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Park High School and Pullman Elementary School visited by AVID Leadership

Leaders from the national AVID Center and dozens of school districts across the country visited Park High School and Pullman Elementary School on Thursday, Oct. 11 to learn more about the schools’ AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) programs.

AVID is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap. AVID teaches students skills and behaviors for academic success and helps develop critical thinking, literacy and math skills. Leadership at the AVID Center asked District 833 to show AVID leaders-in-training examples of the program in action at the elementary and high school levels. AVID leaders-in-training came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Ohio.

At Pullman Elementary, all third, fourth and fifth-grade teachers introduce AVID strategies in their classrooms. Through the program, students learn about organization, study skills, communication and self-advocacy in an age-appropriate and challenging way. AVID elementary students take structured notes and answer and ask high-level questions that go beyond routine answers.

Students can progress with the AVID program at the middle and high school level, continuing to improve their skills and set new goals along the way. At Park High School, AVID is an elective program that allows students to prepare for success in college by building skills to increase collaboration, learning and organization.

During the visit, leaders saw students in the classroom. They also had the opportunity to ask Park High School students about their AVID experience.

“I love AVID because it gives me an AVID family and support system,” said Mariam Zewdu, a junior at Park High School. “What I appreciate most about AVID is all the college readiness and ACT practice. AVID has helped me a lot through tutorials.”

District 833 is the only school district in the Upper Midwest to have three AVID National Demonstration Schools. Park High School was the first National Demonstration High School in Minnesota. The school has grown its AVID program from 20 students in 2009 to 309 students for the 2018-19 school year. Oltman and Woodbury middle schools are also AVID Schoolwide Sites of Distinction, a level of certification only held by four other schools in Minnesota.