AVID Expands to Four More Schools in 2014-2015
One obvious sign that a school is following the Advancement Via
Individual Determination (AVID)
system is the plethora of college and
university-related visual references in the building. Pennants decorate
classrooms and offices. Hallways are named after colleges and
universities. Classroom doors not only indicate the name of the teacher
and the grade but the teacher’s alma mater. Staff members frequently
wear their college colors to school. These visual tools help students
as young as kindergarten begin to form their own mental picture of
But AVID is much more than hallway
decorations. AVID is a long-term, comprehensive system that prepares
students for college. AVID is a set of rigorous expectations and skills
that students can use through elementary, middle and high school.
is already in place at Richwoods High School, Peoria High School,
Manual Academy, Lincoln K-8, Harrison Community Learning Center and
Franklin Primary School. As outlined in the District’s priorities for
2014-15, AVID is expanding to Calvin Coolidge Middle School, Von
Steuben Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Primary School and Kellar
Primary School. This expansion is a multi-year process with many
teachers undergoing AVID training during the summer of 2015.
school is in the first stages of implementing AVID. We are educating
our students about AVID and our first AVID class for eighth-grade
students will start this spring. Teachers have begun to incorporate
AVID in lessons and classrooms,” says Calvin Coolidge Math and Language
Arts teacher Katie Elledge.
AVID reaches over
700,000 in 45 states. Nationwide 99 percent of high school seniors in
AVID graduate from high school on time. Seventy-six percent of those
students are accepted to a four-year college or university.
AVID system of curriculum and teaching methods is based on research by
internationally-recognized experts in education, motivation and student
achievement, in particular the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, author of
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dweck writes that “In the
growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be
developed through passion, education and persistence.” The growth
mindset, contends Dweck, involves an authentic commitment to learning, a
willingness to take calculated risks and learn from the results, a
dedication to surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you to
grow, and to assess deficiencies and seek ways to remedy them. The
AVID system is based on a belief that this growth mindset can be taught
to students, allowing them to follow their dreams and fulfill their
In the early years of school, when
students are learning to read and write, AVID classrooms promote
Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading (WICOR).
WICOR is then used for every subject throughout the academic day and
continues to be used throughout the student’s academic career. “AVID is
helping create a common vocabulary, so students can get organized and
participate in WICOR-based lessons that are embedded with high
expectations,” says Elledge.
Although AVID was
conceived to address high drop-out rates and to reach students who may
be the first in their family to attend college, the skills learned
through AVID will benefit any student. In addition to WICOR, other AVID
components follow students throughout the elementary, middle and high
school years. For example:
- Student Success and communication skills including listening, speaking, writing, self-advocacy and study skills;
Skills including mental and physical tools such as time-management
skills, goal-setting abilities and note-taking strategies.
- Partnerships forged among students, classrooms, grade levels, families, community organizations and other schools.
example, AVID teaches students to use the Cornell note-taking method
and participate in Socratic seminar classroom discussions to build
communication skills, investigate multiple perspectives and gain a
deeper understanding of a topic. Teachers are trained to use techniques
such as upper-level questioning, gallery walks and story maps. “All of
these AVID strategies raise the rigor of our classrooms,” says Peoria
High School interventionist Cindy Jones. “They enable our students to
be successful and prepare them for college, technical school or the work
Learning to collaborate and forge partnerships is a focus of Peoria High School's senior AVID class.
Recently the class helped Mrs. Rippey’s Life Skills
Class paint jack-o-lanterns. The seniors paired up with a student and worked as
partners to complete a festive Halloween decoration. The students enjoyed
helping their peers and getting to know students they normally do not encounter
in their classes. The AVID class will continue to do activities with Mrs.
Rippey’s students throughout the year.
Thomas Jefferson School, all of our students now have a planner that
they use throughout the day. We check these frequently and the students
are held accountable for having them filled in,” says Assistant
Principal Carrie Kleist. “Students are really focusing on becoming more
organized so they know when assignments are due. They also are given a
monthly overview so they can plan for upcoming events and activities.
We also spent time at Back-to-School night familiarizing parents with
AVID and we plan to continue that process at Parent-Teacher
Conferences,” says Kleist.
What do students like about AVID?
“They really like talking about different colleges and universities and
sharing that knowledge with other students and with parents. We have
had presentations from college students for our 5th-graders and they
really enjoy that,” says Kleist. Guest speakers are another important
component of AVID, giving students another way to create a mental image
of themselves as a “college student.”