GISD plans to feature AVID districtwide

Since it was introduced in 2003, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program has made waves across the district. Its impact on students’ academic performance, college readiness and future careers has led to multiple successes. Three campuses have been named AVID National Demonstration Schools, the highest honor awarded by the organization. Numerous students have received entrance to special college programs and earned grants and scholarships. Many are the first in their family to attend college and credit AVID for directing their path to higher education.

Inspired by the transformation at the first 10 AVID campuses, the district pledged to make the program accessible to all.

“When the district and Board of Trustees witnessed the impressive data brought about by the implementation of the AVID system, they believed that AVID should be available to all students,” said Advanced Academics Coordinator Janice Howard. “Thus, a plan was created to implement AVID across all campuses by 2020.”

With the first roll out in 2014-15, AVID is now a staple and a major player at all secondary and 23 elementary campuses. Students of all grade levels experience increased rigor and access to resources that will help level the college and career playing field.   

“AVID helps close the achievement and opportunity gap. It provides a roadmap to students who do not normally have the opportunity to attend college and/or enroll in rigorous coursework,” Howard detailed. “At the elementary level, we see students learning the note-taking process, utilizing organizational tools and demonstrating other student success skills. At the middle school level, a higher number of students are enrolling in Pre-AP classes. In addition, 100 percent of our AVID students apply to colleges and universities.”

Furthering its reach, the district also features AVID Excel, which is designed to increase language acquisition for those who have been in the country for at least four years.

“This program was introduced because our district has a large number of English Language Learners who have not been able to perform well due to limited use of academic language,” Howard stated. “Since its implementation three years ago, GISD has seen an increase in proficiencies and academic performance in the classroom, [language and End-of-Course] exams.” 

The district’s goal is to add AVID at six elementary schools each year until all campuses are utilizing AVID strategies across all classrooms.