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AVID’s Site Certification and Schoolwide Recognition Levels

by Michele Marcus, Ph.D., National Director of Program Quality, AVID Center

Michele Marcus and Dennis Johnston having fun at a Florida CSS rollout session

AVID Vice President Dr. Dennis Johnston and I have been visiting AVID District Directors around the country to inform them about the changes to the upcoming 2013-2014 “AVID Certification Report and Self-Study Continuum” (CSS) and the new levels of recognition for AVID sites. This is important work as we want our AVID schools to be the best, and we want to recognize them for their success with students schoolwide.

First, changes to the CSS include the additions to Essential 5 addressing the “O” (Organization) in WICOR.  AVID Elective classes have always emphasized the “O” with binders, agendas, goal setting to achieve important educational steps, etc., but now we give organization in the academic classroom the attention it truly warrants.

The second addition to the CSS is the inclusion of “Common Core” language in Essential 4: Rigor. As states begin to increase the rigor in middle schools, implementation of “Common Core” math is adding a new level of rigor for students. Thus, Essential 4 Indicator 6 addresses this reality with new language around “Common Core” math.   

The other major change to the secondary CSS is the specific requirement for principals to engage in AVID professional learning through the AVID Summer Institute, AVID Leadership for College Readiness training, and/or AVID Divisional leadership training. Research shows that for AVID to move schoolwide and touch many students on campus, beyond the AVID Academic Elective Class students, the principal must believe in AVID’s mission of “college readiness for all students” and understand how he/she can support AVID with resources and professional learning opportunities for staff. Essential 10 Indicator 5 requires the principal to engage in and apply AVID professional learning.

Just as important as the CSS is for sites, is AVID’s desire to recognize sites which are truly making a difference for their students. Data show that students at AVID Demonstration sites are achieving at higher levels than students at AVID Certified sites, just as students at Certified sites are achieving at higher levels than students at AVID Affiliate or non-Certified sites.  New research shows that there is a higher level of achievement among students at schools with an average rating of 2 or higher on the 11 Essentials than for students at schools with an average rating at Level 1. These data demonstrate that when sites implement AVID with fidelity to the model, they will see gains in student achievement as outlined by AVID’s Essentials.

Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, AVID will continue to recognize its “Certified” and “Demonstration” sites , but it will also recognize those “AVID Highly Certified” sites and those “AVID  Schoolwide Sites of Distinction.” Benchmarks and schoolwide metrics for these levels of recognition will be rolled out during AVID Site Team Meetings at the 2013 AVID Summer Institute. We hope to see you there to celebrate our AVID students and our AVID schools!

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