Ontario-Montclair Schools Foundation Receives Grant From Gates Foundation
Ontario-Montclair College-Focused Promise Scholars Work to Expand in Upcoming School Year
Ontario, CA – The Ontario-Montclair Schools Foundation will support the expansion of the successful Promise Scholars work in the upcoming school year, which serves 20,000 K-12 students annually. Promise Scholars works to strengthen the community by reaching out to all students and families early and often to instill the value of education after high school. This important work to help more students achieve their goals will be made possible through a new $90,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As part of this grant, Ontario-Montclair School District and Chaffey Joint Union High School District staff will take part in a year-long community of practice with other educators, receive technical assistance, with access to effective models, data tools, and practices to improve educational outcomes after high school.
Ontario-Montclair Promise Scholars works to bring everyone together—parents, educators, businesses, and local leaders—to introduce kids to the opportunities available after high school and make sure they are able to achieve their goals. Promise Scholars believes when the community comes together to help students become successful and contributing adults, the entire region benefits from a brighter, more productive future.
“Promise Scholars has been steadily working for the past six years to help increase the number of students and families completing financial aid applications and navigating the college access process,” said Shelley Gagnet, past Ontario-Montclair Schools Foundation President. “We are so pleased to partner with core stakeholders in this work, including the Ontario-Montclair School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Inland Empire United Way, Inland Empire Economic Partnership Cash for College, and the City of Ontario.”
These funds are part of the Gates Foundation’s Advising Challenge which will support 20 school systems across the nation to develop capabilities needed to adopt a “to and through” approach to improve the postsecondary outcomes of students by improving college advising, increasing access to financial aid, combating summer melt, and using data more effectively.
Promise Scholars was established in 2011 by the Ontario-Montclair School District and Chaffey Joint Union High School District in partnership with Chaffey College and CSU San Bernardino. The “Promise” was that all students who stayed in the community and graduated would have a guaranteed place in college and help in paying for college. Local businesses, Cardenas Markets and AllStar Kia, made initial investments to launch programming and the Inland Empire United Way established a volunteer component to engage the community. Since then, the University of La Verne joined as a core partner and provides college visits to over 1,200 eighth graders each year. Cal Poly Pomona, University of Redlands, and Azusa Pacific University also joined to guarantee a place in college. The goal is economic stability for all students and a stronger workforce for our region. This means a focus on connecting students to local colleges and universities where they can do internships in the region and
build their post-graduation networks.