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AVID innovates classroom environment

+Juniors+Toni+Jade+Coronel+%28left%29+and+Carla+Ireland+%28right%29+practice+their+%E2%80%9Cfarmer%E2%80%99s+handshake%E2%80%9D+as+a+team+bonding+exercise.
 Juniors Toni Jade Coronel (left) and Carla Ireland (right) practice their “farmer’s handshake” as a team bonding exercise.

Juniors Toni Jade Coronel (left) and Carla Ireland (right) practice their “farmer’s handshake” as a team bonding exercise.

Juniors Toni Jade Coronel (left) and Carla Ireland (right) practice their “farmer’s handshake” as a team bonding exercise.

Emily Williams, Editor-in-Chief

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Pursuing a new communal environment, Advancement Via Individual Determination is reinventing the traditional classroom set-up. Once a faculty lounge, 203A is the recent innovation for AVID classes.

“AVID’s whole mission is to close the achievement gap,” AVID coordinator Kim Culbertson said. “There are resources in the lounge for teachers so that we can really take AVID school wide.”

The college readiness program, AVID, strives to develop reading and writing, critical thinking, cooperation and organizational skills. AVID recruits students from varying demographics with the goal of getting them into a competitive four year college.“We are really targeting students that have potential and with additional support will be able to achieve a higher level success,” Culbertson said. Culbertson notes that a goal of AVID is to build a community.

A recent development incorporated into the program places students into “Harry Potter” houses and designates a president and historian for a student council, creating a more student-driven atmosphere.

“We want to make sure that we’re listening and acknowledging the needs of the students,” Culbertson said. “Our retention rate has not been the greatest and that’s something that we’ve been working on.”

Sophomore Arrianna Bailey finds the program beneficial.
“AVID helped me look at different colleges and it’s taught me to be a more organized person,” Bailey said.

AVID accepts incoming freshmen into their program based on a combination of grades, test scores and personal applications.

“We’re really targeting the students in the middle,” Culbertson said

Culbertson hopes the program can become school wide soon.

“The goal is to have more kids join the program or to have more teachers incorporate the strategies into their curriculum and provide time for organization.”

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