Tuesday, November 25, 2008

AVID in Action

(The following is a press release that was modified to be included here as a blog entry. I was fortunate to be present to witness our student performance. After hearing the opening testimonials from our senior AVID students, I knew that I was in for one of the most powerful student run programs I have ever witnessed. It is no exaggeration to state that it was one of my proudest moments as an educator. AVID is changing the educational landscape for many Woodbury students – over 20% of our students in grades 8 through 12 participate in the AVID program.)

Last week, as part of the eight seminar series of the New Jersey Network to Close the Achievement Gap, seventy school leaders met in Sewell at the EIRC to discuss a program whose mission is to ensure that all students are prepared for college, AVID. Students from Woodbury Jr.-Sr. High School presented at the program to the gathered school administrators and teacher leaders.

AVID Executive Director, Robert Gira, visiting from California where AVID originated, along with AVID New Jersey Director, Ellen Nickerson, were also available to answer questions.

AVID is a fourth- through twelfth-grade system to prepare students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

AVID targets students in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation." In the case of Woodbury we include some A students who have the desire to be a part of the program.

The program included an introduction of AVID elective teachers and AVID testimonials by Seniors, Malcolm Beale, Rasheeda Roundtree, Anthony Blackwell, and Malcolm Beale. AVID seniors shared the college preparation process using a student created PowerPoint featuring senior, Shelby Martin. AVID “Tutorlology” sessions were demonstrated by eighth grade students. Students from all grades presented their AVID binders. Juniors taught the gathered school leaders to use Costa's levels of questioning to have deeper discussions. Finally, an AVID Socratic Seminar was be presented by freshmen.

(Coming soon – pictures from the day . . .)

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