The GEAR UP initiative serves schools and communities across the Rio Grande Valley with programs and resources that support students’ college readiness. As part of this effort, Agile Mind’s Academic Youth Development (AYD) programs are designed to help students develop key skills and mindsets for success in Algebra I and in high school.  Participating high schools have two options for implementing Academic Youth Development in their Algebra I classes this year:

This page provides resources to orient you to the AYD programs and the outcomes that students and educators who participate in this initiative can experience.

Click here to read more about the importance of SEAD

Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) Essential for Success in a COVID World

Cohort 1: For Algebra I teachers who implemented Academic Youth Development this summer

Participate in a 3-hour live virtual Professional Learning Seminar to leverage Academic Youth Development concepts and resources with all of your algebra I students with special attention to the Algebra I Academic Youth Development Tool Kit—whether in a virtual or in-person learning environment.

The topics in the Algebra I AYD Toolkit are intended for use in your Algebra I class. These topics will present some key youth development ideas that help students understand what it means to be an effective learner. Each of these topics is presented in the context of algebraic problem-solving. The key ideas presented in the toolkit are:

  • Understanding functions and the malleability of intelligence
  • Linear functions and effective effort
  • Systems of equations and mindset
  • Quadratic functions and persistence
  • Solving quadratic equations and metacognition

Professional Learning Seminars for Cohort 1 Teachers include two options:

  1. Two 90 minute live virtual learning sessions on September 14th and September 15th from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM for a total of 3 hours. (Teachers must participate in both of these after school sessions) W/S-159553 – SEPT 14/15 – 4:00 – 5:30 PM
  2. One 3-hour live virtual learning session on September 12th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM. W/S – 159556 – SEPT 12 – 8:30 – 11:30 AM

Contact: Kris McKinney – for more information

Cohort 2: For Algebra I teachers who are new to Academic Youth Development

The School-Year Academic Youth Development (SY-AYD) program is designed to provide for professional educators a comprehensive set of resources to support all components of the AYD program. The program consists of a set of core youth development activities and additional problem-solving activities. This allows for flexibility to fit various school structures. To assist you in implementing these resources, we have, in collaboration with respected educators, crafted a set of instructional planning tools for each topic in the SY-AYD program.

Teachers first Participate in a 6-hour live virtual Professional Learning Seminar that provides an introduction to AYD concepts and competencies, includes an orientation to the course content and activities, includes modeling of enactment of School Year Academic Youth Development for both remote and face-to-face learning environments.

Algebra I Teachers who Participate in the Professional Learning Seminar will secure Access to Academic Youth Development for all of their Algebra I students.

Professional Learning Seminars for Cohort 2 Teachers include two options:

  1. Three 2-hour Sessions on September 8th, 9th and 10th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM for a total of 6 hours (Teachers must participate in all three of these afterschool sessions) W/S-159557 – SEPT 8/9/10 4:00 – 6:00 PM
  2. One 6-hour live virtual learning session on September 12th from 8:30 AM to 3 PM (with scheduled lunch break from 11:30 to 12:00 PM) W/S – 159560 – SEPT 12 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Contact: Kris McKinney – for more information

About AYD

AYD connects students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) to challenges in school. More students succeed in school, career, and life when they learn skills that support their social and emotional development and then explicitly connect those skills to their academic learning.

This suite of programs translates the latest research on student mindset, motivation, learning, and persistence into practical classroom strategies and tools that can be enacted every day, in every classroom, to produce a lasting impact on every student.

Academic Youth Development programs help students develop the habits of mind
and actions associated with success in school and the workplace, and
have daily opportunities to apply new learning to challenging problems
in mathematics.

Integrating SEL with challenging mathematics

Academic Youth Development connects students’ learning with foundational mathematics content. Students apply new skills to real-world problem-solving in areas of mathematics that are essential to their grade-level achievement. They learn and refine proven strategies for mathematics success, and collaborate with peers to analyze and understand problem situations, develop conjectures, and describe their thinking.

AYD Outcomes

This document highlights outcomes for students and educators who participate in AYD, in terms of what they know and do related to key ideas and strategies in the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

This one-page document shares common questions students have about Academic Youth Development.

AYD Fact Sheet

This document describes the Academic Youth Development family of programs and the benefits for educators, students, and school systems.

Transforming the Culture of Learning

In this video created by Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (TX), students and teachers describe the impact of Academic Youth Development on their mindsets and their classroom learning culture.

Changing Attitudes & Mindsets

In this brief video, a teacher and her students describe the impact of Academic Youth Development on students’ mindsets for learning.

Academic Youth Development Introduction and Walkthrough

This video shares an overview and demonstration of the program, including key ideas and strategies that support students’ learning.

Productive Struggle

In this brief video, a teacher and her students describe how AYD helps them apply strategies to persist through academic challenges.

Changing the Culture of Learning Mathematics

In this brief video, a teacher and her students share how AYD helps students change how they feel, think about, and respond to mathematics.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a seven-year program of the United States Department of Education designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Region One Education Service Center (ESC) and its partners provide services at middle and high schools for a cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school.

With questions about GEAR UP or Region One ESC, please contact:

Kristopher L. McKinney
Education Specialist
Region One Education Service Center
Phone (956) 984-6128
Fax (956) 984-7645