RSD Receives Grant Funding to Begin AVID Program

In 2014, Redmond School District, in partnership with the Central Oregon Cascades Committment, received grant funding to launch AVID programming at the middle and high school level.

The Central Oregon Cascades Commitment received $450,000 from the Oregon Education Investment Board to create a model similar to the Eastern Promise, a program operating in Eastern Oregon by community colleges, school districts and Eastern Oregon University.  The goal of this replication grant is to bring enhanced access to community college courses to students in our region’s high schools.

Considering the need to enhance college preparedness at a younger age, David Burke, Director of Secondary Instruction at RSD, advocated that a portion of these grant funds be allocated for middle schools.  The Cascades Commitment team agreed to provide a portion of the funding so that Redmond School District could pursue the implementation of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.

“Our collective work is to ensure students have every opportunity to succeed and be fully prepared or their future,” said David Burke.  “AVID will help strengthen our current systems to better prepare students for what’s ahead.”

AVID is a well established, nation-wide program that aims to support students’ readiness for college.  It helps develop skills, habits and mindsets to be prepared for higher education, including goal setting career exploration and independent learner traits.  AVID is a school wide framework that is focused on leadership, systems, instruction and culture.  It is designed to increase the number of students who enroll and succeed in higher education and in their lives beyond high school.

Elton Gregory Middle School has opted to begin the AVID development process and has already formed a team committed to implementing the program.  The team (pictured below) is participating in the AVID Summer Institute in August.  This intensive training will ensure their readiness to fully implement AVID and to support their fellow colleagues with AVID strategies in all classrooms.

AVID trained educators teach students academic and social skills to help them develop habits and behaviors necessary to succeed in rigorous curriculum.  At the core of AVID is the notion of ‘Inquiry’.  Inquiry involves students using reading, writing and math skills to discover and construct meaning.  Students are challenged to move beyond learning simply because ”it’s on the test,” to learning as an intrinsic motivator for a bright future (thus the Individual Determination in AVID).

Elton Gregory Middle School will have AVID school-wide with targeted components beginning next school year.  Students in 7th grade will be able to participate in an AVID elective section, which will offer lessons in goal setting, career exploration, and independent learner traits.  All EGMS students will benefit from the AVID strategies that support students in taking notes and organizing their materials.

Tracie Renwick, Principal of Elton Gregory Middle School, shares, “Our AVID team made several visits to schools that are already implementing the program.  I was personally impressed by the confidence exhibited by AVID students in the schools we visited, and by the cohesiveness of staff members supporting students’ futures.  AVID is not simply a program, it is a system, impacting how students view themselves as learners, and how teachers support high expectations for all.”

We are excited to bring AVID to EGMS and look forward to helping our students make their dreams of college a reality!  If you have questions about AVID, please contact David Burke, Director of Secondary Education, at ext. 1134.

(Photo Caption: The AVID team at Elton Gregory Middle School includes Marc Horner, Marques Hase, Chris Felton, Tracie Renwick, Carl Robbins, Melissa Dvelter, and Madeline Tanner. Not pictured – Megan Storey)