The California Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness Program (GEAR UP) -- a federal program of the U.S. Department of Education -- has entered into a collaboration with Valley High School to provide information, resources and support services for students, families teachers, counselors and administrators. While primarily focused on tenth grader students whom the GEAR UP Program has been serving since they were at Jackman Middle School, the collaboration also provides services for the total school community.
Individual Support for 10th grade students: Through individual meetings, each student has developed an academic portfolio to monitor their progress, identify areas of need, and discuss college and career options. Students are encouraged to take advantage of existing resources at the school through Counselors, the Career Center and Tutoring and are eligible to receive a $2,000 Educational Trust Award upon graduation from high school and college enrollment.
Tutoring: GEAR UP provides after-school tutoring for all Valley students in the Counseling Center, from 3-5pm every day. Tutorial support is designed to respond to student requests.
Advocacy Classes: Students are offered an integrated curriculum including sessions focused on college awareness and preparation. Parent and student surveys provide critical feedback and are collected through these classes.
LEADERSHIP SKILLS INITIATIVE
This initiative focuses on Character, Confidence and Career/College Choices for the 10th grade African American male students being served by GEAR UP. Students and their families receive information and academic services to help them become school and community leaders through engagement with their peer group, school counselors, mentors and leadership coaches.
All families of Valley High students will be invited to participate in a series of Family Workshops, Community School events, Get-the-word-out activities. and through a Family Center at the school. Services are provided collaboratively with the Healthy Start program. A Fall Family Gathering occurred in November.
WHOLE SCHOOL SUPPORT
California GEAR UP supports whole school activities including Back to School Night, the College and Career Fair, the CSU Bus Tour and the annual Regional Open House. All students have access to higher education information through the GEAR UP Resources and Materials Clearinghouse, and the www.californiacolleges.edu website through the Career Center. GEAR UP also supports professional development training opportunities for school personnel.