Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula, Alaska (PGKP) works in seven K-12 schools and with their local and regional communities to develop a consistent emphasis on high standards for all students, and to build a sustainable and inspiring college-going culture within and outside each school. At the elementary through high school levels, program components include:
PGKP puts all these pieces together in each school to create a set of reforms that reinforce each other and address the obstacles that contribute to low academic performance, drop-outs, and decreased college motivation. PGKP is particularly focused in these efforts because ultimately high school graduation and college education define life outcomes for young adults and address deep inequities in American society and education. They also, over time, translate into higher civic involvement in and improved economic outlook for our rural communities.
Program Updates: PGKP continues to strengthen and expand its comprehensive and systemic support at the community and school levels. Examples of targeted supports include a recently-developed focus on knowledge deficits and employability skills among students. In 2010, PGKP collaborated with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District counselors to provide workforce information and career planning to help:
(a) support high school graduation and
(b) prepare students for targeted and successful entry into postsecondary college training in high demand occupations, supporting the dreams of rural youth and the highest potential of rural economies.
K-12 Instructional Coaching
PGKP coaches help teachers across grade levels and content to improve instruction, student engagement, and student learning so that all students can achieve. Coaches facilitate and lead formal and informal professional development, as well as connect teachers to various resources and teaching strategies.
Classroom Behavior & School Climate
The goal of this component is instructional effectiveness. Recent empirical studies show that the teaching and classroom management skills of teachers are the strongest factors determining the effectiveness of student learning. PGKP coaches help teachers implement classroom management techniques to encourage student responsibility for a positive school climate, where all students are respected and learning advances.
Campus Family Support
PGKP provides assistance to students and their families facing problems both in and outside of school that affect classroom performance. Campus Familly Support (CFS) connects students and their families with community social services to assist with special personal and academic needs. CFS staff also provides academic and social enrichment programs in the communities to engage parents in their children’s education, address child development issues, prevent drop-out, and support college preparation.
At the Middle and High School level, College Access provides structural, motivational, and experiential support to students, preparing them for high school graduation and successful postsecondary transition and completion. It consists of four components:
Scholarships are the final component of PGKP’s college access program. Every student in a PGKP high school is guaranteed a scholarship of up to $4,000 if they meet PGKP graduation requirements, including:
- graduating in four years or less;
- maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or better; and
- attending two PGKP summer programs and other PGKP activities.