GEAR UP Maine Bulletin
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September, 2016


GEAR UP Maine staff

Be sure to capture video and/or pictures of how your school is celebrating National GEAR UP Week! Photos and Videos can be emailed to or added to a google drive folder and shared with If you add them to a social media site, just tag @GEARUPME for Twitter or @GEAR UP Maine for Facebook.

Here is what we have included this month

(Don't forget to click "view entire message" at the bottom of this email to view all of our updates)

Bulletin Highlights
  • GEAR UP Maine staff spotlight - Stephanie Ferland
  • FAFSA Launch
  • Scribe Article
  • SCRIBE Tips & Tricks
  • Resource of the Month - NCCEP GEAR UP Week Website
  • Summer Experience
 Check out our public facing website here for the following information
Share your GEAR UP successes and challenges with us to share in Bulletins to come!

The GEAR UP  Maine Staff

Grant Must Do's
September Must Do's

College Access Team Members
  • National GEAR UP Week Activities 
  • District monies must be expended by September 24th and invoiced no later than October 24th
  • CAT Lead identify and reach out to parent rep, student rep, and one additional GU eligible student for October 28 - 30 leadership summit. DUE OCTOBER 1, 2016
  • Provide services/activities and receipt documentation to Data Stewards & Business Managers
  • CAT Lead complete student representative information sheet provided by your RF and scan it to
  • September 16 deadline
Data Stewards
  • Previous month’s data is entered by the 5th of the month. Know that the GU-ME Data Manager will run a report on all districts the 6th of the month.
  • Submit service provider list (names & emails) if you intend to have them take attendance and oversee a service (e.g. afterschool tutors).
  • Submit summer services (2015-16) data.
  • Submit any available assessment data not yet submitted for 2015-16.
  • Import an updated enrollment for all your schools that will account for all new enrollments & exits since the start of school and 7th graders.
Parent CAT members
  • Reach out to CAT Lead regarding October 28-30 parent leadership summit if able to attend
Student CAT members
  • Submit permission slips to CAT lead for October 28 -30th student leadership summit 
  • Contracts signed and submitted by September 16th

Get to Know Your GEAR UP Maine Staff

Stephanie Ferland
GEAR UP Maine Aroostook Scholar Coordinator

1.) The book I could read a hundred times over: 
Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery. The story of a little girl with a lot of spunk (and a predisposition for getting into a little trouble now and then), who faces adversity with humor and spirit, grows up to be a teacher and fosters the love of learning in her students, always makes me smile. 

2.) I would love to travel back to:  The Scottish Highlands, the landscape is breathtaking and the people are so friendly. I feel as if that's where my soul was born. 

3.) When I'm not working I'm:  reading, writing, hiking, or knitting.

Stephanie grew up in a rural mill town in New Hampshire, the daughter of a logger dad, who taught her love and respect for the natural world, and a stay-at-home mom, who taught her to read. She has been in love with school since her very first day of kindergarten, and her dream to spend the rest of her life in school, in some capacity or another, continues to be realized every day. She has a BA in Writing & Literature, Teacher Certification for K-8 regular classroom and middle school English, and is finishing her MATL at Mt. Holyoke College. She brings experience in both traditional and non-traditional classroom settings, ranging from kindergarten to high school, and believes everybody deserves a chance to learn as much as possible, for as long as possible. Stephanie lives in Portage and continues to marvel at the beauty of both nature and books. 
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What's Happening
Start Your Engines: FAFSA Launches in 38 Days

By Elizabeth Morgan, NCAN Director of External Relations
Article from NCAN Blog

Back-to-school season this year comes with an improvement for high school seniors: An earlier and (for many) easier FAFSA. Starting on Oct. 1, students will be able to complete the FAFSA using income tax information from two years prior for the next academic year, 2017-18. (If this change is news to you, get the basics from this three-page primer for counselors and mentors from the Office of Federal Student Aid.)

NCAN hopes that the change will also help reverse this year’s decrease in FAFSA applications from high school seniors for the 2016-17 academic year. Generally speaking, only about 55 percent of high school seniors complete the FAFSA, leaving almost $3 billion in Pell Grants on the table annually, according to NerdWallet. Far too many students don’t know that they could get grants to help pay for college. Early FAFSA is a great opportunity to encourage communities to commit to helping more students complete the form and get the funds they need for postsecondary education. For inspiration, check out the Florida FAFSA Challenge and NCAN’s national FAFSA Completion Challenge in 22 cities with the financial support of the Kresge Foundation. Read More 

What Your Data Steward Really Wants to Know!

Your College Access Team is scheduled to meet. An item on the agenda is Review the Action Plan. Who, on the team, is going to lead that discussion and what is the purpose of reviewing the plan?

Here is a suggested review path; your Data Steward is a critical participant in this review.


What information does our Data Steward need in order to enter all of our services into SCRIBE?
  • In SCRIBE, there are service templates that will guide your Data Steward. Your Data Steward has been given a pdf of how to create a service from a template and some common definitions of services/activities, but it’s up to the CAT to provide the Data Steward with the information that’s specific to your services/activities.
How will we know who participates?
  • Ah, that’s where your Service Providers come in. The afterschool tutor, for example, can be added as a Service Provider user in SCRIBE with access ONLY to that service/activity. The tutor can take attendance using any mobile device, and enter the amount of time the participant is engaged in the service that day. Think about what other services/activities in your action plan can be handled in this manner.
Is there anything in SCRIBE that will help us to gauge the success of any of these services?
  • Yes! A plethora of reports can be generated in SCRIBE! Reports use many different filters to help the CAT learn about the value of your services/activities. Reports can be generated with and without sensitive data. Reports can be generated with live data – no waiting around for the “man behind the curtain”! Service summaries can help guide the work, and inform the CAT if a change in course is warranted. Your GEAR UP Lead, together with your Data Steward, are the likely team members to create the reports to share with the CAT.
SCRIBE Tips & Tricks
Here’s a tip for using SCRIBE. Staff are imported either individually or via a batch csv file. Yes, staff need to be added. Any professional development they participate in is part of our yearly GEAR UP federal report.

Required Demographic data & School Assignments data
Optional Demographics

Sort your staff by Alma Mater – Think of some creative ways your staff can share their alma mater experiences with the students.

Resource of the Month
Join thousands of students, parents, teachers, partners and college access professionals from across the nation to celebrate GEAR UP and the successes of your hard work and dedication!

National GEAR UP Week is an opportunity for you to raise awareness in your community about the positive impact GEAR UP is having locally.  It's a time to engage all your stakeholders - local, state and federal elected officials, funders, partners, as well as local, state and regional media - to share your program's accomplishments and to get them more involved with your services to students and families. Let's  commemorate your hard work and the progress our students are making towards achieving their life-long dream of going to college!
The GEAR UP Maine program is funded through a grant (reference #P3345050037; Karmon Simms-Coates, Project Officer) from the U.S. Department of Education to University of Maine at Farmington administered by Syntiro.

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