GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

October Prosser High Student Success

As the school year progresses, there are a few students who we want to recognize for their outstanding work. First off is Enrique Acevedo. Enrique is a sophomore at Prosser High School. He is very passionate about his education, and he even gave up playing a sport just so he could focus on school. He recently joined the AVID class, which can be very intimidating even for a sophomore. This AVID class has been together since 7th grade, so being the “new” kid in class can be a bit awkward at first. However, that is not the case for Mr. Acevedo. He is ready to take on the AVID class with full force! He is showing us his capabilities just a couple of months into school! How awesome is that!?

Another student who we want to recognize is Lucy Campos. Lucy is a freshman at PHS. Even though she just started at PHS, she is doing big things! Currently she is getting ready to start a new club here at PHS. The club she is starting to develop is a book club called Mustang Readers. Her passion for books is what motivated her to create this club. For a freshman to take on a task as this one, it shows the leadership and dedication she has. Lucy will be the president of this club and is looking for a secretary and vice-president. Her club meetings will be held in the GEAR UP room once a month. These kids are working hard to succeed in life, which is why we are taking this time to recognize them.

Moving along to some upcoming events that will be taking place, the first week of November we will have student led conferences. Student-led conferences will be from November 6th to the 7th. Following the student led conferences; GEAR UP will be hosting a College Night. On that night students will have the opportunity to visit any college booth that is set up and gather information about that specific college. Last but not least, there will be thanksgiving break on the 27th and 28th. Happy Halloween!

Prosser High GEAR UP launching off the school year the right way.

September has been one of the busiest months for the GEAR UP staff. We have kicked off this year in full effect and tutors have been placed in Math, AVID and Science classes. They have been doing one-on-one tutoring or small group tutoring. This year GEAR UP was also able to help out with Freshman Camp that took place Sept 19. Freshman camp is only designed for freshmen students. Students were placed into link groups with link crew leaders. At the beginning they all met in the gym and did some activities with their assigned groups. In their groups they were assigned a letter from the alphabet and using that letter, they were to come up with a team name. Once they came up with a team they had to come up with a chant and use it every time they won a competition. Once those activities were done they all headed out to the stadium for more competitive activities. Some of those activities included the chicken throw, pantyhose competition, the tee shirt launch and other activities. Once they were done with the activities students had lunch and headed back to the gym to learn some cheers from the cheerleaders. They also learned about the different clubs that are on campus and learn traditional things that have existed at PHS. For example, the body cheer, PHS fight song, and mega phone competition. Once all of these activities were done, the whole student body came into the GYM to listen to guest speaker Houston Kraft. Once Houston Kraft wrapped up his speech, the first pep assembly of the year was kicked off.

Even though we were been busy with freshman camp our GEAR UP staff was also busy getting things ready for National GEAR UP week that took place September 22-27. The Prosser Superintendent Ray Tolcacher officially proclaimed National GEAR UP week at the Prosser School District and thanked all our staff for our hard work and dedication in making a positive impact in our cohort lives. Monday was Reflection Action Plan; a few English teachers participated in this and made it a required assignment for the students. Once we received the essay plan there were four winners which were Joshua Lansing, Daisy Deleon, Araceli Sandoval and Mackenzie Smithyman. Thanks to Mr. Witcraft, Mr. O’Brien, and Mr. Gamble for taking the time and making their students participate in the GEAR UP writing plan. Also, GEAR UP awarded Mrs. Felicijan the Champion award. Mrs. Felicijan has always been there for the GEAR UP staff and was always the first one to support our program in any way. We are truly thankful for her support and dedication to the program.

