AVID's Mission Statement
AVID's mission is to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.
About AVID at Rolling Meadows High School
AVID is offered as an elective course at RMHS that meets on an A/B block schedule throughout the school year. Students receive 90 minutes of instruction per week in college entry level skills, 90 minutes of college-tutor led study groups (known as tutorials), and 90 minutes every other week in motivational activities and academic survival skills.
AVID students prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) so that they are ready to participate in one of these exams in their junior and/or senior year. Freshman, sophomore, and junior students are also encouraged to take the Eleventh Grade Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) as further preparation. This ongoing preparation includes instruction on test prep, item analysis on practice exams, and timed writing instruction which teaches students to organize their thoughts quickly and prepares them to write concisely.
AVID uses “writing as a tool of learning” as a basis for all assignments. This preparation revolves around the improvement of writing in all subject areas because writing clarifies thought. The AVID writing curriculum utilizes the writing process. Freshman AVID students begin with lessons on lecture and textbook note-taking. They progress through the writing curriculum by dealing with autobiography, firsthand biography, and descriptive and explanatory writing. Sophomore and junior AVID students focus on specific writing strategies such as describing processes and comparing and contrasting. The senior AVID students work to improve the skills acquired in the previous years by writing essays in various discourse modes and by applying these skills to timed writings, which prepare them for the college English placement examinations.
AVID also provides students with academic study skills such as time management, note-taking, textbook reading, library research, and maintaining the AVID binders. Class and textbook notes, time managements calendars, assignments, and homework are kept in the AVID binders, which organize the students’ daily routines. In the front of each binder students keep a tutorial log of their participation in AVID study groups.
A portion of class time is devoted to motivational activities such as field trips to local universities and colleges, during which students attend classes, learn to use the libraries and bookstores and tour the campuses. Students take field trips to local businesses and professional offices to learn about various career options. Career and college outreach speakers are also invited to the AVID class to speak to the students, introducing them to the many educational and career opportunities available.
AVID employs college tutors, who are also student-teaching or interning in the building. Tutors assist students primarily in small groups. Students come to class prepared with questions about their assignments. Students learn a system of note-taking that helps them record, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate course concepts. These notes are the focus of the tutorial study group sessions. The students’ obligation to tutors is that they read or study the materials and have accompanying notes. The tutors do not provide answers; rather, they help the students with the process of learning through inquiry. Thus students learn to seek and use help, a skill often underdeveloped in the students whom AVID targets. Furthermore, study groups emphasizing the Socratic method of inquiry and collaborative learning teach students yet another valuable skill that will assist them in being successful students, since the most successful college students are those who study in groups rather than in isolation.
At A Glance
AVID is ...
- a school program that offers support and resources to all students at RMHS in addition to a rigorous elective course that features: academic instruction, tutorial support, and motivational activities.
- a national program offered in more than 6,400 schools across 47 states
- long-standing. It was created in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson in Cailifornia.
AVID is NOT ...
- an at-risk program
- an affirmative action program
- a school within a school
- for all students
- a "Silver Bullet"
- a Quick Fix