This summer I had the opportunity to observe young learners and teachers working in a variety of settings across our community. From teens exploring what it means to be an “everyday” leader through community service to elementary engineers and programmers, I noticed learners who engaged and excelled in their work.
Staff in our schools understand that achievement gaps often begin with opportunity gaps. We are committed to providing year-round programs and pathways that close opportunity gaps for students. Whether it’s the work we are doing to revamp Career and Technical Education, extend customized options such as our academy model and charter schools, add fine arts pathways that provide more in-depth exploration of creative potential, or offer accelerated options such as the M-Cubed program, we believe that we need to keep working on as many ways as possible to reach every child so that gaps in educational opportunities do not limit their potential.
It’s why we are here.
AVID is one such program, In Albemarle, our AVID program has grown in 8 years from serving a handful of students to serving several hundred. Today, teachers with AVID training are in all middle and high schools aiming to make sure that our young people, especially those who are the first generation in their families to go to college, are well prepared to do so. We aim to beat the odds that a student will drop out of college or spend too many years attempting to graduate. It’s an issue of concern for our nation and state.
Why AVID Makes a Difference …. By:
Kathryn Baylor, principal
Peter Henning, asst principal
For years, educators and education reformers have cited the achievement gap as the greatest challenge facing public education in America. Some have gone so far as to refer to the achievement gap as the greatest civil rights issue of our time. As the years have passed, closing the achievement gap appeared increasingly impossible. There were too many contributing factors, from poverty to violent neighborhoods to fractured homes.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) offers a real solution to the achievement gap. AVID is a worldwide college and workforce readiness system that serves close to 700,000 students across the globe. With an instructional focus on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading, AVID helps prepare students for success in high school, college, and beyond. The AVID elective class provides an additional layer of support for students, largely from low-income and minority backgrounds, who show the potential to become first generation college students.
AVID is a phenomenal investment for a school. The national network of AVID schools and staff offers some of the best professional development available in public education. The AVID system also serves as a no-frills, no-nonsense model with proven success for schools and school divisions committed to closing the achievement gap.
AVID students gain acceptance to four-year colleges at a rate that is nearly 3 times greater than their peers across the nation. This holds true for students across all demographics, from African American to White to Latino. AVID students are succeeding, and at an astounding rate.
AVID is not magic. AVID is great teaching, and hard work, and commitment. AVID works.