BRADENTON -- After five years of Advancement Via Individual Determination, Bayshore High School is working to become a national demonstration school for the program.
AVID, a successful BHS program with about 160 students, began about 30 years ago in San Diego. Its goal is to place students in colleges and universities.
AVID students at BHS have earned many accolades in five years of involvement. Students in AVID have a 100 percent graduation rate, a 100 percent college acceptance rate and have earned more than $260,000 in scholarships.
"Bayshore AVID is considered a highly certified program, which means that we have met and succeeded in all of the requirements of the AVID Center," said Angelia Gilley, coordinator of the program since its inception at Bayshore. "We are implementing many things schoolwide to become this national demonstration school."
Bayshore is now using the Cornell notes system in every classroom, every student has an agenda and many carry the traditional AVID three-ring binders. All AVID students are required to carry and use those binders daily.
Becoming a national demonstration school can have an important impact on many schools. Other schools will send educators to Bayshore to learn the AVID philosophy.
"Becoming a national demonstration school is important because it's a prestigious title that BHS students, faculty, and staff deserve," Gil
ley said. "We believe that all students will be college and career ready."
AVID is in place to ensure this happens, said Ginger Collins, BHS assistant principal and AVID administrator.
Students have high praise for AVID's positive effect on their education.
"AVID has helped me become more organized and involved," said Daniel Quinones, a senior and four-year member of the program. "I enjoy the family zone that is presented when I enter the classroom, and I enjoy the uplifting spirit and energy."
Sense of family is one of the major benefits of AVID where students have a support system of peers, teachers, counselors and administrators.
Teachers trained in the AVID philosophy volunteer to become members of the school site team. They implement AVID strategies in their classrooms and forge strong relationships with their students.
Cecilia Kunz is another Bayshore senior who has reaped benefits from her time in AVID.
"I have been in AVID since seventh grade," she said. "It has helped me become more organized and become a more positive learner."
Now, Bayshore is in position to help other schools take advantage of AVID as it undergoes a multi-step, 18-month process to become a demonstration school.
"We are eligible to go into a process called 'coaching,' which takes us into the process to become a national demonstration school," Gilley said.
The coaching phase takes 12 months, and the final six months involve numerous visits and meeting strict criteria AVID sets to earn the title.