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AVID students thrive

avid phs.jpg"I love AVID because it gives me the materials and skills to improve my academics.  I feel supported and prepared for the future."  – Carlos Montoya, sophomore at Rubidoux High School

AVID, short for Advancement Via Individual Determination, offers a powerful K-12 college preparatory curriculum to close achievement gaps and help prepare every student for success – in college and in life. 

In the wake of College and Career Kickoff month, educators and students alike praised the program as fundamental to learning without limits in Jurupa: 

  •   "At JUSD we are deeply committed to AVID because it has the power to transform kids' lives," said Dave Doubravsky, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services.  "It helps students take an active role in creating a positive future."
  • Avid story MLMS (3).jpg  "My favorite part of being involved in AVID is connecting with other people," said Kathryn Delgado, an eighth-grader at Jurupa Middle School.  "I think that AVID will make us strong and powerful for the future and life."
  •   "Both teachers and students will tell you that AVID is transformative," said Roberta Pace, Director of College and Career Readiness at JUSD.  "It helps teachers facilitate learning and support a culture of high expectations … while students develop as confident learners with clear goals and plans for their futures."

AVID centers on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading – and evolves over the K-12 journey to help students with a mix of practical and intangible skills, from setting study routines to cultivating resiliency to completing financial aid forms for college. 

The program grows and evolves along with K-12 students, Ms. Pace said: It is laced through elementary curriculum – serving every elementary student before transitioning to an elective in grades 7-12.

To date, it's been wildly successful.

Avid story MLMS (1).jpg"Perhaps the best way to speak to AVID's value is to look at the outcome data," Ms. Pace said.  While most AVID seniors hail from low-income families with little college experience, AVID students typically thrive in high school and advance to college.  Consider Jurupa's AVID senior class of 2018:

  •  100% graduated from high school
  •   79% enrolled in four-year college this fall, with 99% enrolled in either a two-year or four-year college
  •   The average GPA was about 3.5

Indeed, AVID elevates equity along with achievement.

Ms. Pace points to AVID's mission statement – "AVID's mission is to close the achievement gap by pre​​paring all students for college readiness and success in a global society" – and adds: "AVID is a key mechanism to support access and equity for our students.  Despite the societal and socioeconomic challenges many AVID students face, they have outperformed national averages in key college and career success measures."

avid phs 2.jpgAlexis Garcia, a senior at JVHS, added: "I am the first one in my family to even consider a four-year university.  AVID has been helping me stay on track and create great habits that will follow me through my college years."

AVID at JUSD dates back decades, and has expanded over time from high schools to middle schools and, more recently, elementary schools.  Jurupa now offers AVID on every campus in the district, though the program is still ramping up at the Del Sol Academy which opened this year.

Expanding the college-prep program to elementary students has been vital, say educators, because it helps young pupils face challenges, engage in high-level thinking and embrace a culture of achievement. 

avid.jpg"They all benefit from learning the AVID organizational system (binders, agendas and note-taking) and from engaging lessons that use AVID's proven writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization of learning, and reading strategies," Ms. Pace said.  "This becomes their foundation for success in middle school, high school, college and life."
The program continues to draw students in the upper grades, she added: 491 middle-school and 968 high-school students are now enrolled in AVID electives.

"At the secondary level, it truly is about choice and individual determination," said Ms. Pace.

Asked how AVID lessons augment or reinforce classroom teaching, she added: "AVID isn't 'one more thing' added to what teachers and students are already doing.  AVID doesn't change what is taught, but does guide how material is taught and how students interact with their learning.  … One huge outcome is that AVID students develop a higher ownership for their own learning."

Said Katrina Hernandez, a sophomore at Rubidoux: "AVID helps me in all aspects of my life."