Orange, Calif. - October 2, 2015 - Orange Unified School District’s (OUSD) Office of Curriculum and Instruction, in the division of Educational Services, is pleased to announce the addition of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at ten elementary schools and a new course offering at one of our middle schools. The participating elementary schools have begun their implementation in at least one classroom in either sixth or fifth grade. Portola Middle school has added AVID Excel, a “pre-AVID” English language development program, in 7th grade to its already existing AVID elective course offerings.
AVID is a global educational nonprofit organization established 30 years ago. AVID’s mission is “to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society” (AVID.org). Embedded within the AVID curriculum is an emphasis on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR). Today, AVID “impacts more than 800,000 students in 44 states and 16 other countries/territories” (AVID.org).
AVID Elementary is designed to be embedded into the daily instruction of elementary classrooms, across entire grade levels. AVID Elementary components focus on the four essentials of instruction, culture, leadership, and systems to ensure that all students are poised for academic success. Thirty of the district’s elementary teachers along with their site and district administrators attended a three-day AVID training this past summer. At the summer institute teachers learned how to use a number of strategies like teaching organizational skills, goal setting, reflective practices, leveled questioning, note taking strategies, collaborative learning, and inquiry. Participating elementary schools are: California, Chapman Hills, Crescent, Esplanade, Handy, La Veta, Palmyra, Panorama, Taft, and West Orange. Taft Principal Connie Smith states, “AVID at Taft is already proving that if we give our students the resources and tools for academic rigor and support, all of our students can be academically successful.”
The AVID Excel program being taught at Portola Middle School was added to accelerate and support the students’ academic language acquisition and increase access to the 9th grade AVID Elective and college preparatory courses at the high school level (AVID.org). Through a sequential set of middle school 7th and 8th grade courses, students build their academic language, leadership skills, and overall sense of commitment to school with a cohort of peers who share their same college readiness goals.
Orange Unified School District is committed to providing strong educational programs and would like to thank all OUSD staff participating in the AVID program. It is one part of the District’s vision to ensure equity and access for all students, laying a foundation that will positively impact their future educational and career paths.