Weekly Priority

SEEDS Youth Leadership Academy Discussion

GEARS Database

2017 Grant Database (GEARS)

Connect with GEAR UP Schools

  GEAR UP School GEAR UP Liaison Contact School Website
  Arlee Public Schools Damon Cordier e: dcordier@arleeschools.org | p: 726-3216 ext: 2305  
  Box Elder Public Schools Megan Maroney e: mmaroney@boxelder.k12.mt.us | p: 352-4195 ext: 5132  
  Browning Middle School Nathan Stone e: nathans@bps.k12.mt.us | p: 338-2725 ext: 4921  

Browning High School

Melanie Magee

e: melaniem@bps.k12.mt.us

  Hardin Middle School LaDona Yerian e: ladona.yerian@hardin.k12.mt.us | p: 665-6343  
  Hardin High School Lance Olson e: lance.olson@hardin.k12.mt.us | p: 665-6406  
  Harlem Public Schools


e: TBD

  Hays Lodge Pole Public Schools Paul Condon

e: pcondon@hlpschools.k12.mt.us | p: 548-4723

  Lame DeerPublic Schools Frances Altekruse e: TBD| p: 477-8900 ext: 1217  
  LibbyPublic Schools  Deanna Malyevac e: malyevacd@libbyschools.org | p: 293-8802 ext: 1951  
  Lodge GrassPublic Schools Josh Stewart e: josh.stewart@lodgegrass.k12.mt.us | p: 639-2736  
  PryorPublic Schools Talitha Goes Ahead e: talithagoesahead@pryorstaff.org | p: 259-7329  
  Rocky BoyPublic Schools Cassandra Lamas e: clamas@rockyboy.k12.mt.us| p: 395-4474 ext: 223  
  St. IgnatiusPublic Schools Alan Pule e: apule@stignatiusschools.org | p: 745-3811ext: 265 School page
  St. Regis Public Schools Jennifer Pruitt e: pruittjennifer@stregis.k12.mt.us | p: 649-2311  
  SuperiorPublic Schools Toni Labbe  e: tmlabbe@ssd3.us | p: 822-3600 ext: 117 School page
  Thompson FallsPublic Schools Penny Beckman e: pbeckman@tfalls.org | p: 827-3593 ext: 7069  
  TroyPublic Schools Kristine Morris e: kmorris@troyk12.org| p: 295-4520 ext: 2138  

Who do I contact with questions concerning...

Contact Travis Anderson | tanderson@motana.edu | 406-449-9139

  • Capacity Building Workshop, NCCEP, GEAR UP West
  • Youth Leadership Academy, Youth Leadership Summit
  • iTutor, Student Success Agency
  • Orders & Ideas for T-shirts, Planners
  • Web Updates

Contact Karen Wilson | kwilson@montana.edu | 406-449-9144

  • What forms to use
  • How to write a budget
  • How to enter services
  • What is the current rate on per diem, travel, etc.
  • Amendement requests
  • Training

Contact Kelly Hert | khert@montana.edu | 406-449- 9147

  • How to complete budget tracking sheets
  • What to include in fiscal report
  • What can be used as match

Contact Maureen Bjerke| mburke@montana.edu | 406-449-9174

  • Assessments - Aspire, ACT, Pre-Act, Tessera
  • Student, Parent, & Educator Surveys
  • Entering grades, coursework, demographics, new students, transfering students, general data uploads

Contact Travis Anderson | tanderson@motana.edu | 406-449-9139


Liaison Resources



List of Montana High School Counselors

List of First Year Service Coordinators

Send us your PII through Secure File Transfer

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for trainings videos on ACT, Data & Service Entry, Budgets & more. To access videos click on Playlists.

Professional Development

Montana Office of Public Instruction has a large selection of learning opportunities that may align with GEAR UP objectives and be included in Implementation Plans. Use their Portal to search options

District Leadership Institute - The District Leadership Institute initiates and engages a learning community of senior-level leaders in a profound learning experience focused on creating, sustaining, and strengthening the college going culture in GEAR UP districts.” Apply today!

Youth Opportunities

  1. Youth Leadership Academy
  2. First-Year Freshman Services
  3. GEAR UP T-Shirt Design Contest


These forms are for state-sponsored PD events, not those included in your school IP/Budget. If you are new to the program please complete a W-9 so we may process you in our payments database. 

