Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
Mr. Alejandro Gomez



Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Alejandro Gomez

Mr. Gomez is originally from Mexico but grew up mostly in Oklahoma and studied at Oklahoma State University.
He is currently completing a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in gifted education at George Mason University. He taught English as a second language abroad and in the states as well as Spanish at different levels. He joined Jefferson Houston in 2014 as an elementary and middle school Spanish teacher. Mr. Berkowitz tapped him to take over AVID after Ms. Norwood’s many years of successfully building the program. He looks forward to being a positive influence on AVID students as well as Jefferson Houston as a whole. In addition to AVID, he will be working with English language learners to assure that they advance linguistically and academically.

AVID Overview

  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)AVID Structure WICOR


    Jefferson Houston is in its fifth year as an AVID school. AVID at JH is part of the MASS-VI Eastern Division Region and is part of the fastest growing AVID systems in the United States. 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. These students are often in the “academic middle” and are typically members of an under-enrolled sub-group in four-year higher education institutions. Students must apply and are accepted into the program where the year-long class focuses on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading strategies.
    They greatly benefit from in-class college age tutor support twice a week. 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 future 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 programs across the Mid-Atlantic Region. These students are also leaders on and off the school campus and regularly support community and service opportunities. As AVID continues to grow, so do the opportunities for our students. Students hear from various guest speakers regarding the college-going process and career exploration.

    Recruitment is Underway!

    AVID recruitment begins each March in all of ACPS's secondary sites. Students in grades 5-9 who meet the required criteria have an opportunity to complete an application and interview with a panel of staff, students, and tutors. Contact our school's AVID site coordinator for more information.

    AVID Student Team Building    

George Mason University - Early Identification Program (GMU-EIP)

  • George Mason University- Early Identification Program (GMU-EIP)

    George Washington MS and ACPS are in their eighth year of a partnership with GMU. The Early Identification Program recruits first generation college-going students late in middle school and provides wrap-around support to ensure they are college ready by the time they graduate. While working alongside 7th grade counselors, the GMU staff ask recommended first generation students to submit an application, which is reviewed at the university by a panel. Currently, ACPS has thirty-six 8-12 students in EIP. During the after school support sessions, student receive academic mentoring from GMU undergraduate students. Students also are afforded an opportunity to dig deeper into math and science concepts one Saturday a month while visiting campus. In preparation for rigorous classes, students spend three weeks attending a Standards of Learning (SOL) preparation course during the month of July each summer while a participant in EIP. Recruitment occurs only during the spring of students’ seventh grade year. Once accepted, they remain a part of the program until they graduate. Application fee support and scholarship opportunities are available to those students who met specific criteria and wish to attend GMU once they graduate high school. The current 8 th grade cohort has an average GPA of 3.2 and is doing exceptional. For more information about GMU EIP, please contact Jodie Peters at

    EIP Student Group Photo