2012 National Demonstration Schools

Two SAISD schools designated national models for college readiness


SAN ANTONIO, May 4, 2012 – Following a rigorous validation process this week by a national college-readiness organization, Jefferson High School and Longfellow Middle School have been named AVID National Demonstration Schools. 

The campuses are among only 124 schools in the country – out of 4,500 sites – to hold the designation, which is bestowed upon schools deemed highly successful in implementing the AVID college readiness system.

As National Demonstration Schools, Jefferson and Longfellow will serve as exemplary models that schools interested in implementing AVID can visit to observe the very best of the system’s proven methodologies and strategies. The recognition was earned under the leadership of Jefferson Principal Joanne Cockrell and Longfellow Principal Liz Solis.

“This is a great honor for our school district,” said Carol Frausto, director of Advanced Academic Services. “It emphasizes that the students are up to the challenge of the most rigorous curriculum.”

AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, is designed to increase the number of students who enroll in and graduate from four-year colleges and universities. AVID’s philosophy is that students in the “academic middle” can succeed in rigorous courses and become college- and career-ready, if they are provided with proper support and access to rigor.

AVID is offered as an elective course during the school day at all participating schools. Students learn organizational and study skills; they work on critical thinking and asking probing questions and they receive academic help from peers and college tutors. The students also participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. Each school has an AVID site team comprised of teachers, counselors and academic administrators, who receive intensive training in implementing the college readiness system.

At National Demonstration Schools, the system is implemented beyond the elective class and incorporated schoolwide. The AVID website outlines attributes that are common to all Demonstration schools, including strong and committed leadership, evidence of outstanding student achievement, a schoolwide college-going culture as a basic expectation and models for excellent inquiry-based AVID tutorials.

SAISD began offering AVID as an elective course in 1996 and now offers the system at 26 schools – all 14 middle schools, all 10 high schools and Bonham and Mission academies, which serve grades Pre-K-8.

The AVID coordinator at Jefferson High School is Judy Torres, and Rolando Ruvalcaba is the coordinator at Longfellow Middle School.