The people who want to establish a local Texas Scholars - High School and Beyond initiative in a community or school district should form a small, ad hoc working group including public school educators and business, higher education, and/or community representatives to plan and carryout start-up activities.
The necessary first step is to secure the support of the school district superintendent and at least one key leader from business, higher education, or community organizations.
Introductory Meeting - Conduct a meeting of key leaders in the community for the purpose of introducing Texas Scholars and obtaining commitments to participate in and support the local initiative. (TBEC will help secure a staff person or volunteer to help plan and conduct this meeting.)
Invitation Lists - Identify influential leaders from education, business and the community organizations who might support the initiative over the long term. Include representatives of key educator positions and others whose support might be critical to the success of Scholars, i.e. counselors.
The Invitation - The invitation is an opportunity to briefly explain the importance of the Scholars initiative to various interests in the community. To help assure a successful event:
1. Have the letter signed by the district superintendent and at least one key individual from business, higher education, or a community organization.
2. Organize a small committee to follow up on the letter via personal contact and/or telephone calls to encourage attendance.
3. The superintendent's office should require the attendance of key school district personnel. The business/higher education/community leader should help secure the attendance of representatives from their sector(s) of the community.
Agenda - The meeting should allow for sufficient time for questions and discussion.
Materials - New Texas Scholars - High School and Beyond materials are being developed and will be available on the Texas Scholars website as completed. PowerPoint presentations for different grade levels are available in the "Tools for Action" section, but you have to register before you use or download the presentations. Some of the presentations are large and will require a minute or more to download. The 10th grade presentation is in 3 parts because of its' file size and can be combined after downloaded to your computer.
Commitment and Follow-up - Have a sign-in sheet with space for name, affiliation, business address, telephone number and email address of each attendee for "follow-up" purposes. Provide a form on which the attendees can indicate their interest in participating and supporting the initiative. Plan to advise all who attend the meeting about follow-up activities whether or not they agree to participate.
The Leadership Team - Following the introductory meeting, establish a leadership team of key individuals who are critical to the success of the program. This group will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Texas Scholars program, from the initial 8th grade presentation, to the follow up activities in high school, and finally, the celebration for graduates. It should include a balance of people from the community and the school district. The superintendent should designate one person from the district to have overall responsibility for implementing the program.
Be sure to register your local initiative on the Texas Scholars website.