Weekly Memo - 3/8 to 3/14

Good Morning!

Good Morning SC GEAR UP!

short memo this week...


APR write-ups: March 18th

SCGU staff mtg: March 18th

COMPASS budgets by school: March 13th

APR Internal Deadline: April 8th

Objectives for 2014-15

The SCGU Grant objective for 10th grade will be that 80% of our students will pass Biology by the end of 10th grade. As of first semester, I believe Vermadel has us at 38%.

Remember, the success of the SC GEAR UP Grant will be judged on three things:

1) Did your GU cohort graduate high school at a higher rate than the non GU cohorts?

2) Did your GU cohort enroll at a post-secondary institution at a higher rate than the non GU cohorts?

3) How prepared to succeed were our GU cohort when they arrived at college?

STEM Saturdays

I've noticed some minor bumps in the road with regards to getting the STEM Saturday's done. Please note that these programs were new this year for us and we are doing our best to accommodate them. However, they have all been successful, so I can envision us doing them again next year. This means we need to work on our communication and we will need to devote some time to lessons learned from all sides. I have asked Mack to work on outlining responsibilities for the event in a general format, so that the accountability is there. In the meantime, make every effort to pull the event off and make it a success. It is a reflection of what we do and how we do it in every district.


Remember, I need that language re: your special projects going on in your Regions this year by March 18th. I'm attempting to get this APR submitted well before the deadline if possible. Your support in this effort would be awesome!

The thing about the APR is that it forces us to look very hard at what we do, and how we do it. There are some evaluation pieces coming across my desk that are scary with regards to how far we have to go with this cohort. We will go into deeper detail at the coming staff meetings but the story that PLAN and COMPASS is showing us, in relation to the grades our students receive, isn't connecting. We have to do better. Hopefully this COMPASS project is a step in that direction.

COMPASS Follow-up

As a whole, I'm pleased with where we are with the projects. I think we have some outliers and some folks that just may not be as far along, and we will get there. I know some of you are giving COMPASS later than the budget deadline I've set (March 13th). Give it your best educated guess. I need to know how much I need and I need it sooner than later.You have the format I need it in.

That's the budget part. But your discussions also need some structure. We need to know what this thing looks like in each particular school. I want to be sure you cover the following in your reports:

- Date of last meeting/contact on subject and who attended

- Date of COMPASS administration

- Technical college that will partner with high school through project

- Plan for Dual Enrollment Course delivery

- Plan for Developmental or "GEAR UP University Transition Course"

- Who is teaching the courses?

- Will you have enough students to "make" the course?

- You have results, so if you don't have enough students to have a course, what now?

- Have you discussed if this "Transition Course" could be offered with Carnegie Unit

- Plan for sharing data with stakeholders (parent night? IGP?)

- Issues you are encountering at any level

Remember the deadlines. Let's help the schools move forward.

NCCEP/GEAR UP Summer Conference - San Francisco

Just a reminder. Deadline for submission to NCCEP is Sunday, March 15th. I need to see all proposals prior to submission. So far, I have received one. One. For the NCCEP/GEAR UP conference attendees, special priority will be given to those individuals who are chosen to present at the National Conference.


Remember, if there is a kid who is failing, that is not attending a tutoring program, your coach will need to document that contact was made and why the student isn't coming.

So tutoring officially hit the fan in my Tuesday meeting and again in my Thursday meeting as I was getting your Q1 invoices signed. I can't continue justifying weak tutoring programs in schools with multiple failures and I'm tired of doing so. We will be looking at Coach evaluations closely to determine who needs to move forward. If a coach cannot convince students/parents that a failing student needs tutoring then we will have to look at another coach. The need is clearly there.

At the very least, the evaluations for next year will need to contain a mandatory percentage of failures or students at a specific level of achievement in tutoring.

College Access Update

Catherine will be contacting the Pilots for College Goal SC to debrief on lessons learned from this year.

We are also starting the initial meetings for College Application Month, so stay tuned. Nothing major for you all now, but remember that next year is our full fledged "pilot year" for both CAM and CGSC. We have one more dry run before its on us. Need to make sure all the coaches are engaged and ready conduct both events at their schools. They should attempt to be a BIG help this year.


We were able to get most of the Q1's signed and down to Finance so checks should be forthcoming. Thanks for your efforts in getting them to us much faster than previously done. That made a big difference. Moving forward, please ensure that you have correct documentation for expenditures. Please make sure you have that summary sheet that tells us exactly what was spent, what was purchased and where it came from. That helps.

As an FYI, extra attention is being paid to tutoring, tutor sign in sheets and student sign in sheets. If something looks suspicious, we will be asking questions for verification. Please know what's going on in your tutoring programs.

Social Media Update

The SC GEAR UP Facebook and Twitter are now both up!!!! Please have the coaches encourage students to like and follow SC GEAR UP on social media. We can do better on Twitter and certainly on Facebook.