AVID Promotes Student Growth

  • In its third year in both Lawrence high schools, AVID continues to promote student growth. A global nonprofit organization, AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, operates under the guiding principle: hold students accountable to high standards, provide social and academic support and students will rise to the challenge. Lawrence Public Schools partner with AVID as part of the district’s mission to support all students in achieving at high levels and graduating college and career ready. Lawrence and Free State High Schools continue to reach more students with AVID strategies as enrollment in the AVID elective course grows, from 30 students in 2012 to 145 students this year.

    “AVID has personally impacted me by keeping me organized and motivating and preparing me for college and boosting my academic confidence,” said Lawrence High senior Christian Espinosa.

    high school students on a college visit While all students can benefit from AVID strategies, some students choose to pursue the AVID elective course, which focuses on students who are performing in the academic middle, yet exhibit high potential, strong determination and a desire to attend college.

    “AVID is having a sustained and growing impact on student growth at Lawrence High School,” said Mark Pruet, assistant principal. “Teachers across the building are utilizing AVID strategies in their classrooms on a daily basis because they are effective and they support Kansas College and Career Ready Standards, blended learning and our equity work. We have more than 100 students who are in advanced or Advanced Placement courses who would not have taken them if it were not for AVID. Not only do our AVID students benefit from AVID but every student in the building is benefiting from the AVID system.”

    Across all content areas, AVID’s curriculum and research-based strategies help develop students’ academic skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. AVID also emphasizes academic behaviors, including organization, time management and goal setting. The program’s proven learning support structure, known as WICOR incorporates teaching/learning methodologies in the critical areas of Writing to Learn, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading to Learn. WICOR provides a learning model educators may use to guide students in comprehending material and articulating ideas at increasingly complex levels. Driven by the WICOR method, and based on rigorous standards, AVID’s curriculum supports high levels of academic achievement for all students and aligns to state and national content standards.

    The Lawrence Board of Education supported the expansion of AVID to all four Lawrence middle schools this year. At the middle level, each school is applying many of the WICOR strategies schoolwide. Additionally, the middle schools offer one AVID elective course in the eighth grade. Sixty students are currently enrolled.

    “My AVID class has helped me feel comfortable to talk in front of the class, since I’m shy,” says Chloe Taylor, a Southwest Middle School eighth-grader.

    The AVID elective has a reputation for creating a culture that supports all learners in providing their best effort and reaching their full potential. Many students refer to their AVID elective class as a family.

    “I like AVID. I’m already pretty organized, but AVID helps me stay organized. I like to be in AVID because I feel good. I’m one of 12 people in this whole school that’s in AVID and that’s a big deal to me. I also like the other kids in AVID. I like how I can trust them and how they support me,” said AllysSun Carper, a Southwest Middle School eighth-grader.

    Middle school principals are excited for AVID to help take their students to the next level. “AVID supports and identifies good instructional practices applicable across the building and in all content areas,” said Jennifer Bessolo, South Middle School principal. “AVID provides us opportunities to talk about college and post-secondary plans with students earlier than high school. By providing structure and opportunities for exposure and planning, AVID supports students becoming more confident about their futures.”
  • Leah Wisdom
       Leah Wisdom

       Director, Instruction, Equity
       & Student Services

       Lawrence Public Schools
       110 McDonald Drive
       Lawrence, KS 66044
       (785) 832-5000 x4743