On Tuesday it was Teacher college reflection day. Teachers took five minutes out of their 1st period to talk about their college experience and select one suggestion that they would like to pass along to their students. Also, during lunch we had the spinning wheel with different categories. Students were able to spin the wheel and got asked a question on that category for a treat. On Wednesday it was the College door battle. Teachers and students decorated their classroom doors with any college of their choice. Mrs. Salyers-Smith took first place with her creative design and her college was Heritage University. Second place was a tie between the speech therapy department and Mrs. Blair. We also had our spin the wheel during lunch again with Prosser Mustang Mascot joining us as well. Another thing GEAR UP did was take students and parents to Columbia Basin College to listen to Guest Speaker Consuelo Castro Kickbusch. Our students loved her and everything she talked about, making our kids be more motivated to do their best. She talked about her struggles growing up, being in school and her life after high school. Overall, parents and students enjoyed the presentation very much and suggested that she come to speak at PHS someday. Thursday was College GEAR day in which students and staff wore any college shirt of their choice. Students that were wearing any college gear were given a goody for participating and also students were able to spin the wheel during lunch as well. This was a great way for students to get to know GEAR UP staff members and learn new information based on the questions given to them. Friday and Saturday was the Harvest fest in Downtown Prosser. GEAR UP was able to be part of that and have an information booth for our community and for our students. We had spin the wheel, college/ GEARUP trivia, prizes and games. Students who were our cohort were invited to stop by and drop off a raffle entry with their name and grade. Each hour we selected one winner to win some goodies. We definitely wrapped up GEAR UP with a huge success and are pleased on how our students participated all week. Thank you PSD, Prosser High School and our GEAR UP staff for their hard work and dedication. This is how we wrapped up September and are glad October is here.

Upcoming events PSATS Oct 15, 2014, Families for Colleges October 16, 2014, Mustangs Readers meeting October 17, 2014, and Tutor training October 22, 2014.

July News at Prosser

The first week of July was the end of summer school.  Freshman students completed credit for Algebra, Geometry and History. The students participated in a raffle on the last day.

Alejandro Romero, SAS, targeted businesses for donations.  Several businesses have already donated including 24 Fitness, Prosser Family Fitness, Miranda’s Meat Market, 6th Street coffee, Cellular Plus, Show n go, El Buen Gusto, Golden Yan, KFC and Subway.  Most donations are gift certificates.  Sharing GEAR UP with the business community is exciting!

Mr Romero and Site Manager Mrs Bea Roland, attended NCCEP conference.  This was an incredible conference with networking, fantastic sessions and speakers.  At the conference, awards were given to GEAR UP partner, professional, parent and student of the year.  Mr Romero interfaced with GEAR UP staff from Chiawana, Kennewick and Southridge sites.  Mr Romero plans to network/collaborate on a more regular basis with other GEAR UP sites.  On the last day of the conference several students shared their plans and passion for GEAR UP.  These students were a pleasure to hear.  

One of the sessions attended by Mr Romero was preparing for National GU week.  At this session, we received several ideas.  One takeaway was that it did not matter when the event happens rather that it does happen.  Prior to hearing this, I believed the dates were rigid.  This was helpful to know for future reference.

In other sessions, speakers “Coach D” Andrews and Aric Bostick challenged GEAR UP staff to have high expectations this coming year.  Mr. Bostick electrified the group with his enthusiasm.  Mr Bostick encouraged the group to enjoy life and their vocation.  

Finally, Mr Romero and Mrs Roland will also attend AVID institute San Diego, late July/ early August.

June at Prosser High

June has definitely been a busy month for our 9th graders. The last day of school was June 6th; a few of our students were finishing up finals while others were finishing up big projects and presentations for their class. All the students were excited to finally be able to take a long break from school. A few students will be traveling to sports camps or traveling out of town to visit family. Other students will be working this summer as well.

On June 10 we took 33 students to Eastern Washington University and to Spokane Falls Community College. The first stop was Eastern Washington University. Students were able to take a campus tour once we got there. After the campus tour students were taken to a student panel where a person from admissions was awaiting with a current student on campus. The admission personnel talked about the steps for getting admitted to EWU, Financial Aid, Scholarships, sport scholarships, work study, study abroad, intermural sports, the different types of clubs on campus, and where you can go to get help and tutoring support as well. One student had questions on why it is important to do well in high school and the admission personnel explained the things they look for in the application process. The student presenter talked about her experience and gave students a few do’s and don’ts.  Once the presentation was finished, students were taken to the dining area to have lunch. Following lunch, students loaded on to the bus to leave to Spokane Falls Community College.  

