AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

Advancement Via Individual Determination

In the Schools

Think your program or people deserve recognition? To share your successes with colleagues around the world, contact AVID Center and you might see your story featured on this page!

A Districtwide College Fair
The MISD Center for the Performing Arts was host to all MISD 6th graders and all AVID 7th & 8th graders for a districtwide college fair. AVID juniors acted as “college representatives” for the event. In addition, students from the career tech academy acted as the “career representatives.” The older students had the opportunity to explore and research colleges and careers that interested them, and then share what they learned with the younger students. Approximately 82 college/ career tables hosted 3,000 students.

Mansfield Independent School District
Mansfield, TX

"I'm Different" Rings Beautiful in Sound Poetry
AVID students at Balch Springs Middle School engaged in Sound Poetry, a creative writing activity. First, students viewed Terrance Young's Summer Institute speech. Then, they were provided a written copy of the speech, entitled "I'm Different." Their goal was to locate words and phrases that described their personal characteristics. Once a sentence was formed, students included a visual that corresponded to the selected words. The remaining words were covered, while their personal characteristics were highlighted. Finally, students included a paragraph that described their word selection and visual representation. As a culminating activity, students engaged in a Socratic Seminar in relation to the article and a gallery walk to show off their hard work!

Balch Springs Middle School
Dallas, TX

W. E. Greiner Middle School Knows How to Recruit Students
W. E. Greiner Middle School in Dallas holds its AVID recruitment fair in January. It's a weeklong event where all 6th and 7th grade students visit the AVID classroom to experience the fair and learn what AVID has to offer. They also give out VIP tickets to help specifically recruit underrepresented student groups and students "in the middle." Current AVID students host college-themed games (like whack-a-goal, a photo booth, college trivia, GPA targets, and college-logo face painting), all while talking to students and learning about what they do in the AVID classroom. Students can also apply for AVID, have practice interviews, and then ultimately a final interview during the fair. Site Team teachers rotate in throughout the week to help conduct the interviews side by side with current AVID students.

W. E. Greiner Middle School
Dallas, TX
Poinsettia Elementary Talks AVID:  Student Success:  Right Here.  Right now.
Poinsettia Elementary, a K through 5 elementary school, began AVID just last year.  Principal Marjorie Giordani spearheaded the vision that you are never too young to believe in yourself, create your goals, and learn how to achieve them. She has the entire staff sharing her vision, as captured in a video by Mr. Castro and his fifth grade class. Students share their tips on how to be successful.  Our AVID goals have been built on the framework that self-success begins with self-responsibility and accountability and that spirit can be seen throughout the video.

See video here

Poinsettia Elementary
Carlsbad, CA

East Ridge MS

Chisholm Trail Demonstrates Elementary AVID to Area Educators

On March 20, 2014, CTIS welcomed AVID elementary liaisons and educators to its campus to see how AVID was implemented on the campus and to hear about the successes of the program.

The group heard from a panel of students, parents, and teachers that shared the success stories from their various perspectives, while administrators discussed how AVID has impacted their education this year. The visiting educators also had the opportunity to observe the use of AVID techniques in the classroom.

With the success of the AVID pilot program at the 6th grade level, Chisholm Trail has plans to extend the program to 5th grade for the 2014-15 school year.

See story here

Chisholm Trail Intermediate School
Keller, TX

East Ridge MS

East Ridge Middle School became the first AVID Demonstration School in Lake County Schools

East Ridge Middle School in Clermont, Florida, became the first AVID National Demonstration School in Lake County Schools this week. They are to be commended on their schoolwide use of AVID strategies, and the engaging, fun, rigorous instruction provided for students by their outstanding educators. East Ridge Middle School first implemented AVID in 2008 through a Florida Partnership grant funded by the Florida legislature. WICOR strategies, rigor, and high levels of student engagement are seen throughout the school. East Ridge serves as a model to schools throughout Lake County and the AVID world, as a place of high achievement and professional learning.

See story here

East Ridge Middle School
Clermont, FL

Sandalwood HS

Sandalwood High became the first AVID Demonstration School in Duval County Schools

Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida became the first AVID National Demonstration School in Duval County Schools this week. They are to be commended on their schoolwide AVID implementation, and the exemplary leadership and mentorship qualities displayed by their students. The students truly own the culture on campus, and play key roles in leading initiatives geared toward academic success for all students. An example of this would be their AVID club, which is held after school once per week. During the AVID club, AVID students open the AVID Elective classroom for tutoring, and provide academic assistance to any student in the school who needs help with their classwork. The AVID students recognized that other students in the school needed structured academic support, and designed the AVID club to meet that need. It’s exceptional that the AVID students feel responsible for the success of every student on campus, for the success of the school as a whole. In the words of Andrew Post, Duval Schools Chief of Accountability, Sandalwood High School is not just a nice place for the students to go and learn, it is their “home”.

