What is AVID?
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a professional development program that uses research-based strategies and curriculum. AVID is a structured, college preparatory system working directly with schools and districts that was established over 30 years ago. AVID is a school-wide approach to curriculum and rigor that impacts more than
700,000 students in K-12 and 41 postsecondary institutions. AVID has been adopted by nearly 4,900 schools in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and 16 countries. The Boise School District first implemented AVID at Fairmont Junior High in 2006. Since then, the AVID program has been implemented in every junior high and high school in the Boise School District.
AVID is a program for “middle to upper middle” academic students. However, AVID students must also have a strong desire to attend school beyond high school and have the Individual Determination to do what it takes to get there. AVID students have the potential for honors/accelerated work in junior high and high school, but need academic and emotional support from teachers, other AVID students, their AVID teacher, and university tutors. AVID students are expected to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA throughout the school year in junior high and a 2.5 GPA in high school .
Through rigorous curriculum, AVID helps students improve their reading, writing, and math skills, which are essential to success in college and professional careers. The curriculum also features inquiry, collaboration, note-taking, various study skills, and motivational activities. AVID students are taught how to prepare for tests, time management, organizational skills, and public presentation skills. AVID is not a special education, “at-risk,” or ELL program. It is also not a study hall or tutoring class. AVID is not for
students who have behavior issues or students who frequently don’t complete any of their homework. AVID is not a program for unmotivated students who consistently have “D’s” or “F’s” in all subject areas.
Requirements to be in AVID:
An AVID student must be hard working, have a positive attitude, and be collaborative in nature. AVID students are placed in accelerated classes with other students who are working toward post-secondary education. They are also placed in the AVID elective class. The AVID Elective provides academic support through college-type study groups known as Tutorials. On Tutorial days, AVID students work in small groups with a college tutor or an adult who is a college graduate and has gone through AVID training. The group helps the student presenter(s) get to an answer on their own
through higher level questioning. The students then articulate the process they went through to gain new knowledge.
Tutorials teach students how to problem solve, how the learning process works, and how to re-look at material to be better prepared to find an answer.
AVID students are preferably “under-represented” racially, culturally, or economically at colleges and universities. This is because historically it is much more challenging for students who fall within one of these groups to gain acceptance into a university as a freshman. “Under-represented” groups may include students who come from a low-income family, a single parent family, or a family with parents who are not college graduates. However, the AVID program was designed for students who are academically “in the middle,” so students who have the “special circumstances” of not falling
into one of these groups can still be part of the AVID program.