increase their awareness for both high school and college.

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MEDIA ADVISORY

California GEAR UP presents “Building Bridges” event with Valley High School, Oakridge Elementary, and Sacramento State University

December 4, 2009

WHO: California GEAR UP, Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento City School District, Valley High School, Oakridge Elementary School, Sacramento State University.

WHAT: Oakridge Elementary Students will be shadowing Valley High School GEAR UP students to Sacramento State University for a full campus tour, college awareness events, and lunch. Oakridge students have previously shadowed Valley students in their high school classes during a visit to the school earlier in the year. This unique event is a culminating activity to support the idea that it is never too early to start planning for and thinking about college.

With the motto “Academic Excellence and College Access for ALL students” California GEAR UP promotes the creation of a college-going culture throughout schools across the state. The Valley High School GEAR UP program represents a strategic partnership with Elk Grove Unified in creating this school-wide culture while collaborating to address the Achievement Gap.

WHEN: Friday, December 4, 2009

9:00-9:30 am:                          Valley students pick up Oakridge Elementary students
9:30-10:00 am:                        Oakridge and Valley Students transported to CSUS

10:00-10:30 am:                      Arrive at CSU Sacramento students will have snack
10:30-11:30 am:                      Tour of CSU Sacramento
11:30-12:00 pm:                      Scavenger hunt
12:00-1:00 pm:                        Have lunch at CSU Sacramento

1:00-1:30pm:                           Tour of residence hall
1:30-2:00 pm:                          Students will board bus to return back to their schools
2:00-2:30 pm:                          Oakridge students will be dropped off at Oakridge
2:30-3:00 pm:                          Valley High students will be dropped off at Valley High
Media inquiries can be directed to:

Elizabeth Graswich, Communications Director, Elk Grove Unified School District: egraswic@egusd.net, 916-686-7732. Sean K. Brennan, California GEAR UP Communications Director: sean.brennan@ucop.edu, 415-948-9262.

www.castategearup.org http://www.egusd.net/ http://www.castategearup.org/blog/

Valley High GEAR UP collaborates with californiacolleges.edu

California GEAR UP Valley High School collaboration participated in a week long training on the interactive college prep website californiacolleges.edu. On the site students create a profile that allows them to track their progress towards college, including A-G requirements, career and interest assessments, grades tracking, and the ability to begin, finish, and submit their college applications directly to their chosen schools. Christian Smith is tasked with training all the Valley students in their English classes Californiacolleges.edu is supported throughout the state by its administrator, Michael Burton (pictured). Thanks Michael and Christian!

Welcoming New GEAR UP Schools to our Institutes

Our Principal and Leadership Institutes are in full swing this month. Here are some relevant links to our partner  organizations that will be working with schools at the institutes and throughout the next two years:

Parent Institute for Quality Education

Taking Center Stage Act II

Math Diagnostic Testing Project

Taking Center Stage Act II launches new website

Taking Center Stage—Act II (TCSII): Ensuring Success and Closing the Achievement Gap for All of California’s Middle Grades Students promotes, illustrates, and supports the concepts embedded in the California Department of Education’s (CDE) 12 Recommendations for Middle Grades Success. Created specifically for middle grades educators, the Web portal delivers developmentally responsive and research-based practices through videos, professional learning activities, and best practice vignettes focused on the young adolescent.

TCSII fits into the 6 conditions of California GEAR UP and is an excellent resource for middle grades in addressing the Achievement Gap.

Visit the site and explore:

http://pubs.cde.ca.gov/TCSII/recsforsuccess/recsforsuccessindx.aspx

Be sure to check out the professional learning presentations including pre-activities and videos.

A great resource!

California Department of Education Announces Online Resource Kit for School Partnerships

State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Offers Education Agencies a New Tool to Combat the Achievement Gap


SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today announced that a key recommendation by his California P-16 Council is being implemented with the release of a new online tool called the Resource Kit for Developing Partnerships to Close the Achievement Gap (Resource Kit).

“Family and community partners are powerful and critical allies for schools working to improve student success and close the achievement gap,” said O’Connell. “The success of our students is directly connected to the success of our state and national economy. That’s why I urge businesses, faith-based organizations, parents, community groups, and others to get involved in their local schools. We all have a stake in preparing all students to compete in the hypercompetitive global economy, and schools need our support and assistance to reach that goal.”

The Resource Kit may be used by families, communities, and organizations to develop partnerships with schools that can help narrow the academic achievement gap that exists between higher-performing and lower-performing students. This online tool can help anyone understand the importance of partnerships, how to create them, and help existing partnerships improve. Users may access links to information on different types of partnerships with families, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, business, government agencies, institutions of higher learning, and youth service organizations. The Resource Kit also offers examples of real-life successful partnerships.

