The Duncan Banner

September 14, 2012

Lovett discusses GearUp, 3rd grade retention policy

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN —

The inclusion of the GearUp program in Duncan Schools has students “gearing up” for post-high school education.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Duncan Board of Education, Allison Lovett, Duncan curriculum director and GearUp district coordinator, spoke about the things GearUp is doing within Duncan Public Schools.

Lovett said the program is providing more training for teachers and is introducing students to various college-readiness activities. One of the most recent GearUp programs was the Freshman Focus orientation program just before the beginning of the school year.

She said Freshmen Focus gave students an introduction to the GearUp program while helping students find their way around the Duncan High School campus.

“We had a super turnout of kids,” Lovett said.

Through GearUp, teachers are undergoing Advanced Placement (AP) training. They even attended a math academy to give them a stronger understanding of how to teach the subject.

Several students were even chosen to attend a science academy, Lovett said.

She said there are several things set for the future. One step in the GearUp program is to give students an idea of the different types of college campuses available in Oklahoma.

A field trip will transport high school seniors to several campuses, including Western Oklahoma State University, Cameron University and the University of Oklahoma. Lovett said this will help students determine what type of educational facility would best suit their needs.

Aside from the GearUp program, Lovett was also tapped to talk about the new third grade retention policy. The policy steps in line with the state policy.

Lovett said the state had determined third-grade students who aren’t reading on grade-level by the end of their third-grade year will not be promoted to fourth grade.

“Students who don’t meet the requirements will be held back,” Lovett said. “It will affect next year’s third-graders.”

She said the new retention policy will keep students back who have not shown they’re ready to move on. But it will also help determine which students need more one-on-one attention.

Although students could be held back, there is potential for them to be promoted during the middle of the year if they show progress.

“We’re going to work real hard to not have kids hit that wall,” Glenda Cobb, assistant superintendent, said.