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Transforming Futures

Maine State
To ensure that Maine State GEAR UP
improves the outcomes for Maine youth, GEAR UP
schools are working to ensure:
Since 1999, the Maine Department of
Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and
Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR All 8th grade students develop proficient
UP), a U.S. Department of Education discretion- algebraic skills.
ary grant program, has been working across the All high school students take college courses.
state to increase the number of students from low
All students have individual learning plans.
income families who are prepared to enter and suc-
ceed in post-secondary education. All seniors complete their FAFSAs before
March 1.
The Maine State GEAR UP program is funded through a grant
(reference #P3345050037; James Davis, Project Officer) from All parents are actively involved in their
the U.S. Department of Education to the Maine Department of child’s education.
Education and is managed by Syntiro.
All seniors complete at least one application
Maine State GEAR UP Program to attend a post-secondary school.
11 South Road Readfield, ME 04355
1 (866) 291-0004 |
All schools increase the number of rigorous
(c) 2011
courses, including AP and college courses.
Project Director: David Noble Stockford All schools promote high aspirations for all
Program Director: Kathryn Markovchick students by facilitating student engagement
Program Co-Director: Debbie Gilmer
Program Co-Director: Pam Flood
and achievement in a supportive learning
Program Assistant Director: Beth Lambert environment.
Technical Assistance Coordinator: Wendy Allen
Technical Assistance Coordinator: Rick Wilson
Graphic Designer & Webmaster: Jenny Hartung
GEAR UP Districts
3. RSU 80 / MSAD 04 9. RSU 58 / MSAD 58 15. Union 103 / Moosabec CSD
Piscataquis Community High School Mt. Abram Regional High School Jonesport Elementary School
Piscataquis Community Middle Phillips Elementary School Jonesport-Beals High School
School Stratton Elementary School 16. Union 104
4. RSU 84 / MSAD 14 Strong Elementary School Eastport Elementary School
East Grand School 10. RSU 59 / MSAD 59 Shead High School
5. RSU 85 / MSAD 19 Athens Elementary School 17. RSU 34 and Greenbush School Dept.
Lubec Consolidated School Madison High School Helen S. Dunn Elementary School
6. RSU 30 / MSAD 30 Madison Junior High School Old Town High School
Lee Academy 11. RSU 70 / MSAD 70 18. RSU 24
Mount Jefferson Junior High Hodgdon High School Ella Lewis School
7. RSU 37 / MSAD 37 Mill Pond School Mountain View School
Cherryfield Elementary 12. RSU 74 / MSAD 74 Peninsula CSD School
Columbia Falls Elementary Carrabec Community School Sumner High School
Daniel W. Merritt School Carrabec High School
Harrington Elementary School 13. Portland Public Schools
Milbridge Elementary School Casco Bay High School
Narraguagus High School Deering High School
8. RSU 49 / MSAD 49 King Middle School
Lawrence High School Portland High School
Lawrence Junior High School 14. Union 102
Jonesboro Elementary School
Machias High School
GEAR UP Districts and Schools - Key to Map Rose M. Gaffney School

1. Southern Aroostook CSD

Southern Aroostook CSD School Mt. Abram teachers wear shirts and
2. Maine Indian Education sweatshirts from their alma maters to spark
Beatrice Rafferty School conversations about college.
Calais High School
Indian Township School
Woodland High School
Washington Academy

GEAR UP student Cassandra Dana in

Washington, D.C. at the 2010 NCCEP
Youth Leadership Summit. Mt. Jefferson essay contest contestants at Lee Academy’s
September 30, 2010 GEAR UP Day celebration.
Eric Brooks, GEAR UP Narraguagus
graduate, is program director for
Maine State GEAR UP directors promote the Family Community and Career
program with custom-made sandwich boards. Leaders of America (FCCLA) of Maine.
Objective #1
Increase the academic performance and preparation for
Objective post-secondary education of participating students.
Preparing GEAR UP Students for
College Academics

Objective #2
The number of GEAR UP students taking and passing
Algebra 1 by the end of ninth grade

Data from Maine State GEAR UP 07/08 and 09/10

Objective #3
Annual Performance Reports.
Maine State GEAR UP student Cassandra Dana, second from left, presents at the GEAR UP Youth
Leadership Summit 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Objective #4
“We need to expect great work from all students in order to
prepare them for the challenges before them whether they
choose work, technical training or college. Every student
must have a rigorous curriculum that makes sense to the
times in an atmosphere that is built upon strong

Objective #5
student - adult support.”

Dr. James C. Morse, Sr.