See story here

Sandalwood High School
Jacksonville, FL

Southwest MS

Southwest Middle School Achieves AVID National Demonstration Status

Southwest Middle School in Orlando, Florida became the third AVID National Demonstration School in Orange County Public Schools this week. Southwest Middle School is a place of high expectations and high achievement, where the educators and students are focused on success. This quote by a teacher at Southwest Middle School, embodies not only the nurturing spirit of the teachers on campus, but the data driven, systematic approach that they take to ensure that children succeed.

“I never anticipated how much AVID would influence my teaching style. After adopting Cornell notes, Interactive Student Notebooks, and other AVID strategies, I have noticed a change in my students. Their organization is greatly improved, they not only respond more often in class, but are often correct and on topic, and they seem to have more confidence. I recently tested my students on the “cause and effect benchmarks” after utilizing several AVID strategies. This benchmark has been indicated as one of my students’ weakest skills. Not only did all of my students pass, the vast majority of my lowest scoring students received a score of 100%. AVID has started a fire in me as a teacher that has kept me going even on my toughest days. It truly is an awesome program and I am looking forward to further learning and implementation in my classroom.” Chris Cudney, Language Arts Teacher, Southwest Middle School.

Southwest Middle School
Orlando, FL

AVID Senior Students Spread College Readiness Message

AVID Senior Students Spread College Readiness Message

Noticing a lack of college awareness throughout their campus, El Dorado High School AVID seniors felt the need to promote college readiness where students congregate most of the time. They donated fiber boards printed with college readiness must do's, drilled them to the cafeteria walls, and placed college pennants in the surrounding areas. They were able to purchase their senior gift by selling candles and coupon books. They also took advantage of this location to conduct college awareness surveys with the general student body (through the senior English classes) and educate them on student loans and the application process.

El Dorado High School
El Paso, TX

Thomas Stone HS is 'Happy'

Thomas Stone High School is “Happy”

New AVID school Thomas Stone High School recently put together a video displaying a positive school culture to the popular, Oscar-nominated tune of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  The principal, Mr. Michael Meiser, attributes this positivity to the AVID school wide system buy in from students and staff.  The video not only caught on around the district, but was covered by the Huffington Post.  View the video here.

Waldorf, MD

Fort Braden Middle School Spotlights AVID for School Board

Fort Braden Middle School Spotlights AVID for School Board

Students at Fort Braden School speak about AVID and get the opportunity to share their experiences in front of school board members.

Click here to see the video.

Fort Braden School
Leon County, FL

Karns High School Student Give Back to Cancer Patients

Karns High School Student Give Back to Cancer Patients

AVID Students at Karns High School do a service project each semester. This fall, students chose to make lap blankets for radiation oncology patients at Tennova Cancer Centers. Approximately 55 students each made at least one lap blanket for the project.  See a larger article here.

Karns High School
Knoxville, TN

Gerry Middle School Video

Garry Middle School Video

Spokane's Garry Middle School has its share of challenges, being located in a neighborhood with one of the highest poverty rates in the state. When Garry AVID Coordinator Joe Ferris saw how the program inspires students to strive for high school graduation and beyond, he wanted to spread word to other schools in the district. Working with Spokane Public Schools Media/Marketing Specialist Ryan Lancaster, he outlined what the program is all about through the eyes of an AVID student, a teacher, and tutors.

See their video here.

Garry Middle School
Spokane, WA

AVID Leaders

AVID Leaders

Six T.C. Williams High School AVID students took part in the first high school edition of Bryant Education Leadership Group's African American Student Leadership Experience in Washington, D.C. During this day-long session, students heard from an inspiring keynote speaker and participated in gender-focused small group sessions led by engaging poets, entrepreneurs, and college professors. Additionally, they heard from a college admissions officer who shared some great pointers regarding the college application process. Two students were so inspired that they are working on a community service project to bring one of the featured speakers to AVID students in Alexandria.

Alexandria, VA

Highlands and Hardee Counties: Leading the K-16 Way

Professors and faculty from South Florida State College recently visited Avon Park High School in Highlands County and Hardee High School in Hardee County. They observed many classes, looking for use of WICOR strategies, rigor, and student engagement. They collaborated around the instructional practices they observed. We often hear the term "K-16" used. This is truly an example of K-12 and postsecondary educators collaborating vertically in a structured way to become better practitioners toward outstanding student achievement. Way to lead the way!