The Resource Kit is a result of one of the recommendations made in January by O’Connell’s California P-16 Council. The P-16 Council was formed in 2004 to examine ways to improve student achievement and create a comprehensive, integrated system of student learning from preschool through higher education. The Council researched factors that inhibit successful student learning and grouped them into four themes called ACES:

  1. Access: Do students have equal access to good teachers and rigorous curriculum?
  2. Culture and Climate: Are students’ learning environment safe and promote a sense of belonging?
  3. Expectations: Does a culture of excellence exist for students and adults alike, so that a common, high standard is the norm for all students?
  4. Strategies: Are proven teaching practices being used?

One of the ACES recommendations is to develop partnerships to close the achievement gap. The P-16 Council found that connecting schools with educational organizations, city and county agencies, faith-based organizations, parent groups, and businesses is necessary to foster partnerships that will support a well-defined student support system. Such partnerships recognize that students have needs outside the classroom that, if unmet, can significantly and adversely affect their ability to learn. Breaking down barriers and creating partnerships throughout California is an important step toward implementing a consistent approach to a high-quality and inclusive educational program.

“Too often in government, when recommendations are made by task forces or blue ribbon commissions on complex issues, they are forgotten as soon as the group disbands,” added O’Connell. “The Resource Kit is one of 14 recommendations by the P-16 Council to narrow the achievement gap that we are engaged in implementing. I fully intend to implement all 14 recommendations before my term in office expires so that we can improve conditions at the state level that help close the gap. We must ensure that every child has a chance to succeed academically and in life.”

The Coordinated School Health Work Group Steering Committee worked with the statewide P-16 Council to create the Resource Kit. The Committee represents education and community health partners, and other state-level stakeholders.

The Resource Kit is available online through the California Department of Education’s Closing the Achievement Gap Web site at www.closingtheachievementgap.org/partnerships <http://www.closingtheachievementgap.org/partnerships> . For more information on the P-16 Council, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/pc/.

California GEAR UP in the news

In a letter of support for Sacramento police chief Rick Braziel’s take on high school drop outs, California Assemblywomen Alyson Huber touts the California GEAR UP model at Valley High School:

Bravo, Braziel,dropout piece
Re “The time to act is before the dropout gets arrested” (Viewpoints, Sept. 20): I want to thank The Bee for printing Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel’s perspective on the dropout crisis. His testimony before the Select Committee on Lowering California’s High School Dropout Rate was very insightful and I appreciate his dedication to raising awareness about the issue and offering solutions.
The dropout issue is especially important to me because I was almost one of those statistics. Education opened doors I never thought possible, and I want to ensure those same opportunities for others.
Dedicating more money to the problem is not a viable option during this recession, but we can still take action. Sharing successful models, such as Braziel’s Youth Advisory Committee, is one of my goals as a legislator. The GEAR UP program at Valley High School is another great model. Principal Kevin MacDonald, along with his teachers and parents, are doing an amazing job of giving low-income students the skills and encouragement necessary to succeed.
The dropout crisis affects us all. In the long term, our state benefits by having these students move up the economic ladder and become productive citizens. Working together we can find real solutions.
– Alyson L. Huber, Assembly member, 10th Distric

Bravo, Braziel, on dropout piece:

Re “The time to act is before the dropout gets arrested” (Viewpoints, Sept. 20): I want to thank The Bee for printing Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel’s perspective on the dropout crisis. His testimony before the Select Committee on Lowering California’s High School Dropout Rate was very insightful and I appreciate his dedication to raising awareness about the issue and offering solutions.

The dropout issue is especially important to me because I was almost one of those statistics. Education opened doors I never thought possible, and I want to ensure those same opportunities for others.

Dedicating more money to the problem is not a viable option during this recession, but we can still take action. Sharing successful models, such as Braziel’s Youth Advisory Committee, is one of my goals as a legislator. The GEAR UP program at Valley High School is another great model. Principal Kevin MacDonald, along with his teachers and parents, are doing an amazing job of giving low-income students the skills and encouragement necessary to succeed.

The dropout crisis affects us all. In the long term, our state benefits by having these students move up the economic ladder and become productive citizens. Working together we can find real solutions.

– Alyson L. Huber, Assembly member, 10th District

Links to the original letter and Ms. Huber’s constituent site:

Assemblywomen Huber addresses drops with GEAR UP

Assembly member Alyson Huber

National GEAR UP Day Video: Valley High School

A million thanks to Chistopher Wong at Valley High School in Sacramento for this great video of our amazing event on September 18, 2009. If you are having trouble viewing the video, please follow the link.

Valley Video Link

ACT Sponsors National GEAR UP Day Event

ACT and California GEAR UP partner together for National GEAR UP Day at Valley High School in Sacramento. The event “Valley High School: Beating the Odds” will take place on Friday, September 18th at the high school located in the Elk Grove Unified School District of Sacramento. Press conference at 8:00 will feature California Superintendent of Public instruction Jack O’Connell as well as family and student speakers from Valley High School.