The Power of Texting

By Haley Trost, Signal Vine

Sifting through the replies and forwards and requests begging for attention in my inbox is practically a full-time job these days. To keep up with my actual full-time job, I don’t always give due diligence to the emails steadily piling up—and I’m not the only one suffering from email fatigue. It turns out that a mere 3% of students use email daily. So my question is: Why do we continue blasting emails to students when we know that they, like many of us, aren’t really engaged? Yes, email is easy. Email is fast. But so is text messaging! And compared to that measly 3% of daily emailers, a whopping 90%+ of students are texting every single day. Because students actually read and respond to texts, texting is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for influencing student behaviors. We need to start meeting students where they’re at—on their phones.

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White House Initiative Honors AVID as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education

AVID was recognized at a White House event as one of the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education. Bright Spots are evidence-based programs that address key education priorities for Hispanics and are helping close the achievement gap. AVID was selected as a result of its strong data showing the impact of the AVID system on college access and completion for Hispanic students. The Bright Spots were chosen by members of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) as part of their 25-year anniversary.

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Welcome Back to “Our Kids” 

By Sandy Husk, CEO, AVID Center

Thousands of U.S. students have already begun the school year, and millions more are starting this week. About 5,000 AVID school site teams will implement the plans they’ve created to close the opportunity gap for our kids—almost one million AVID students nationwide! The work these educators will do to close the gap is vital for the future of our students and our country.

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Why Can’t the Whole Year Be Like the First Day of School?

By Craig McKinney, AVID Staff Developer

Two weeks ago, I started a new position as an English Language Arts Instructional Specialist after years of teaching English, Humanities, and/or AVID at Shepton High School. Consequently, Monday was the first first day of school since 1993 that I was not standing up in front of a roomful of teenagers with whom I would spend the next 180 or so days. Instead, I spent most of the day visiting five middle or high schools around the district, meeting some teachers, and tracking down everyone I’m supposed to support at those schools.

As I stepped in and out of classrooms and walked through the halls, I noticed a few things that seem to be generally true about middle school and high school students and teachers on the first day of school...

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Tips On Changing Middle School Behaviors, Einstein-Style

By Jennifer Wolfe, AVID Elective Teacher & Coordinator, Emerson Junior High School

This blog originally appeared on Huff Post Education.

I started teaching years ago, full of energy and sure I could make change happen.

Twenty-five years later, I've made some mistakes along the way, but ultimately I've had more success than failure.

I guess that's why I keep teaching middle school.

Middle school teaching isn't for everyone. Some say it's the worst possible age group, but I disagree. I love it.

Challenging? Yes. Frustrating? Often. Fun? Usually. Rewarding? Definitely. Insane? Sometimes.

For the last five years I've been building up the AVID program in our school. AVID is an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and is a nationwide program to 'level the playing field' for students stuck in the academic middle.

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