Weekly Memo - 12/1 to 12/7

This week...

Good Morning SC GEAR UP!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Turkey Day! We are fast approaching the Christmas Holiday and we need to tie up some loose ends before we take some time off to recover from a fast first half of school.

If you haven't provided me your Holiday Schedule, I need that be Friday December 5. It doesn't have to be that involved. I'm telling you now that I'll be out of office from December 15th until January 5th. I'll be reachable by cellphone, email and text, so I'm not going completely off the grid. But y'all already know me...

Capacity Building

Please go ahead and make your invitations to the Capacity Building Conference. We had to get with NCCEPP already to make the block reservations for the rooms, so we have a limited number. For that reason, I need to know ASAP when someone confirms. Please let them know the usual (Reimbursement details, after conference meetings each day, flight arrangements, etc.).

We should have a smaller group going to Philly, but that should make the conversations more intimate and direct, so that may not be a bad thing.


Please continue to push tutoring. I have been getting enough questions from the group about tutors to make me feel like you guys are looking hard at the tutoring situation, so I'm glad. However, I am concerned that we are almost halfway through 10th grade and we are still staffing tutoring programs. We need to work harder on this.

The next few years may see some tutoring changes anyway, but one of the biggest is that I would like the programs started sooner in the year, or at least commitments from tutors gained earlier.

College Goal South Carolina

Continue to work with your pilot College Goal Sites to be sure they have what they need for February. If you need something from us, Catherine can assist you.

COMPASS Initiative - Dual Enrollment / Development

Keep working on this! Especially the part about getting a Carnegie unit for the developmental or "SC GEAR UP college transition Course". I truly am concerned that if we leave it as an option for our kids, the ones who truly need it will not opt to attend our Summer or afterschool programs. Remember:

A)Have two tracks: a dual enrollment track for higher fliers, and a "GEAR UP College Transition Track".

B) Discuss existing options with the high school. Some of our schools actually have partnerships with the local Techs to provide D.E. coursework. If the better option is to pay for transportation to get the kids to the Tech school, then great.

C) There will likely be a need to request additional funding to make the cost for starting the programs/contracts work. I need to know that cost as soon as possible. Shoot for a worst case cost and we can scale back. I don't want the schools to plan like their is an endless pot of funding, b/c there is not one. I want the programs to be good, so i'll depend on you guys to flesh out the necessary costs.

D) Seems like most of the schools/districts are on board for the Carnegie Unit, so that's great. Keep pushing that route. If I need to give up something to get the course, just call me and we can discuss.

COMPASS Follow-up

Since last week short, this week is not a report week!!! Remember, I'm asking for reports on where you are on the COMPASS Project, by school. So, by next Friday, December 12, I want you each to send to me a summary of where you are with this project, by school and district, and any issues you are having or need assistance with. I want to know:

- 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"

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

- Have you began generating a budget/cost for program

- Issues you are encountering at any level

GC Meeting

As a recap, we will have the GC meeting on Wednesday, January 14, at Midlands Technical College. Please ask all your GC's to plan to attend, as this is mandatory. We will have some sessions on COMPASS and Dual Credit. We will also have data reports from Vermadel and the usual from Jomia and the Chamber. We will also have 2 additional presentations from Steve and Sonya.

We will finalize the agenda when we return from break.

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.

Vermadel has provided an early snapshot of where we are to start the year. Right now 17.37% of our cohort has completed Biology I.

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.

I can't stress enough how much we need to beef up the social media!!! This is a great way to keep everyone informed on what we are doing. We are also working on the websites each week. We need that support folks!