Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, has a mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Alexandria City High School participates in the AVID Schoolwide model and has been recognized nationally as an AVID Highly Certified Site in the state of Virginia. AVID at Alexandria City High School is part of the MASS-VI Eastern Division Region and is part of the fastest-growing AVID systems in the United States.
The AVID secondary elective course enrollment in grades 9 through 12 includes 265 students, the largest enrollment thus far with more than 80% of the students enrolled in their third year or more of AVID. These students are often in the “academic middle” and typically members of an under-enrolled group in four-year institutions. They are “determined” and plan to attend a two or four-year institution.
Students must apply and are accepted into the elective course where the year-long class focuses on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading strategies (WICOR). They greatly benefit from in-class college-age tutor support twice a week. Additionally, they learn the “hidden curriculum” related to college entrance, which includes targeted support for securing financial aid, completing scholarship opportunities, listening to various career pathway speakers, and participating in college visits and leadership programming.
One hundred percent of students are expected to enroll in at least one course of rigor and also take a sequence of courses that meet four-year college entrance requirements. Students enrolled in four years of the elective in ACPS, on average, will visit more than 20 different colleges and universities. Additionally, higher education institutions are becoming more aware of the “AVID student” and are developing scholarships and onsite visits targeted at AVID systems across the Mid-Atlantic Region.
To date, 100% of all AVID students who have graduated since 2012 have been accepted to two- or four-year colleges or the military and have graduated on time. Graduating cohorts initially began with 16 students are now graduating with 40+ students. These students are also leaders on and off the school campus and regularly support community and service opportunities. Additionally, they participate in sports, JROTC, school plays, student leadership and National Junior Honor Society, and also support AVID programming and recruitment at other ACPS schools.
As AVID continues to grow, so do the opportunities for our students! ACPS AVID has been recognized by local news outlets, the National Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. AVID students have also represented the AVID Eastern Division as student leaders during AVID Summer Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
Recruitment is Underway
AVID recruitment is underway in all of our secondary sites through the month of September. Sixth-grade cohorts are final at this time due to limited seat enrollment at each middle school. Students in grades six through nine who meet the required criteria have an opportunity to complete an application and interview with a panel of staff, students, and tutors. Parent overview sessions are currently taking place at schools, but further information is available from each school's site coordinator. For AVID elective information at Alexandria City High School, please contact Co-Site Coordinators Rhea Butler at email@example.com or Jessica Durante at firstname.lastname@example.org.