Continuing its role as an academic pacesetter in Garland ISD, O’Banion Middle School was once again named an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) National Demonstration School. The campus received its first three-year title in 2012. Following an 18-month application process that included a visit from the organization, O’Banion earned a second distinction this fall.
AVID is an elective program designed to increase academic performance and college preparedness. Less than two percent of the most successful campuses across the country can be called National Demonstration Schools.
“This is huge for O’Banion Middle School,” said Principal John Tucci. “We work very hard at everything we do, and this was a team effort. The quote that we like to use often is, ’Teamwork makes the dream work.’”
O’Banion’s repeat honor has attracted many visitors seeking insight on bolstering student success—one visitor as far away as the Australian Outback. The campus serves as a model for schools interested in implementing or improving their own programs. Its success has contributed to the overall triumphs of AVID in GISD, which was recently spotlighted in the organization’s educational journal, Access. O’Banion’s example of increased student engagement and achievement no doubt speaks truth to the article’s title, “Transforming a good school district into a great school district.” It is because of programs like theirs that GISD regularly has speakers and presenters at AVID conferences.
The middle school is one of three National Demonstration Schools in the district. Sellers Middle School and North Garland High School also share the designation.