Travel Forms for School Reimbursement (State-Sponsored Travel)

District Reimbursement Form

OCHE Non-Employee Travel Policy

Travel Reimbursement Cheat Sheet

Your GEAR UP school district must complete and submit this District Reimbursement form within 30 days of the event. Montana GEAR UP will reimburse expenses related to the event per State of Montana/OCHE guidelines, which include but are not limited to:

  • Mileage expenses at the current state rate of one vehicle per every three participants,
  • Lodging at the current state rate or the hotel conference rate if state rate is unavailable
  • Meals at the current state rate not covered by the event.

Reimbursement will not be greater than the current state allowable rates, even if the district reimbursement rate is higher.

Grant Management

Technical Assistance Manual - Section 1; Section 2; Section 3; Section 4; Section 5

Liaison Responsibilities & Duties


Forms Used When Preparing Budget

1: Attestation.docx

2: Return On Investment.xlsx

Amendment Request Forms

3A: Amendment Request.xlsx,

Forms Used to Verify Attendance

4A: Tutoring Sign In Sheet.docx,

4B: Event Sign In Sheet.docx

4C: Summer Attendance Record.docx

4B: Monthly Club Sign In Sheet.docx

Forms Used for Fiscal Reporting

5: Time and Effort Certification.docx

6: Fiscal Report .xlsx

Forms Used to Establish Match

7: Attestation.docx

8A: In-Kind Match Report.xlsx

8B: Form 8 Facility and IT Maintenance Match.xlsx

Sheets for Match

9A: Sign in Sheet Match - actual rate

9B: Sign in Sheet Match - volunteer

10A: Monthly Time & Effort Log

Forms Used for Travel

11A: District Reimbursment.xlsx 

11B): Student Voucher.docx

11C): Sponsored Trips.docx

Forms Used for Team Meetings

12: Local Team Meeting Agenda.docx


Survey Center

Parent Consent Forms. 9/1 - Ongoing

Consent forms are necessary for the evaluation team to survey students. Because we have a new evaluator these must be completed for all students in the cohort. Once completed, the form covers the student for the entire grant period. Target Response Rate 100%

Parent Survey. 3/1/2021 - 5/1/2021

The purpose of the Parent Survey is to gauge the knowledge, attitudes, and experiences of parents/guardians in order to measure and increase the effectiveness of GEAR UP at your school and around the state. The target response rate for parent surveys is 50%.

1. Read instructions

2. Survey 50% of parents.

3. Return paper surveys to the Montana GEAR UP office. See the instructions in Step 1 for details.

Contact Maureen Bjerke to obtain an updated list of your survey completion numbers 

Educator Survey, 5/1/2021 - 6/1/2021

Administer the educator survey to all school staff at your school. The more educators you are able to reach, the more representative and informative your survey results will be. 

1. Read instructions

2. Survey ALL educators.

Contact Maureen Bjerke to obtain an updated list of your survey completion numbers 

Student Survey, 3/1/2021 - 5/1/2021

We strongly encourage surveying students online. The more GEAR UP students you are able to reach, the more representative and informative your survey results will be. The target response rate for student surveys is 85%.

1.Read instructions

2. Survey 85% students.

3. Return paper surveys to the Montana GEAR UP office. See instructions in Step 1 for details

Contact Maureen Bjerke to obtain an updated list of your survey completion numbers 

Senior Exit Survey, 5/1/2021 - 6/15/2021

The GEAR UP Senior Exit Survey gathers information about students' postsecondary plans and preparations. It also asks for contact information in order to get required academic course information from first-year college students and follow up with all graduates next year. The more seniors you are able to reach, the easier it will be to get this information and learn how to better prepare students for life after high school.

1.Read instructionsSenior Exit Survey Flyer, parental consent form

2. Survey ALL seniors.

3. Once all of your seniors have completed the survey, please email Maureen Bjerke to get the results for your school.

College Visit Survey

The GEAR UP College Visit Survey is used to determine the effectiveness of college visits for student perceptions of careers and college options.

