AVID Excel Roles
The AVID Excel Student
AVID Excel specifically focuses on long-term English language learners (L-TELLs). Making up an increasingly large proportion of the English language learners in secondary schools, many L-TELLs have been in U.S. schools for most of their lives. Although many of these students were born in the United States, they still carry the English language learner designation and are frequently stuck at an intermediate level of English proficiency.
The key characteristics of a Long-Term English Language Learner include:
- Designation as an English language learner for six or more years
- Oral fluency in social English
- Reading and writing below grade level
- Usually insufficient literacy in primary language
- Struggling academically in courses
The AVID Excel Elective Teacher
The AVID Excel Elective classroom is a dynamic and interactive environment in which intermediate-level ELLs have multiple opportunities each day to practice their oral and written language in a supportive space. The AVID Excel Elective classroom is characterized by high levels of teacher-directed student interaction, participation, and activity. Both the physical environment and the philosophical environment are intentionally structured.
It is critical that the AVID Excel Elective teacher has a strong philosophical belief that L-TELLs can and will achieve at the highest level if given the opportunity and necessary support. The AVID Excel Elective teacher needs to be willing to work with their cohort of students to build a sense of family, and this often means stepping out of a perceived “traditional” role as a teacher. Typically, the teacher begins with the cohort by teaching the 7th grade Summer Bridge (two weeks during the summer), and then continues as their 7th grade AVID Excel Elective teacher. The teacher should also have a language arts or language development background, although they don’t necessarily have to be a language development (ELD, ESL, ESOL, etc.) or language arts teacher. AVID Excel Elective teachers attend AVID Excel strands at Summer Institute and participate in the AVID site team.
The AVID Excel District Leader
The AVID Excel District Leader (DL) acts as a spokesperson, liaison, coach, and advocate for the AVID Excel program and serves as the conduit between AVID Center and the district. The DL works with district administrators, site administrators, AVID site coordinators, core content-area teachers, and AVID Excel Elective teachers, as well as AVID Excel students and families, to communicate the philosophy, structure, and curriculum of AVID Excel. The DL is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the AVID Excel Summer Bridge and AVID Excel Elective courses, oversees professional learning, Summer Institute registrations, and the Family Connections component, and supports district dialogue to promote biliteracy. The DL must have a belief that all ELLs can succeed in a rigorous academic environment, if provided with appropriate scaffolding, skills, and strategies, and have the ability to articulate that expectation to administrators, site staff, and families, professionally and enthusiastically. The DL should have the credibility and capacity to be an instructional and language coach for the AVID Excel Elective teachers as part of the ongoing professional learning that supports the success of AVID Excel and the AVID philosophy. During initial implementation, AVID Center will provide training, resources, and support to enable the DL to begin providing professional learning and coaching to AVID Excel sites. After the first two contract years, the DL assumes responsibility for continued professional learning at the sites, with guidance from AVID Center.
The AVID Excel Tutor
AVID Excel students participate in scholar groups in the 7th grade and tutorials in the 8th grade, both of which are based on the AVID tutorial model. AVID Excel tutors receive the traditional AVID tutor training, as well as additional training modules, which specifically address the needs and the requirements of working with L-TELLs and the key differences between scholar groups and tutorials. It is beneficial when the middle school AVID Elective .and AVID Excel Elective share the same tutor.
The AVID Excel Content Area Teachers
AVID Excel sites designate core content area teachers to receive additional professional learning in academic literacy strategies. These teachers attend Summer Institute, participate in the AVID site team, and advocate for ELL students schoolwide. AVID Excel students are clustered in the AVID Excel Content Area Teachers’ classes throughout the day.
The AVID Excel Site Administrator
The AVID Excel Site Administrator supports AVID Excel by working with the District Leader to schedule professional learning and coach the AVID Excel teachers. The Administrator attends Summer Institute AVID Excel strands and other professional learning opportunities. Coordinating with the District Leader, the Administrator arranges for tutors, field trips, guest speakers, family nights, and other resources for the AVID Excel program. Additionally, the Administrator ensures that the master schedule includes the appropriate number of AVID Excel sections and clusters the AVID Excel students in the AVID Excel Content Area Teachers’ classes throughout the day.