AVID at Poquessing
This year a group of Poquessing students are getting a taste of what it takes to succeed in college -- and in life -- with the help of a new program.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global non-profit organizationthat has created a program to provide students with tools and strategies for academic and social success in school, higher education and beyond. According to the organization, AVID is more than just a program, however. "At its heart, AVID is a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.”
Though any students were allowed to participate in AVID, the program is especially designed for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. The program is being offered at Neshaminy High School, and a pilot implementation of the program is under way at Poquessing Middle School and Ferderbar Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year. It was offered as an elective for the 8th graders and integrated grade-wide for the 4th grade students.
A team of teachers and administrators prepared for the roll out last year by visiting Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School last November and Woodbury School District (NJ) in March to see their implementation of AVID. The team also attended the AVID Institute in Philadelphia over the summer.
An academic framework of the course is known as WICOR Strategies (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading). This is a learning model that lets teachers guide the students to comprehend materials and concepts and articulate ideas at increasingly complex levels, which they will need to succeed in their other classes, in higher education, and in the 'real' world of working and living.
WICOR projects can include anything from tutorials on organizational methods or social skills to writing, math or literacy exercises. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively, ask questions, and work in group settings with the teacher acting more as a facilitator rather than as a lecturer. The students are encouraged to analyze their progress through reflection and writing, and to develop interpersonal skills such as maintaining eye contact, listening, paraphrasing another's ideas before responding and using each others names during conversations.
The AVID students will be encouraged to stay with the course as they progress through high school and the program expands. AVID methods and skills will become more integrated with the curriculum in future years as the program expands into the elementary and middle schools.
VIDEO: AVID at Neshaminy High School