1. Survey ALL students who go on a college visit.

2. Email Maureen Bjerke to get the results for your school.


GEAR UP Quick Guide

Student Data Uploads


Financial Aid 101

Transitional Year Student/Family Handouts

MUS Academic Requirements

College Feshman Handout

Virtual Meetings Best Practice

College Scavenger Hunt

Montana Colleges Map

Fall Planning Meeting 2020


Introductions - (0:00 - 34:00)

School Showcases - (34:25 - 1:03:50)

7th Year Services - (1:26:00 - 1:52:30)

Student Success Agency - (1:53:00 - 2:55:00)

Emily Sallee - Trauma-Informed (3:55:51-4:54:40)

Crash Course Board Game Demo

7th Year Services:

Firstyear services are vital to the success of GEAR UP studentsand should be started the moment a student enters the programs. While not all of these ideas may be possible or the right fit for your school, below is a list of ideas for building a successful and sustainable 7th Year program at your school. First, connect with the following campus GEAR UP programs

MSU - Bozeman

  • Provide Info and Resources
    • Conduct a workshop, set aside class time, and/or have dedicated counseling time to cover important topics such as;
    • support services on college campuses
    • choosing classes and academics in college
    • budgeting and money management
    • getting involved and finding friends
    • homesickness
    • what to bring
  • Build Relationships
    • Have a senior night where students can meet with alumni, from the college they will attend if possible, and ask them questions. Invite representative from the schools to attend.
    • Host a summer send off picnic or BBQ
    • Plan first-month-of-school visits to campuses where multiple students are enrolled. Host a dinner or other event at which your alumni can reconnect and share their experiences. (Bonus ideas: drop off care packages and collect college addresses.) As your cadre of college students grows, develop a program to have on-campus “buddies,” pairing a first-year student with sophomores, juniors, or seniors who graduated from your high school.
  • Maintain Communication
    • Conduct a Senior Exit Survey to determine what plans your seniors have for life after high school. Also, use this as an opportunity to collect contact information.
    • Use a service such as Signal Vine to send reminders about actions to take after high school.
    • Create a “class of 20XX” group on Facebook in which students can engage their friends and you can offer encouragement, tips, and reminders.
    • Send monthly post cards containing study skill tips & tricks or pertinent reminders and an encouraging note from high school students and/or staff.
    • Assign a counselor or volunteer mentor (based at the high school) to all first year college students. This person is responsible for touching base with the student at regular intervals, potentially with a task-oriented purpose.
    • Extend existing mentoring programs into the first year of college.
    • Develop a “Friends of XX School” program in communities where several of your students attend college. Assign these adult “friends” to your alumni and task them with being someone the student can turn to when in need of assistance, support, or advice
  • Involve Alumni
    • When on campus visits, invite alumni to share a meal with middle/high school students. Gather a group of 3-5 and ask them to host a panel discussion about life as a college student.
    • Invite alumni to return to the middle/high school during their fall/winter/spring breaks. They can offer informational sessions in the college center, sit on a panel about college life, or visit a class to talk about their experiences.
    • Host a Holiday Party for recent alumni at the start of winter break. Include a celebration of success after the students’ first finals. Invite alumni from 5- 10 years out to talk about their current lives/careers. Use this as an opportunity to build connections based on career interests.
    • Organize a Homecoming Tailgate specifically for recent alumni, especially those who are attending college. Celebrate community and provide a forum for alumni to talk about their experiences – include talking about challenges and possible solutions.
    • Send Care Packages, curated and packed by current students, parent organizations or the alumni association, to college freshmen. Include something to remind them of home, something to help them with their studies, a fun treat they can share, and an encouraging note.
  • Engage Parents
    • Develop a parents’ group that brings together parents of seniors and first-year college students; encourage an agenda that provides support for both.
    • Send Parent Newsletters with information about how to help support students while they are away.
    • Host parent workshops at key points in a student’s transition to college to help parents deal with the changes in their children – first weeks away, coming home for break, etc. 

Parents and Students

While having a strong GEAR UP program is important, the most vital support of a new college student will come from his or her family. Many students and families don't know what they can do to more effectively navigate the transition from high school to life after high school. Ideally, preparation for post secondary education should begin well in advance of the actual occurrence. Below is a check list of some basic actions parents and students can take to be better prepared for the transition:

  1. Visit the college together.
  2. Attend as many workshops at the high school as possible.
  3. Reach out to resources at the college.
  4. Talk together about budgeting and money management.

GEAR UP Schools Map

Scroll over the blue labels to view liaison contact information. Tribal Colleges listed with a maroon icon.