Published on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 by Emily Nash
Gear-Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a grant from Texas A&M University, is a new academic program for this year’s freshmen class hoping to ensure that they graduate from high school in four years.
Principal Diana Werner expects that the Gear-Up staff will continue to support these students throughout their high school career.
“The Gear-up program is going to follow these 9th graders all the way through 12th grade,” Werner said. “The plans are that each year the [Gear-Up] office will still be on our campus and that we have a parenting center up there as well.”
One of the focuses of Gear-Up is the completion rate, which affected the school’s TEA ratings, and initially ranked Bryan High as ‘unacceptable’.
“Our completion rate is the number of students who graduate from Bryan High and because they didn’t graduate, the Gear-Up grant helps with that situation,” Werner said. “The goal with gear up is to have everyone graduate.”
To address the completion rate and promote college readiness, Gear-Up teaches several strategies including how to use a planner, which the program provides for each student.
“It gives students a developing skill that they can use throughout their life and not just through academics,” world geography teacher Patricia Bailey-Jones said. “The most successful people use planners; it’s just a great skill to have. It benefits students because it’s an easy way to find what they did in class and what to prepare for.”
The current freshmen class also sees the difference Gear-Up has made.
“They teach us how to study and take notes so we can be organized,” freshmen Brandon Kveton said. “They give us stuff so we can be prepared for college.”
One of Gear-Up’s main focuses is to help send students to college.
“[The Gear-Up staff’s] support and choosing what can be the best for us, it just helps me knowing that they’re there,” freshman Madison Goolsby said.
Head of the Gear-Up Program Lourdes Gorzycki has some future plans with the freshmen class this year.
“We are meeting with every 9th grader to access Bridges.com for career and college counseling and creating 4-year plans,” Gorzycki said. “In the spring we will provide “Get a Life”, a reality game, to help students be more aware of their needs for the future.”