Superintendent, Portland Public Schools
Objective #1
Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation
ctive 2:
Obje in post-secondary education of participating students.
In the fall of the 10-11 | 07-08
school year:

Objective #2

640 | 402 $1.68 | 1.54 millon

GEAR UP Graduates in GEAR UP

Data from Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)


Objective #3
to attend

163 (US) | 26 (ME only)

Objective #4
Maine State GEAR UP Graduates: Location of Colleges Attending 2010-2011
Different Colleges
Note: Numbers on pushpins represent number of schools in those cities or states.
“One third of high school students who take early
“Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path college courses here eventually enroll at UMM. On
may lead, go instead where there is no path an leave a trail.” average we have between 50-60 high school
For me, this quote is very important because I am in the students taking early college courses each

Objective #5
first person in my family to go where there is no path—onto semester. One semester we had 80 students
college. The GEAR UP scholarship has supported my atten- participating in an early college course.”
dance at the University of Maine at Farmington since - Carol Wolf, GEAR UP Partner,
entering as a freshmen in Fall 2008.” - Eric Brooks University of Maine Machias
Objective #1
Increase educational expectations for participating students
ctive 3: and student family knowledge of post-secondary education
Obje options, preparation, and financing.
Percentage of Seniors Who Filed FAFSAs

Objective #2
from 2009-2010

Objective #3
Objective #4
Students at Sumner Memorial High School learn about the dental career field from David Burtt,
from the College of Dental Medicine at the University of New England. Data from Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) & The American Council on Education, 2010

“It is amazing to watch the reaction of the crowd, and

the graduates, each year when we announce the
graduating Gear Up students and the total amount of Many students and their families do not realize they are eligible
potential scholarship dollars available.  Many of our to receive financial aid to support their college-going aspirations.
Guidance counselors report that, once students realize they have

Objective #5
students would not test the post secondary waters this support, they are more likely to apply and attend college.
without this type of support.”
Paul Stearns
Superintendent of Schools, SAD #4
Objective #1
To integrate the GEAR UP program into Maine’s existing
jective 4: educational infrastructure.
Of the 21 GEAR UP high schools, 19 are served
by at least one other Upward Bound, MELMAC,

Objective #2
Early College for ME, JMG, or METS Program:

Data collected from cited program websites.

Objective #3
PIE stands for Promoting Individual Education. It is an event at Narraguagus High School that
fosters family involvement and helps pave the way for navigating the often daunting journey of

Objective #4
applying to college.

“The Shead GEAR UP liaison works closely with “The purpose of a College Access Team is to develop and implement a
Guidance, Maine Indian Education, the RTI team, collaborative and coordinated approach to preparing every student for
a successful transition to post-secondary education and training. The
and MELMAC as an integrated, equal partner to team focuses on overseeing and planning in four key areas: Academic
deliver student service.” Support/Achievement, Parental Engagement/Involvement, Career

Objective #5
Awareness/Development and College/Post-Secondary Planning/
Jean Schild, GEAR UP liaison, Shead High School Preparation. The team meets regularly to assess current efforts, review
available data, and set short and long term goals.”

-Gary Perlson, MELMAC coachl Assistance Coordinator

Objective #1
Anchor the use of Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative
ctive 5: and distance learning networks into the GEAR UP program
Obje strategies and activities.
The number of students participating in

Objective #2
specific GEAR UP activities:

Objective #3
NEOA Conference workshop, “Personal Learning Plans: The Journey of Three Maine GEAR UP
Schools in Developing and Implementing PLPs”

Objective #4
“Our middle school Social Studies teacher incorporates
Distance Learning to enrich the curriculum, allowing
students to think beyond our rural surroundings. With the
MLTI initiative and Distance Learning, our students have
Data from Maine State GEAR UP 2010 Annual Performance Report
opportunities to challenge themselves as learners and to
think more deeply about their choices once leaving Lubec.”

Objective #5
Peter Doak
Principal, Lubec Consolidated School
Maine State GEAR UP
Since 1999, Maine’s GEAR UP Program has been helping create sustain-
able cultures in Maine’s schools that support students from economically
disadvantaged households in preparing for, accessing and succeeding in
postsecondary education. Nineteen Maine school districts have par-
ticipated in this federal grant program. The GEAR UP program has been
successful in supporting participating schools in increasing their college-
going culture; raising expectations among GEAR UP students, families,
and staff that all students can plan for, and be successful in, postsecond-
ary education; and academic preparation for postsecondary success.
Staff at Syntiro administer The Maine Department of Education’s State
GEAR UP Program and provide support to GEAR UP school administra-
tion and staff through a coordinated, individualized technical assistance
model. Principle activities the program uses to provide the intensive early
intervention component include:
1. Providing a continuous personalized system of mentoring and
advising to students;
2. Providing information about higher education options,
required academic course work, and financial aid;
3. Ensuring student access to rigorous college preparatory
4. Providing staff development for administrators, teachers,
guidance counselors, and other school staff;
5. Organizing activities to encourage parental involvement in
preparing students for college;
6. Providing assistance in obtaining summer jobs, career
mentoring and academic counseling;
7. Conducting early-college awareness training for partners;
8. Visiting college campuses; and
9. Connecting GEAR UP schools with business and community