OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Hundreds of educators and parents met Monday to discuss approaches for improving the way students learn and increasing community support in schools.
The two-day GEAR UP conference is in support of a federal program designed to help middle school and high school students better prepare for college.
Last year, the U.S. Education Department awarded Oklahoma a five-year $20.5 million grant to implement GEAR UP activities, including college preparation and awareness programs.
"We are pleased to offer a forum where parents and education officials from all across the state can sit down and talk about specific ways we can help out students achieve their potential,"
Chancellor of Higher Education Hans Brisch said. "It is only by working together that we can begin to knock down the various barriers to students success and help more of our students accomplish their educational and professional goals."
The conference featured Allen Schmieder, vice president of a company specializing in school networking, who stressed the importance of schools having world-class technology infrastructures.
During the first part of the conference, parents and public school teachers representing 30 Oklahoma school districts serving as GEAR UP focus districts were given a chance to describe how to involve entire schools in preparing students for college.
The conference also includes sessions for current and prospective GEAR UP school districts to discuss the benefits and challenges of strategies that have been put in place to help students better prepare for college.
"An important part of this conference is to look at what has been accomplished over the last year, how successful strategies can be duplicated statewide and how challenge areas can be addressed,"
State Regents Chairman Leonard J. Eaton said.