AVID is primarily a middle and high school system, with some presence in the elementary level, that prepares students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is based on the idea that “effort creates ability” and it has proven to bring out the best in students and in closing the achievement gap.
In San Juan Unified School District, AVID is available at four K-8 schools, all middle schools and eight comprehensive high schools. Three elementary schools participate in AVID elementary. The mission of AVID is to ensure that ALL students and most especially the least served students who are in the middle will: succeed in rigorous curriculum; complete a rigorous college preparatory path; enter mainstream activities of the school; increase their enrollment in four-year colleges; and become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society.
The AVID Student
AVID targets students in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their less challenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation.
The AVID Elective
Not only are students enrolled in their school’s toughest classes, such as honors and advanced placement, but also in the AVID elective. For one period a day, they learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. Their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students
The AVID Curriculum
The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is driven by the WICR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes, in content-area classes in AVID schools, and even in schools where the AVID elective is not offered.
The AVID Faculty
One key to a successful AVID program is a site coordinator/teacher who is a respected site instructional leader, works well with secondary school personnel, college students and faculty, who can organize curriculum as well as activities, and who is committed to serving the needs of target students. The coordinator works with
colleagues to implement AVID methodologies school wide, place students in college preparatory curriculum, and to work with counselors to guide students through the college application process. In addition, Del Campo High School and Will Rogers Middle
School both hold the prestigious title of being an AVID National Demonstration School.
The AVID Tutor
Tutors are essential to the success of the AVID elective class, where they facilitate student access to rigorous curriculum. As students from colleges and universities, tutors receive formal training and also serve as role models. AVID students who continue their education in college often return to the program as tutors.
The AVID Parent
AVID parents encourage their students to achieve academically, participate on an advisory board and in AVID parent and site team meetings, and maintain regular contact with the AVID coordinator. Many parents and students participate in AVID family workshops.
Nationwide, independent research, together with AVID’s own data, validate that the AVID college-readiness system works. Consider: AVID students are more likely to take AP classes, complete their college eligibility requirements, and get into four-year colleges than students who don’t take AVID. In addition, 85 percent of all AVID graduates complete the “a-g” course requirements necessary for four-year college acceptance. AVID also helps ensure that students, once accepted to college, possess the higher-level skills they need for college success.Spring 2014, the San Juan Unified School District celebrated 235 AVID graduating seniors. Out of those 235 AVID seniors, 176 were enrolled in a four year college, 58 were enrolled in a two year college at the time of graduation and 2 students enlisted into the military. AVID students had a 3.3 grade point average.
Some examples of college acceptances over the past few years are Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, Cal Poly, and UC San Diego. Over the years, prestigious scholarships have been awarded to San Juan Unified AVID seniors, examples being the Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship (1 out of 1,000 given nationwide), the Buck Scholarship, and the Dell ScholarshipProfessional DevelopmentThe AVID elective class is led by a teacher who has been trained in the program’s methodologies. AVID’s professional development, however, goes further than that. Teachers and administrators from throughout the school and District attend AVID’s Summer Institutes, where they all learn techniques for bringing out the best in average students. Many of our teachers have leading roles in AVID training on a state level.
Colleges demonstrate their support of AVID programs in many ways. They may provide class speakers, offer college credit courses to AVID high school students, include AVID students in residential, academically-oriented summer bridge programs, and follow and support the progress of AVID students during their college careers. The community supports AVID by providing speakers and summer apprenticeships for AVID students.
Where is AVID?
All San Juan AVID is implemented at middle schools and at the following high schools: Bella Vista, Casa Robles, Del Campo, El Camino, Mesa Verde, Rio Americano and San Juan.
Additionally, AVID strategies are implemented at the following schools: Woodside K-8, Kingswood K-8 (initiated schoolwide 2017), and Lichen K-8 Elementary.
Who Pays for AVID?
AVID is a free program to San Juan Unified School District students and families. There is no cost to participate.
For more information:
For individual school information, please contact your student’s middle or high school campus. For District information, please call 971-7167.