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Written by Carol Frausto   
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:20


The AVID Program


AVID is a sixth through twelfth-grade program that prepares students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility.  AVID has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students and in closing the achievement gap.  AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.



The AVID program supports average students in middle and high school who want to go to college. Students are placed in (pre-AP/AP) classes with an AVID elective class to support them during the school day. Additional support from the AVID site team and tutoring by college students is provided. The San Antonio ISD has two AVID National Demonstration Schools (Thomas Jefferson High School and Longfellow Middle School). Each school is routinely visited by parents, teachers, and administrators from all over the country.  



The AVID Program 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 fall 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 unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation.  



The AVID Elective Studentnot 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 more attainable.  Their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students.   

The AVID Curriculum



The AVID curriculum is based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and high school teachers in collaboration with college professors.  It is driven by the WIC-R 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. 



AVID Results-- A well-developed AVID program improves school wide standardized test scores, advanced rigorous course enrollments, and the number of students attending college.  Since 1990, more than 30,000 AVID students have graduated from high school and gone on to college.  Ninety-five percent of AVID students report enrolling in college, 78 percent in four-year institutions and 17 percent in community colleges.  The national average for four-year college enrollment is 35 percent.  

Why AVID Works 


AVID identifies eligible students.  The selection criteria include:


  • Desire and determination: Do they want to attend college?  Are they willing to work hard to get there?


  • Membership in an underserved group: Are they in a low-income household?  Will they be the first in their family to attend college?  Are they historically unlikely to attend college?



The AVID Program is tailored to the needs of this diverse group of students, and it works for them because:


  • AVID offers the intensive support students need to succeed in rigorous courses.



  • AVID uses Socratic Methods and study groups that specifically target the needs of under-achieving students. 



  • The role of teacher is redefined from lecturer to advocate and guide. The role of counselor changes from gate-keeper to facilitator.



  • All AVID strategies are based on research.





SAISD pioneered the AVID Program in the state of Texas. The district started the AVID Program 15 years ago in our 8 High Schools: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Highland, Houston, Jefferson and Lanier. In the 2001-2002 school year  we pioneered AVID in three middle schools, Mark Twain, Wheatley and Whittier. With the success of the three middle schools we phased AVID into two more middle schools, Connell and Poe.


In the summer of 2006 we expanded AVID to the eleven remaining SAISD middle schools to include: Horace Mann, Rogers, Davis, Harris, Cooper, Irving, Longfellow, Lowell, Page, Rhodes, and Tafolla. In 2009, AVID was added to Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Travis Early College High School.  


Edison and Fox Tech high schools have been extremely successful in their implementation of the AVID program and promoting higher education.  Both continue as models for others to emulate nationwide. The schools first earned the designation of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) national demonstrations sites in (2001). That prestigious status was validated during inspections by AVID representatives to assess how well both continue to represent the program and its ideals.   


Because of AVID’s huge success with Best Practices and College Readiness, AVID strategies are used in several elementary schools in SAISD.