MEET GEAR UP PARMA
Students: Want to work on your plan for your future? Connect with your GEAR UP Parma Advisor! You can schedule an appointment here.
Normandy: Mrs. Walsh
Parma High: Ms. Pollard
Valley Forge: Mr. Lengel
UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS
Click the links below to register for the events that interest you!


Click the image above to open the flyer for December's Effective Leadership Academy Sessions.

Click here to register for the session that works with your schedule.
MEET ROBERT, GEAR UP SUPER-SHOPPER
Robert is a sophomore at Parma Senior High. He first learned of GEAR UP when his advisor came into his English class in eighth grade to show students how to log into Naviance. At the time, he did not pay too much attention, thinking it was another “optional” program that he did not have to do. Since then, he has discovered (with his mother’s encouragement) that participating in GEAR UP activities will help him reach his goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.

This year, Robert has become a GEAR UP Ambassador, participated in two summer programs, joined the Effective Leadership Academy virtual sessions, learned about financial literacy, liked GEAR UP on social media, and completed multiple tasks in Naviance. As a result, he has earned nine incentives from the GEAR UP Virtual Store!

“It is easy to shop," Robert said. "You just go to the website and click on the link. Once you pick out what you want, submit the form and in a few weeks, it will be at your door.”

Robert’s favorite way to earn incentives to date has been the virtual budgeting workshop: “I used to blow the money that I earned. Now I know that I should be breaking up what I make into categories so that I can reach my goals. GEAR UP has really helped me be ready for my future.”

All PCSD students in grades eight through twelve can earn incentives by completing a variety of tasks and then placing an order in the GEAR UP Virtual Store. Go to https://pcsdconnects.org and click on the Virtual Store on the page. You can see what items are available and how you can earn them. Once you complete a task, you just need to place an order to get your item.
FAST TRACK THROUGH COLLEGE
Meet Mia, a member of the Class of 2020 from Normandy High. She is on track to graduate in 2023 from Bowling Green State University! How can she do this in only three years? Mia was able to graduate high school and Cuyahoga Community College last spring. She took 63 college credits with her to Bowling Green (plus a few credits from AP Courses, too). She did this by participating in College Credit Plus. Be on the lookout for an announcement about College Credit Plus Information Sessions (typically held in January). Her advisor was able to ask her a few questions about her CCP involvement.

College Now: When do you remember / how did you first hearing about CCP?
Mia: My aunt participated in a similar program called post-secondary, so I always knew it was a possibility for me but never had any real interest in it, as it was “cool” at that time to do AP classes instead.

Why did you want to do it?
I really did not at first! My aunt “forced” me to try it, as she believed that I would like the format and the structure of college education more. I was never really a normal high school student, as in I never went to parties, did not play any sports, had very little friends. When my aunt explained that college is basically about learning and nobody expects you to be popular, I liked the idea, and when I placed high enough for college English, it empowered me to take that leap of faith and try.

What did you like better about college classes? What were the challenges?
I really liked the ability to schedule classes differently and having the option of online and evening classes, and a choice of professors for the said classes. My favorite part of college (and the reason why I am going into the social work field) is the diversity in the classroom. There were kids my age that were still in high school, there were true “college-aged” kids, there were older adults pursuing their second or third degree, there were retired folks who were getting their first degrees. It taught me how to make connections with everyone and exposed me to more experiences than just stereotypical high school. The challenges were not as memorable as the highpoints. Sometimes I felt intimidated to ask for help. As a first-generation immigrant and college student, my parents could not really help me with anything, but that time also taught me to use my resources like tutoring and office hours.

What do you feel like you gained from your CCP experience? Do you feel like you missed anything about not taking the classes at NHS?
The most memorable and important gain form CCP is my Associate of Arts diploma. I received it a couple of weeks before my high school diploma and to this day it is probably my biggest accomplishment. Other than that, Tri-C helped me to grow up quicker as I learned to assume responsibility for my actions. In college, syllabus is the most important piece of paper that you will get from your teachers and as long as you stick to deadlines, you will do great. I learned how to balance my personal and academic life better and how to reach out to people when I was lost.
Click on the images below for more information about GEAR UP Parma opportunities
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING THIS MONTH?
NINTH GRADE TASKS

  • Find and complete a volunteer experience over winter break.
  • Review and discuss course options with your family and school counselor to ensure you are on the right track.
  • Review PSAT results and create a plan to improve your score.
  • Prepare for end-of-semester exams. Make sure you understand how these tests might impact your GPA and ability to earn course credit.
  • Read for fun over winter break.
  • Complete 9th Grade Survey in Naviance.
TENTH GRADE TASKS

  • Review PSAT and Pre-ACT scores with your school counselor. You will receive your test booklet to review questions that you answered incorrectly. Become familiar with Khan Academy, ACT Academy, and other study tools.
  • Prepare for end-of-semester exams.
  • Begin researching the admissions requirements of colleges you are interested in. Compare your current scores and grades to determine whether you would be admitted today.
ELEVENTH GRADE TASKS

  • Review PSAT scores with your College Now advisor.
  • Link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts to take advantage of SAT study tools.
  • Register for an ACT/SAT test prep program such as impact! or a boot camp with College Now.
  • Register for the SAT or ACT national test date. Ask your counselor if you qualify for a fee waiver.
  • Consider setting up a job shadowing opportunity or virtual information session to see if the field you are interested in is really what you think it is.
TWELFTH GRADE TASKS

  • Request all transcripts, application packets, etc.
  • Send in applications after review with a school counselor and/or College Now advisor.
  • Confirm that FAFSA forms have been submitted correctly.
  • Request ACT/SAT scores be sent to your colleges.
  • Contact admissions offices to confirm they've received your application, essays, references, transcripts, test scores, fee waivers, and other requested documents.
  • Research and coordinate job shadowing opportunities. Ask your College Now advisor for help.
  • Look out for Early Decision and Early Action admission decisions to arrive. Update Naviance and notify your College Now advisor.
  • Continue applying for scholarships.
  • Continue submitting additional college applications.
Have questions about these tasks?
Contact your College Now advisor!