Hardee County, FL

I’m Going to College: Yucca Elementary and UCLA

The Yucca Elementary Raven family is motivating their scholars to go to college. Thirty-three 4th–6th graders attended The Rose Bowl in Pasadena to see the UCLA and Colorado football game and participate in UCLA’s “I’m Going to College” event.

To go, students had to participate in the AVID “I’m Going to College” contest. They each composed an opinion essay explaining “Why I want to go to college/university.” A committee read the essays and invited 13 students from each grade level to participate in UCLA’s “I’m Going to College” event. The teachers and administrators were so happy to have been able to provide the opportunity to expose their Raven scholars to university life and remind them that it is never too early to begin thinking about a higher education.

Yucca Elementary
Palmdale, CA

NBA AVID Day with the Charlotte Bobcats

NBA AVID Day with the Charlotte Bobcats

NBA AVID Day with the Charlotte Bobcats included 1,109 AVID students in grades 6-12 from North and South Carolina. The students were treated to a speaker series of Bobcat Executive Team members and other Charlotte speakers regarding college preparation and stories of their careers. Fifteen colleges/universities provided a college fair and the opportunity for students to file college applications which many did on site. One student from each of the high schools participated in a “shadowing experience” with the Bobcats Executive team as they prepare for a game. The shadowing included Mascot and Dance Team warm-ups, being announced at mid-court and appearance on the jumbotron! Students concluded the day with attending the game between the Bobcats and the Phoenix Suns.

Meadow School in Meadow, Johnson County, North Carolina, was called out as the WNCN Cool School for their participation in event!

Charlotte, NC

AVID Scores with the Miami Dolphins

AVID Scores with the Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins hosted 750 Florida AVID students for a college and career awareness day, focused on sports degrees and careers on the business side of professional sports. Orlando Gunn, a former AVID student from Texas, now works for the Dolphins and organized the event, sharing with the students how AVID changed his life. The students also were able to attend the game where the Miami Dolphins won against the San Diego Chargers.  Thanks to the NFL and the Miami Dolphins Group Sales Team for hosting an amazing event that positively impacted many students!

Marathon High (in picture)
Marathon, FL

AVID Students Raise Funds for a Rwandan Man’s College Dreams

AVID Students Raise Funds for a Rwandan Man’s College Dreams

In the past two years, Pacific Grove Middle School (PGMS) has raised money for Mathieu Twagirumukizaa. He is a standout student at The Remera Mbogo Secondary School, an orphanage in Rwanda.

Due to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Mathieu lost his mother, and his father became emotionally and mentally disabled. Because of this, Mathieu and his siblings had to function as the bread winners in their households. Mathieu had to walk two hours, to and from school, and when he left for home, he tutored others to earn food for the family’s dinner, which would consist of potatoes most nights. After a late dinner, Mathieu did homework and went to bed, only to wake up early the next morning to begin all over again. This did not dampen Mathieu’s spirit or desire to do well, as he continued with the hope of someday attending University.

The total cost of education, including room and board and even money for his family so he can focus on his studies without worries, was approximately $1,500 per year. For two years running, PGMS AVID has raised the funds for Mathieu, and with cost rising a bit, their challenge is now to raise $2,000.

AVID students have Skyped with Mathieu, who has graciously thanked them, while they have seen the effect of their efforts on one person on the other side of the world. As one student put it, “We could help change the world just by helping Mathieu gain an education.”

Pacific Grove Middle School
Pacific Grove, CA

Par for the Course

Par for the Course

Lizette Salas, a former AVID student who plays on the LPGA Tour, came back from her Malaysia and South Korea tour and took time off from the course to speak to an eager audience at Sandburg Middle School. This well-respected, world-class golfer spent time with her niece and nephew’s AVID class sharing her past and what it took to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.

Knowing the importance of AVID’s signature motto - Advancement Via Individual Determination - her individual determination placed her on the path to reach the heights of a LPGA Tour player. This past April, she finished second at the LPGA LOTTEE Championship in Hawaii, while setting a course record of shooting 62 on the final day.

