At the Monday, May 12, Lake County School District #7 board meeting a presentation about introduction of a new specialized curriculum program drew overwhelmingly positive enthusiasm from teachers and board members alike.
Advancement Via Individual Determination, better known as AVID, is a college preparatory curriculum program, providing accelerated student learning from seventh grade through twelfth grade by teaching college readiness skills vital to student success in higher education. Following the presentation, implementation of AVID was approved unanimously by the LCSD#7 board.
The focus is on at-risk kids, not in the traditional sense, but targeting students who perform well in school but may not be considering college or post-high school secondary training due to factors such as low income or single-parent households.
Utilized in 4,800 schools across 45 states, the AVID program has already been established at multiple schools in Oregon, including the Modoc School District. The school districts in Bend and Redmond are already in preparation of implementing the AVID program.
The program revolves around one full year elective for each grade where curriculum is taught for three days each week, and two days are spent in tutorials, often utilizing work-study college students or community volunteers as tutors. Students are taught how to take notes, important professional social skills, college-level academic culture and a focused area of study that qualifies under common core and other curriculum requirements.
Several members of LCSD#7, including LHS PrincipalSteve Prock, visited Fairmont Middle School in Boise, Idaho On April 24 to witness AVID in action, where the program has been implemented district-wide. They returned amazed at the interaction of students, the tutoring program, college preparation work, and how AVID changed positively the entire culture of the school.
Training from a staffing perspective is rigid and intense. The AVID program requires a district coordinator overseeing operations, though LCSD#7 may be able to utilize a shared coordinator with other districts because of population. Considering the size of LCSD#7 a reduced AVID trained staff is permitted as well, requiring a counselor, lead teacher, two subject area teachers and a building administrator. The AVID program is a three-year commitment, with teachers requiring specific 3-4 day training in the AVID program.