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Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID)

The AVID Schoolwide system is playing a key role in closing the achievement gap and ensuring that students get to college. AVID has seen tremendous gains in growing participation rates in elementary through high school, increasing grade point averages (GPAs), and increased enrollment in rigorous courses.

AVID is a system that enables college access for self-determined students who are typically underserved and underrepresented in four-year colleges, students in the academic middle, and those who may be the first generation in the family to attend college. The program plays a critical role in preparing students for college readiness and involving families in the creation of pathways to success. The AVID program ensures that all students have the tools they need to succeed beyond high school.

It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap. The AVID Schoolwide model can bring about systemic change across an entire campus by increasing the instructional impact through strategy instruction in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading, or WICOR. AVID Schoolwide examines and reflects on leadership, instruction, school culture, and systems and works to decrease achievement and opportunity gaps by further promoting post-high school planning. In essence, the AVID system supports equitable practices and opportunities for ALL students.The AVID elective course in the secondary model targets students who are typically under-represented in four-year colleges, students in the academic middle (2.0-3.5), those determined to attend post-high school institutions, and students who may be the first generation in the family to attend college. All AVID students who have the desire to take part in this ongoing elective course are required to complete an application and take part in an interview prior to being selected. For more information on the nationwide success of this 35+-year-old program, visit the AVID website.

Fast Facts

  • More than 833 ACPS students have enrolled in AVID elective courses for 2023-24 at Francis C. Hammond Middle School, George Washington Middle School, Jefferson-Houston School, Patrick Henry, and Alexandria City High School. The AVID Elementary Schoolwide model includes Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, Patrick Henry, and Jefferson-Houston elementary grades as well.

  • More than 90 percent of all AVID 6-12 elective students are enrolled in advanced coursework, or honors, advanced placement (AP), or dual enrollment courses each year. With student retention on the rise, cohorts have nearly doubled in grades 9-12 since inception in 2008. As a result, additional AVID Elective sections have opened in middle schools.

  • In SY19-20, Francis Hammond Middle School implemented the AVID Excel elective for 6th graders, the first of its kind in the AVID MASS region. George Washington Middle followed suit in SY20-21, and to date, ACPS has more than 160 participating AVID Excel students and to date ACPS has more than 130 participating AVID Excel students. AVID Excel is designed for long-term English learners who have a desire for college after high school. Based in best practice methodologies for language acquisition, Excel will provide "Scholars" an opportunity to learn the "hidden curriculum" to rigorous and advanced courses advance and serve as a trajectory changer for many.
  • Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology make up the largest recruitment class for AVID 6 in the division, generally resulting in the acceptance of more than 15 students each year.
  • More than 85 percent of AVID elective students receive Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARM) and approximately 70 percent are first-generation college-going students. Eighteen (18%) percent of AVID Seniors are former English learners.
  • Cohorts have doubled over time and retention in the elective course is at an all-time high of nearly 80 percent.
  • Grade point averages (GPAs) have increased more than 0.5 percent in the high school grades and a majority of students are taking at least one course of rigor, including honors, advanced placement, or dual enrollment courses.  The Class of 2023 has an average GPA of 3.3.
  • More than 98 percent of middle school students are taking an honors course and are successfully completing Algebra in the eighth grade.
  • AVID seniors have boasted a 100 percent on-time graduation in and between 94-100 percent two or four-year college acceptance rate for the past three years, with a few students planning to either take a gap year or enroll in a culinary arts program.
  • On average, Alexandria City High School AVID Seniors have completed at least twelve (12) and fifteen (15) credits of NOVA dual enrollment (DE) courses by the time they graduate, within some students completing as many as seven courses.
  • Five former T.C. Williams High School AVID students have been chosen to be AVID Student Leaders at the annual AVID Summer Institute held in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Each year between 15-20 Seniors are awarded the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria renewable scholarship, which helps to reduce the cost gap for paying for college.
  • Check out AVID in VA AVID in Virginia
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Contact Information

Jodie Peters

AVID District Director/College Readiness Support
George Mason University Early Identification Program Coordinator (EIP)
(703) 824-6784