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Gear Up Virginia

2020 Spring GUV Newsletter

2020 Spring GUV Newsletter



Greetings GEAR UP Virginia community,

We are writing with a few updates and words of encouragement during this very unusual time. We understand that ever-changing developments resulting from COVID-19 make it challenging to serve GEAR UP students. While social distancing is critical for public health, it also poses real difficulties in serving the GEAR UP cohort of 2020 students as they graduate from high school and transition to postsecondary.

We hope everyone is taking these changes from the daily routine as well as can be expected. Please know that the GEAR UP Virginia staff at SCHEV is working alongside you, navigating these uncharted waters as well as we can.  We are currently working on the following:

  • Reimagining Decision Day
  • Communicating with Virginia institutions regarding delayed deposit deadlines
  • Collecting student information through the GUV Exit Form
  • Assessing the GUV Student Ambassador application and training process
  • Submitting our Annual Performance Report
At the same time, we are also asking the questions: How can we help in this time of crisis? Are there new ways that we can support your college access work? Let us know how we can best support you through the coming weeks.


Quick updates
GEAR UP reimbursement and in-kind packages will take a bit longer for the state office to process. Please email Stacey Garnett at with any questions or concerns. We ask for your patience and understanding at this time.

The GUV Exit Form is now available. While the GUV Exit Form is the first step in the scholarship process, all GUV students - regardless of their postsecondary plans and/or scholarship eligibility - should fill out the GUV Exit form.  **Using whichever method works best (e.g. Remind, robocalls, emails, etc.), PLEASE encourage GUV students to fill this out at home. The form can be completed on a computer, tablet or phone.**

Families and students may visit for information on scholarship eligibility, the payment process and more. A recording of the GUV scholarship webinar and scholarship slides are also available.  For questions about the GUV scholarship, contact your regional manager or email

Delayed Decision Day
With institutions pushing back their deposit deadline (see 2020: The Year That Shredded the Admissions Calendar), Decision Day celebrations will look a bit different this year. The official day has been pushed back to June 1st, and many high schools are considering digital celebrations. Now is the time to brainstorm how can we celebrate our seniors' achievements in the current environment. Some ideas to consider:

  • FaceBook lives
  • Other live feeds
  • Youtube videos
  • Picture collages and graphics celebrating each student
  • Digital backgrounds
  • Zoom meetings with students
  • Celebrating via any and all of the social media outlets

NCCEP will host a Decision Day webinar titled "Celebrating College Signing Day the GEAR UP Way!" on March 26, 2020 from 1 to 2 pm EST where we expect to learn more about what other states are doing. Register for webinar.

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Resources for Schools

BrainPop: BrainPop is offering free, unlimited use of BrainPOP to any school closed due to the coronavirus during the period of their closure. BrainPOP offers animated movies, assessment resources, and creative tools for eLearning, projects, homework and more.

Discovery Education: Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms worldwide. They are the home to award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, and the largest professional development community of its kind. Free until the end of the school year. Principals and Superintendents email to gain access.

Edpuzzle: Edpuzzle is a platform that allows the teacher to take any video and make it interactive.  Educators can track if students are watching the videos. An educator can add his or her own voice narration and questions to any video. The platform is free to Covid-19 affected schools when they fill out this form. Freckle empowers teachers to differentiate instruction across Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science. Freckle offers content for the following subjects and grade levels: Math K-9, ELA K-12, Social Studies K-12, and Science K-8.

NCCEP's Compiled Resources: With the COVID-19 outbreak bearing down on communities nationally and globally, like you, we at NCCEP are arriving at each day with profound uncertainty. While we hope for the best, we are also deeply aware that COVID-19 is likely to significantly impact everyday life, our institutions, and our society as a whole for an unknown period of time.  In navigating the storm, let’s have each other’s backs. With increasing numbers of K-12 and higher education systems closing or moving online, we will all be seeking solutions to how we can continue to support our students and families. Chances are none of us have all of the answers, but as we learn what does and does not work, let’s commit to sharing. Below is a list of online resources that we have compiled, with the help of our GEAR UP community. Please check back regularly, as we will be continuously updating this website as we discover other resources.

Pear Deck: Pear Deck is an integration tool for Google.  With the Google Slides add-on teachers can create interactive questions and prompts for slideshows.  Once teachers have created their presentation they can either control the speed at which they present the material or allow students to move through at their own pace.

Slido for Education: Slido for Education is a package for educators to increase interaction during lectures and virtual classes.  Slido for Education integrates with PowerPoint, Google Slides, Zoom Video Webinar, and provides improved Slido Quizzes.  Educators can integrate interactive polls, quizzes, and audience Q&A right into the presentation. Free for teachers & students globally until July 1.

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Virginia College & University Virtual Campus Tours

College campus tours are one of the best ways to get to know an institution.  While visiting a campus in-person is ideal, it is not always possible.  Virginia's college and universities offer virtual tours through a variety of mediums - videos, interactive maps, virtual campus websites, and more.  Click on the link to the right of the college or university name below to go directly to that institution's virtual campus tour.

Virtual College Tours

Important Dates

May 1, 2020:  4th Reimbursement and Match Due for Western Region

May 14, 2020: 4th Reimbursement and Match Due for North Central and Southeast Regions

Staff Contact

Erin McGrath
GUV Senior Coordinator

Tierney Jackson
GUV Scholarship Administrator

Stacey Garnett
GUV Fiscal and Administrative Specialist

Amy Wiggington
GUV Data Specialist

Linda Staylor
Regional Manager- West

Melissa Benavidez
Regional Manager- North Central

Reshaud Rich
Regional Manager- Southeast

Paula Robinson
Assistant Director, College Access and PK-12 Outreach


GUV Covid 19

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Through these values, we create a welcoming work environment that represents the best of who we are as an agency and as individuals.

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