GEAR UP Program
Portland Public Schools was selected by the United States Department of Education to receive a grant that provides support to students and families, with the goal of helping those students graduate from high school and go on to a post-secondary education. The GEAR UP College Ahead Program (CAP) grant is designed to follow a specific group of students through their middle school and high school years. The 2011-12 children in sixth and seventh grades in 14 schools are part of this designated cohort/group of students.
These 1700 students will be receiving mentoring and tutoring each year of the grant as well as experiencing visits to Oregon colleges and universities. The seven-year grant means that the supports will be in place up to and including the present sixth-graders' senior year in high school and the present seventh graders' first year in any two-year or four-year college. Parents will also be highly involved and supported. Field trips to Oregon colleges and universities will be arranged for parents, separate from their children's trips. Events will take place to provide parents with information on preparing the family and student for a post-secondary opportunity. There will be Family Nights, for instance, that provide information on financial aid, help with the "paperwork jungle" that comes with applying for college and financial assistance, and much more.
The grant also provides funding for professional development for the teachers in these 14 schools and the high schools the children will transfer to in a few years. Teachers will be making certain that the children are given the strategies needed to take on more rigorous courses in high school and then in college.
We are thrilled to be awarded this seven year grant and appreciate the significance of this funding support for our students.