Planning Phase Orientation

planning-phase_thumbDuring the Spring Planning Phase, the School-Based Manager and Regional Coordinator provide an orientation for all members of the School Leadership Team at the school site. The school team informs GEAR UP staff of their current vision and expectations. Statewide GEAR UP resources are shared, including newsletters, the California GEAR UP website, the Resources and Materials Clearinghouse, workshops, training Institutes and Forums, and conferences. In addition, two school site training sessions occur for the Leadership Team, one on assessing staff perceptions regarding a college-going culture and the other on use of the Clearinghouse. The last event is the Principals' Institute.

Principals Institute

The Principals Institute is convened at the end of the Planning Phase to focus on leadership skills for middle school principals. As instructional leaders, principals are responsible for identifying high quality professional development opportunities for their teaching staff; ensuring resources are available to support the participation of school staff and families; and, creating a culture of learning, predicated on professional development opportunities that build strong teams.

Resources used at the Principals Institute, March 30, 2009:

Institutes and Forums

Strategic planning sessions are the core of Institutes and Forums involving all School Leadership Team members, Regional Coordinators, GEAR UP staff, and partners. The two-day fall Institute uses 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. During January and February, the Forum provides additional opportunity for the School Leadership Team to work on the SSAR conditions and plan for implementation of their PDAP goals. Trained facilitators provide direction.

Counseling Institute

A series of Middle School Counseling Institutes are held throughout the state to encourage counselors in their role as college advocates and to strengthen awareness about the importance of academic planning for all students and families. Counseling staffs from GEAR UP participating middle schools and neighboring middle schools, which may be non-GEAR UP schools, are invited to participate. The institute also supports the involvement of faculty from local high schools.

Educational Trust Awards

Each participating GEAR UP school selects a designated number of students for the Educational Trust awards of $2,000 each. These awards are deposited in a trust account, earning interest, until the students enroll in college. The awards are accessed through the California Student Aid Commission.

Facilitation Services

School-specific services are provided by GEAR UP staff. By request, trained facilitators work with school teams and staff at planned retreats and/or staff meetings to accelerate progress in areas determined by the SSAR analysis.