Sandburg Middle School
Glendora, CA

AVID Day at Georgia Tech

AVID Day at Georgia Tech

The 5th Annual AVID Day at Georgia Tech Event was a huge success. Approximately 490 AVID students, families, and staff attended, representing AVID schools from AL (Anniston and Sylacauga districts) and GA (Bibb, Cobb, Rockdale, and Valdosta City districts). Students were able to tour the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology campus and attend their homecoming game against Pittsburgh. This year marks the first year that an AVID Elementary site (Sims Elementary, Rockdale County) was in attendance.

Sims Elementary School
Rockdale, GA

A Visit from Down Under

A Visit from Down Under

J. Frank Dobie College Prep Academy recently had a very special visitor. Mr. Mark Burford, executive director of the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy at Victoria University, came all the way from Australia to experience their AVID program. As a National Demonstration Site, it was a unique opportunity to expand that title to “International” for a day!

Mr. Burford asked a student panel about their experiences as AVID students in both the elective and core-classroom settings, and they got to ask Mr. Burford about his life in Australia, the work he does there, and his experiences here in the USA.

Then, Mr. Burford took a guided interactive tour of AVID in action on the campus and was treated to an AVID classic—Mrs. Barrett’s AVID Elective classes themselves, in the process of small-group Socratic tutorials. He was quite pleased with the student collaboration he witnessed. This student-driven inquiry and collaboration is the heart of AVID, and Mr. Burford saw it in fine form across our campus all afternoon.

J. Frank Dobie College Prep Academy
Austin, Texas

Dunbar HS

Duval County AVID Students Show Off Their Success in College Classes

Dr. Wanda Lastrapes from the University of North Florida presented with Duval DD Bernadette Hardeman, Sandalwood High AVID Coordinator Melissa Osborn, Sandalwood students, and AVID Center State Director Catherine Simmons, at the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The team presented on the benefits of having college tutors in the AVID Elective classes, supporting AVID students who are enrolled in dual enrollment classes for college credit. Sandalwood High School is applying to be an AVID National Demonstration School this year.

Sandalwood High School
Jacksonville, FL

Dunbar HS

Roadtrip Nation Visits Dunbar High School

Dunbar High School in Lee County hosted Florida’s first Roadtrip Nation experience ever on October 22. All AVID high schools in Lee County were represented, with the teachers and students benefitting from a day of college readiness rallying with the Roadtrip Nation roadies! Mr. James Nathan, President and CEO of Lee Memorial Healthcare Systems, attended and engaged in dialogue with the students around his own path to college and career success. Thanks to Lee County Schools for piloting the Roadtrip Nation experience, to Dunbar High School for being excellent hosts of the event, and to Mr. Nathan for sharing himself and serving as a role model for our students.

Dunbar High School
Ft Myers, FL

Crockett Jr. High

AVID Encourages Crockett Jr. High to Promote College Spirit!

In an effort to raise awareness about college every day in the classroom, teachers at Crockett Jr. High in Odessa, TX participated in a door decorating contest highlighting their alma mater or favorite college. Each door had to include the following: location of school, year established, mascot, entrance qualifications, and tuition costs. The doors were then judged on the creativity and resourcefulness of information. The top five classrooms received fun college keepsakes as prizes.

Crockett Jr. High
Odessa, TX

Alief Early College High School AVID Class Highlighted as Effective Teaching Practice

Alief Early College High School AVID Class Highlighted as Effective Teaching Practice

Alief Early College High School in Houston, Texas, and AVID Teacher Kevin Sevin are featured in a seven-minute video on Teaching Channel.  The video on AVID falls under the heading “Preparing for College:  Skills for Success.”  Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. View the video here.

Alief Early College High School
Houston, TX

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

Early College High School

With high school and college classes underway, the students are back to kick off another successful year at ECHS. Feeling the stresses of their first college classes, the students were able to find some motivation from our AVID guest speakers. Mrs. Kandi Jones and Mr. Harry Dietsch, the ECHS administrators, shared their journey through college. They emphasized the struggles that they faced and their stories to overcome. Mrs. Jones shared, “While I didn’t always know how to achieve the things I wanted, I had the ‘individual determination’ to be a self-advocate, to learn more, and to never settle.”

Early College High School
Conway, SC

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

Elon University President Speaks with AVID Students

The AVID students at Stephen Decatur Middle School took a trip to Elon University and received a special visit from President Leo M. Lambert. AVID Coordinator and Elon University Alumna Ruby Thornton organized the trip. “College is more than going to class, though going to class is important,” Lambert said. “We want you to be able to answer important questions on your own. And we want to prepare you as an undergraduate for success after.” College students also stopped by and spoke with the AVID students about their own college experiences and gave advice.