While arriving to Spokane Falls Community College our tour guides were waiting for us outside of the Admission building which is also known as the Student Union Building. Students were given a SFCC bag with information on the types of programs offered and the application for admission. The students took a campus tour; they also visited the math and the science department. Once the campus tour was done students were taken back to the Student Union Building for a presentation. In the presentation the presenter talked about the admission process, financial aid, different types of scholarships, sport scholarship’s, child care, different types of student services and organizations, and types of programs they offer. They also learned the difference between a community college and a 4 year university.  Students were able to understand that if they didn’t want to go straight to a University they have the option of going to a  community college to get an Associates in Arts, Associates in Fine Arts, Associates in Science Transfer, Associates in Applied Science, or a Direct Transfer.

Overall the students were exposed to both Colleges, which they know are both different but they provided a lot of student support, financial aid, and scholarships that can be available if they decide to choose one or the other.

Summer School sessions have begun. Summer school started June 16 and will run all the way to July 2. This year summer school offered an Algebra/ Geometry class, and also Washington State History. A lot of the students that are coming to the Algebra/Geometry classes were referred by their 8th / 9th grade math teachers. These students need a little more help in understanding and what a great way to get the extra one on one help. In the Washington State History class a few of our cohort students were able to get their credit either in middle school or their freshman year in high school so now some are taking it. So many students are doing summer school to get ahead or retake a class they need to graduate on time.

Another great event that took place in June was the 4-H Teen Conference. Prosser took a total of fourteen 8th and 9th grade students to this event. It took place in WSU Pullman June 22-24. This was the first time Prosser GEAR UP took students to this conference and it was also the first time for many of our students to be away from home. But overall it was a great experience for our students. They were exposed to the campus, took a campus tour, saw dorm life as a freshman, ate at one of the dining areas, met students from the state of Washington, did group challenges, met diverse guest speakers, and explored a few different workshops. A few of the workshops that students went to were Robots to the Rescue, Improv your way through life, make it count! High School and Beyond, Warp and Weft: An introduction to weaving, self-defense skills, teamwork for success and there’s always more to learn.  Students also had an opportunity to meet a few college representatives. Our students were able to network and bond with students their age. Our students enjoyed the conference and are interested in attending next year as well. GEAR UP is exposing students to a higher education and making a positive impact on their life.

This month  the GEAR UP staff have been transitioning from the middle school to the high school, which means that we are excited to finally have both grade levels under one roof and won’t be dealing with the split. We are pleased and excited to see what PHS has to offer for our students now that WSU GEAR UP will be on site.  A few GEAR UP staff members have been moving boxes and equipment to our new home at Prosser High School. This has been a long ride but we are so glad to finally be with both our cohorts. 

May News at Housel MS

Towards the end of the school year students as well as staff start to prepare for the summer ahead. Everyone has worked hard all year and with so much going on we sometimes start to wind down before we should. Senioritis isn’t only a senior thing! But before we wrap up the 2013-2014 school year, there are still some things that need to be done.

May has been a busy month for exams in particular. The MSP which stands for Measurement of Student Progress is underway for all students. This test, like its name implies, is to see what the students have learned and how much they have progressed over the year. All students do not test at the same time and the window for this test runs from May 15th through May 22nd.

Another major test essential for the 8th graders is the End of Course exam, also referred to as the EOC. This exam tests students’ knowledge about what they have covered in their math class over the whole year. There are a total of 43 questions which includes multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer responses. The students must get at least a 40% to pass this exam and if they do not pass they will have to retake it next year as freshmen during the month of January. It is important for students to try their best and pass this test the first time because this is the time the material will be fresh in their brains. If they fail and have to retake it in January then they would have gone almost a year without reviewing the material which won’t be much of an advantage for them.

All 8th grade math classes have spent the year preparing and reminding the students the importance of the EOC. One class in particular that has been working extra hard to prep our 8th graders has been Mrs. Cole’s Algebra 1 class. The tutors assigned to her room take notice the amount of effort put in by both the teacher and the students to ensure that each student is capable of understanding and putting to practice all they have learned. There’s no doubt that Housel is filled with great teachers and Mrs. Cole is a great example of someone who truly cares and wants to see her students succeed. Thanks to her hard word and dedication we can expect great results coming from her students and Housel is grateful to have an excellent teacher like her!

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