Oklahoma GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, designed to provide critical early awareness of postsecondary education and support services for receiving schools. The grant will benefit both the Junior High and High School, the goals are to increase student academic performance, increase graduation rates, improve opportunities for teacher professional development, improve students’ and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options and resources to finance them, and increase completion of postsecondary education.
The program provides direct student support services including ACT preparation, Pre-ACT and ACT testing, college campus tours, college exploration and preparation courses, and a designated college liaison to facilitate students and parents through the financial aid and application process.
As a whole-school approach GEAR UP offers direct support for teachers and staff through Professional Learning Community (PLC) training. Professional Learning Communities are educators who are committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective
inquiry and action research in order to improve student learning. The key to improve learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators. Teachers will be given time to collaborate on a consistent basis to analyze and impact their professional practice and advance their craft.
Although the grant focuses funds on developing PLCs at the junior high and high school level Claremore Public School has committed to become a PLC district-wide including their elementary schools. A PLC’s foundation is built on teacher leadership, active engagement and a commitment to improvement and learning resulting in high expectations within a set of priorities that benefit all the students and teachers in the district. “Claremore Public Schools is committed to increasing student achievement and creating an environment of success for all students. We value our students, quality instruction and the teachers that deliver it daily.,” Bryan Frazier, Superintendent.
Claremore Public School District is excited to be one of only 10 school districts in Oklahoma to receive this grant. As school leaders tasked with ensuring the next generation of workers and citizens will succeed in a competitive global economy, these funded services will empower Claremore Public Schools to be on the cutting edge of this directive.