Stephen Decatur Middle School
Clinton, Maryland

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

AVID featured in Showcases for Success

Jack Jouett Middle School in Albemarle County, Virginia, is called out in the Virginia School Board Association’s Showcases for Success. The school, an AVID National Demonstration School , credits AVID for schoolwide use of research-based instructional strategies. According to VSBA, AVID personifies the theme of this year’s Showcases for Success: Leadership-Advocacy-Support.

Jack Jouett Middle School
Albemarle County, Virginia

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

Melissa Brown

Ms. Melissa (Missy) Macchio Brown has been selected as the Greenwich Public Schools representative for the 2014 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program. Ms. Brown is a Greenwich High School English and AVID teacher, and Cantor House Assistant Dean. Missy is the first AVID teacher at GHS.

Greenwich Superintendent Dr. McKersie said, “The six 2013 Distinguished Teachers selected by the Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee are truly remarkable teachers, and are wonderful representatives of best instructional practices in the Greenwich Public Schools. Missy Brown stands out among the group, exhibiting a rare blend of content expertise, pedagogical acumen, and a deep understanding of the individual needs of her students. Her leadership skills are apparent in her trailblazing role as the first AVID teacher…”

Greenwich High School
Greenwich, Connecticut

Woodbury Junior-Senior School Students Soar

Woodbury Junior-Senior School Students Soar

Woodbury Junior-Senior High School 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) students celebrated the completion of AP exams. The high school, an AVID Demonstration School for the past three years, has a combined 11th and 12th grade enrollment of 205 students. Of that number, 117 students took one or more AP exams, totaling 214 tests. As an AVID school, Woodbury Junior-Senior High School requires that all AVID students take Honors and AP classes. This year, 100% of the AVID seniors took one or more AP classes with the accompanying tests, and were accepted into four-year colleges or universities.

Woodbury Junior-Senior School
Woodbury, New Jersey

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

Hayfield Secondary

Hayfield Secondary graduated its first senior class this spring. The AVID seniors showed perseverance and determination that will be a great benefit to the AVID students following behind them. The program has been through some challenging times, but with Assistant Principal Warren Carrington and Teacher/Coordinator Carmen Lofton leading the charge, the program has grown. Because of their leadership and the students’ efforts, a cultural shift within the school has occurred. Hayfield is fortunate to have the right students and the right leaders moving the program forward. We are excited to see continued success and many more AVID graduates in the coming years.

Hayfield Secondary
Alexandria, Virginia

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

AVID Coordinator named Teacher of the Year

Sean McComb, AVID Coordinator and English teacher at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts was chosen as Baltimore County’s Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Dance said, “Sean McComb is a dynamic and creative educator who is an inspiration to both his students and his colleagues. He used his teachers and education to rescue him from a difficult childhood and now helps his own students to, in his words, ‘achieve, awaken and ascend.’ We congratulate him…” McComb credits his own teachers for changing his life and leading him towards education so that he can help his own students. “(Teaching) is a gallant calling. It is also a very personal calling – indeed, it was this call that brought into my life educators who saved me from the alcohol-controlled home of my youth. To meet the call, one must develop a relationship with students and design meaningful learning activities.”

Patapsco High School
Towson, MD

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

AVID Deep in the Heart of Texas

W.E. Greiner Middle School 8th grade AVID students visited the University of Texas – Austin for what is billed as the “Biggest Open House” in Texas. The entire campus was open and students from across the state were treated to lectures, performances, and hands-on activities. At the end of the day all of the participants on campus posed for a Texas-sized picture! You can see the Greiner Middle School students proudly wearing their yellow AVID shirts in the photo.

W.E. Greiner


A Unique College Field Trip

Ramstein High School AVID students recently returned from a weekend adventure at Franklin College. Franklin College is a small Liberal Arts college nestled in the beautiful township of Lugano, Switzerland.

Established in 1969, Franklin College was originally part of an American residency high school. The primary courses of focus for degree programs are International Business, International Relations, Business Management, Foreign Languages, and International Marketing.

"The surroundings of the college were bright, vivid and lively. I definitely plan to apply to this college," expressed freshman Tori Kostos. The staff at Franklin College was very welcoming and accommodating. AVID students were divided into four teams then placed in college courses where they became active members in Media and Communications, Italian Literature, Writing in Humanities, and Political Science classes. This experience solidified the importance of note-taking, time management, and the need to be prepared for class in advance. The consensus is - unequivocally, Ramstein High School AVID students enjoyed this learning experience.

Ramstein High School
Ramstein Air Base in Germany