AVID is an elective class offered to students who would like to prepare for four-year colleges and universities. Students must have satisfactory citizenship, good attendance, and a G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher. Applicants must be motivated to work toward college eligibility.
The AVID elective is a class that meets five hours per week within the regular school day. The class is composed of several different elements, making students more successful in all their classes.
The week is divided into
- curriculum days
- tutorial days
- motivational activity days
The two days devoted to curriculum focus on the WICR methodologies of AVID:
Aside from WICR, the curricular days also develop students’ note-taking and study skills, while also teaching time management and goal setting.
Mini-lessons provide additional support for English, math, science, and social studies classes. Students participate in twice weekly tutorials with college students wherein tutors provide content area support in math, English, social studies, and science.
Motivational activity days include college and career activities, guest speakers from area colleges and local professionals, and field trips to local colleges and universities.
Preparing for College in Middle School
Middle school students should begin planning their academic path that will carry into high school. Meet with the school counselor and discuss the courses that can be taken in middle school to prepare for high school, especially in the math and science categories. Many middle schools offer classes that were traditionally reserved for high school students. These math classes are required to take more advanced math classes in high school and to take science classes like chemistry and physics. In addition to taking math every year in middle school, your child should take:
- English: Every year.
- History (including geography) and science: As many classes as possible.
- Foreign language: Many colleges require at least two years of a language, which your child can begin in middle school.
Because college work and many jobs now require computer skills, your child should also try to take advantage of any computer science classes offered in middle and high school. They'll gain new skills and may discover a career path.
Read, Read, Read
Establish an environment at home that encourages reading. Students can start adding to their vocabulary by reading diversely. Tweens should be reading all types of books, articles, blogs and news articles. This increases their vocabulary, which is a strong component in essay writing and standardized tests. While you're at it, why not make vocabulary building a family game by learning a word a day? There are lots of free subscription services that will email a word of the day.
Partner with Your Child’s Educators
Middle school is the time parents tend to be less involved, but it's the very time your child needs encouragement and guidance. Meet your child's teachers, if you haven't already done so, and make it clear that you want to be kept up to date with any changes in your child's work or behavior.
Go over your child's standardized test results with the counselor to identify strengths and weaknesses. Talk to the counselor about your child's interests to see if there are electives and extracurricular activities that will help him develop his talents. If your child needs extra help or more challenging assignments in a subject, talk to the counselor about how to arrange it.
Start Working on Extracurriculars
A key ingredient in the college application is extracurriculars. Begin looking at areas that interest your child in middle school. Try out some volunteering, connect with a mentor for an internship, and explore hobbies and interests. If your child enters high school committed to one activity, it will be much easier to carry that through the next four years.
What is required of an AVID Student?
Each AVID student carries a binder in which he or she is required to keep materials from all academic classes. Students keep track of assignments on assignment sheets and are required to take DAILY notes in all academic classes. The notebooks are graded weekly for content and organization by college tutors. Led by tutors, students participate in tutorial groups in the AVID classroom. In addition, students are taught study skills, test preparation, time management, and the writing process. Teachers fill out periodic progress reports, in addition to routine school ones, for monitoring by the AVID coordinator/teacher.
Who are AVID Tutors, and What Do They Do?
AVID tutors are college students who receive training in methodologies used in AVID: writing process, Socratic questioning, collaborative learning, and reading. They are in the classroom weekly to serve as models and to help students achieve success in rigorous classes. They are trained not to give students answers but rather to guide them toward answers. They may even ask permission to “shadow” students in their classes to help them learn how to take notes more effectively.
What Can Parents do to Support AVID Students?
Communication between the AVID coordinator/teacher and the parent(s) is essential. I will contact you to share your student’s progress, and appreciate any information you share with me. At home, parents can see to it that students are doing their homework in a quiet place with few interruptions. By asking your student about his/her day, and inquiring about homework and the events of school, you will bridge what could be a great gap between his/her school life and home life. When the two are connected, successes increase. In addition, stressing your belief that your student can succeed in middle school, high school, and attend college will also motivate him/her to work harder and achieve more. Throughout the year, I will host several Family Workshops, which will address topics of concern relating to student success in middle school and preparation for high school and college. Thank you very much for all of your support! I am looking forward to working with you this year. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.