In the ongoing efforts to achieve our school’s mission of “Something for Everyone,” Tempe High is proud to offer the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program this year. AVID is a college-prep curricular program for students in the academic middle. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors this year have been able to take a new course dedicated to helping them achieve their goals of going to college. Students considered for AVID were recommended for this prestigious program because they have displayed academic success in their courses at Tempe High School or in middle school, but are traditionally underrepresented in the college system or may be the very first in their family to ever attend college. The AVID elective class, held within the regular school day, provides support, academic monitoring, and tutoring. The writing process, collaborative learning, and reading are the core strategies of the program.
In addition to the AVID elective class, each AVID student is required to take at least one honors or International Baccalaureate (IB) course. These are courses that historically were not available to students in the academic middle. But research now shows that students who take at least one of the most rigorous classes a high school has to offer (like honors or IB), succeed in college at much higher rates than students who do not take any honors or IB courses. For this reason, these rigorous courses have been opened up to these students who receive support for the challenges of the honors and IB level courses in their AVID elective course. Several of the older AVID students are taking multiple IB courses.
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 calendars, and are required to take daily notes in all academic classes. The notebooks are graded weekly for content and organization by the AVID instructor. Led by tutors, students participate in tutorial groups in the AVID student classroom. In addition, students are taught study skills, test preparation, time management, and the writing process.
Several faculty and staff members at Tempe High have attended AVID summer institutes where they learned about implementing Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reading (WICR) strategies into their classes. AVID students receive support for their learning through these WICR strategies, not only in the AVID elective class but also in many of the core content classes.