School Board hears update on GEAR UP Program; in its fourth year

At the regular monthly meeting of the Greene County Board of Education, held Monday, February 19, 2018, Superintendent James H. Carter invited representatives of the GEAR UP Alabama program at Greene County High to give an update of projects and activities. Students in grades 9 and 10 are the current participants in GEAR UP, having begun the program as 7 and 8 grade students at the former Carver Middle School and Paramount Jr. High. GEAR UP will follow those students through high school graduation.
The updates were given by Lynne Marine, Region 5 Coordinator of GEAR UP Alabama and Marva Smith, Site Facilitator for Greene County. Ms. Smith described the various programs available to the students which include Financial Wellness Workshops, Financial Literacy Lessons, Kaplan Resources (books for various courses that are purchased for each student participant); ePrep (computer based instruction and testing) and Dual Enrollment for students who qualify; Comprehensive Mentoring; Mini Camps and Field Trips.
The GEAR UP acronym represents the following: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

Smith noted that GEAR UP students will be eligible to enroll in any two year college in the state tuition free. An added benefit is that their parents will also be eligible to enroll in any two year state college tuition free. Smith also stated that they are hopeful that GEAR UP Alabama will enlist a new group of students in middle school when the current group has graduated.
In his report, Dr. Carter emphasized the commitment to insure that all students are achieving at their highest potential every day. “The technology initiative will be the focus of instruction. We will be revisiting our infrastructure this year to provide the quality system that is needed for students to use technology the entire school day. We are exploring the addition of WIFI for students on buses as well as isolated areas in our school district.”
Superintendent Carter also announced that he hopes to implement a Field Day for special needs population in Greene County, inviting neighboring counties to participate.
In other business the board acted on the following items recommended by Superintendent Carter.
* Approved employment of LaToya Consentine as full-time bus driver.
* Approved employment of Justin Booth as substitute bus driver.
* Approved employment of Tweila Morris as long-term substitute in administrative assistant position at Eutaw Primary School for remainder of school term.
* Accepted resignation of Dana Blackwood McMillian as school nurse at Greene County High School.
* Approved Greene County High School baseball team out of state travel to Macon, MS, April 5, 2018 to compete against Noxubee County High School.

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