North High School in Phoenix becomes AVID Demonstration School
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North High School in Phoenix becomes AVID Demonstration School

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  • Craig Pletenik/Phoenix Union High School District

North High School In Phoenix Becomes AVID Demonstration School, 2017

North High School was visited by the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) team Tuesday, and when the day ended, North became an AVID Demonstration School, the fourth high school in Arizona to do so, as well as the first in the Phoenix Union High School District.

AVID is a college readiness system designed to provide students in the academic middle with wstructure and support, access to rigorous curriculum and preparation for entrance into a four-year university. AVID Demonstration Schools are exemplary models of the AVID College Readiness System.

They undergo a rigorous validation process to ensure high levels of implementation of AVID strategies schoolwide.  AVID Demonstration Schools serve as models for schools that wish to see want to see highly successful AVID systems in action.

The AVID Validation team visited classrooms and met with the superintendent, board members, AVID students, tutors, and teachers to determine if North met the criteria. 

“North knocked it out of the park,” said Denise Campbell, AVID Director for Arizona and New Mexico. “There are 6,000 schools with AVID nationwide, but only 175 Demonstration schools.  North earned a three-year label which is the most you can get, and it means they are outstanding. If you get two years, we come back and re-validate.”

North started AVID in 2007 with two classes, two teachers, and a counselor.  It has grown to 11 sections, ten teachers, and two counselors. This year, North will have 43 AVID students graduate from North, the largest class ever.

So far North’s AVID senior classes have amassed over $500,000 dollars in scholarship money.  Every AVID student will graduate, 100% of the AVID students have taken both the PSAT and ACT, and many have taken the SAT.  There are ten AVID tutors, all college students.  All ten are North High graduates, and six went through the AVID program.

There are 285 students school-wide in AVID elective classes, and 50 percent of the staff are AVID-trained, according to North AVID Coordinator Anna Ruiz.  There will be 75 AVID seniors for 2017-18.

“Being a National Demonstration School means that North has made a commitment to utilize AVID methodologies school-wide, provide professional development to our certified staff in the use of AVID strategies/methodologies, provide access to more rigorous curriculum for all students, and at North we have made AVID a central part of or School Improvement Plan,” Ruiz  said.

AVID seniors outpace the national average of enrolling in either a two or four-year college the first fall term after high school, and persist at a higher rate than U.S. students overall, into year two of college.  Three out of every four AVID students nationally are of low socioeconomic status and are often the first in their family to attend college.

AVID comes from the Latin word avidus, which means eager for knowledge.