Weekly Memo - 5/4 to 5/10

Good Morning!

Looking forward to a great week!

Don't forget to send me your weekly schedules.


Now that they are finished, I want to thank you all for your contributions to the STEM Saturdays. I understand they weren't originally apart of the budget or action plan for the year, but I think they represented a collaborative effort that needed to be done across the regions. They were some of the best programs we held this year, and to do them on days where students and staff are not generally at school was a strong indication that our cohort is looking for unconventional ideas.

I want to know how you feel about the programs moving forward, and whether you think they should be a part of what we do for the next two years. If so, we can work the funding into the GSSM budget. As you know, the roles for the event have now been defined.

Special thanks to Jomia for her role in bringing the events to SCGU. Great job everyone!

Focus Groups

Please don't forget to do your focus groups. In the interest of time, I am not changing the questions. Make sure you complete the groups before the kids leave please!

Summer Programs

Summer budgets are due this week. If I don't get your budget by this Friday, please understand that I will simply set an amount for your programs myself. If the amount I set isn't enough, you will have to make it work and explain to the schools that you missed the deadline to request funding. If your summer plan is the start of your enrichment, that's fine.


Per the conversations on the conference call last week, it appears that you all have contacted your bookstores at your partner colleges to order the books. None of you have indicated an issue with ordering the books, so I will be expecting invoices in the next week. Go ahead an order the books for the Dual Credit programs and the GEAR UP Transitional Courses as well. You all have your funding allocation for books, so don't go over that and we should be okay.

SuperIntendent Appreciation

Don't forget to send names to Vickie, if you haven't already! Don't just send me names. The emails need to be clear that this program was made better by these folks. Vickie may need to produce these one day for justification.

Superintendent talks

As a follow-up to the above, recently our Project Director was at an event with some of our SCGU Supers. The general consensus is that the Coaches have gotten complacent, and there is support for 1) revising the GC job duties; 2) requiring the coaches to reapply for their jobs the next few years; and 3) reducing the number of coaches moving forward. This will be communicated to the coaches in August.


I will do my best to get your award letters for COMPASS to you this week. I am pretty sure I can accomplish this by Wednesday at the latest. I'll email them to you as I get them signed. Please note that they will look a lot like the normal program award letters. Obviously, the book allocation will be reduced now that we are ordering from here.

COMPASS Follow-up

I feel like everyone has a decent handle on where we are headed. Some of the questions to keep the conversations moving:

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

- 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?

- Have the teachers been vetted by the high school or tech college?

- Does SCGU need to develop the lesson plans for the courses?

- Does the high school need anything from you in order to generate their Master schedule and include these classes?

- How will the invoicing process work?

- Where is the money being placed (whose budget)?

- Is there a plan for inventory and storage with books/tech?

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

- What was the feedback for the parent night? What was the attendance?

- What concerns have parents shared with you or the school?

- Issues you are encountering at any level

NCCEP/GEAR UP Summer Conference - San Francisco

If you haven't done so, we need your names ASAP. Remember, 6 attendees max per region, including yourself. Keep it at the District level and then Principals and AP's that have been vital to the program. No GC's, Teachers, AA's or Counselors this time. MAYBE a guidance director if they have been instrumental in the scheduling process for COMPASS.


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.

SCGU Award Letters for 2015-16

As a follow-up to the above, its about time to start reviewing your Programs from this year for suggested changes for next year's award letter. I'm bringing this up because I realize that the school year is close to ending, and I want you to have discussions with your school officials before they leave. I probably wont need your changes until after the conference, but at that point some folks you may need input from may not be around to meet with you.

As a heads up, I don't really know how much tutoring we will be paying for in those schools that have the SCGU Transitional courses. If you are feeling like tutoring still needs to be done in your schools, let me know. If you still want tutoring, you may want to have some proof or justification that your program is effective.

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?

College Access Update

College Application Month (CAM) registration is now OPEN! As Catherine stated last week, we are asking schools to go into the site and view their "preferred week". This is the week where CACRAO and CHE can be most certain that college representatives will be able to attend the CAM events. We already know how difficult it is to tell a school to do something on a specific date. A school can definitely pick a date outside of that preferred week, but it may be more difficult to get college reps on another date. I want the coaches to be sure they are involved in the CAM event at their school this year. I think it would be important to make sure the JR class is involved with the CAM event this year. It can be something simple, like having a mock application for them, or pairing them up with a SR student at the CAM event to let them see how the application process works. Anything we can do to familiarize them would be great. Remember, next year represents our final "practice run" before our class is THE CAM class for the State.


Registration for CCTI is upon us. I want to make sure we advertise CCTI to the counselors, teachers, District Personnel and Admins in the schools. We are not limiting the class to counselors, so please encourage all interested parties that need the credits to take the course. I would like to avoid it being ALL GC's this time. The next class is Module 1, creating the college going culture. It will actually be taught Summer and Fall. Ask your coaches to sign up and "Bring a buddy" as well. The link to the brochure for the course is below!

CDF/ CCTI issues

We will need to have a conversation at the GC meeting re: completion of the online courses that we offer, either the CDF or CCTI. I have gotten yet another email re: a GC who has started a class, but has not checked in or is not following the course outline. These courses are not free and at some point we need to look at placing something in the contract that holds the GC responsible for lost funding should they not complete the course.


We meet on Tuesdays to go over the Program and sign invoices. Questions usually come up. Be available between 1:30 and 3:00 for a potential call or text.

I NEED Q2 INVOICES ASAP!! The delay in providing the invoices will be a problem down the road if this continues. This is especially important with Q3 and Q4.

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.

Don't forget about the newsletters as well!