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Woodbury Middle and Royal Oaks Elementary schools recognized by AVID Leadership

Woodbury Middle and Royal Oaks Elementary schools recognized by AVID Leadership
Posted on 03/16/2018

Dozens of assistant superintendents and school district administrators from across the country visited Woodbury Middle and Royal Oaks Elementary schools to learn about their AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) programs. The visitors came during planned AVID District Leadership school visits on Thursday, March 8.

AVID National reached out to District 833 to see a vertically aligned system between an elementary and middle school. The national team selected Woodbury Middle School because of its strong schoolwide AVID focus. District 833’s AVID Director, Molly Lester recommended the AVID leaders-in-training also stop at Royal Oaks because of the excellent work with AVID at the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade levels.

“Our teachers work hard every day to set students up for success,” said Lester. “By building relationships and using common language for expectations, students are given tools to succeed.”

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.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers at Royal Oaks introduce AVID strategies and organizational and executive function skills. The 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers at Woodbury Middle continue that common AVID language and support students every day to be successful. Vertical alignment and vertical articulation of expectations help families support their children at home. AVID Schoolwide transforms instruction practices and the goal is to see improved academic performance for all students.

AVID leaders-in-training came from Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Michigan to see our schools.

During the visit to Woodbury Middle School, the visitors spoke with students and teachers about their AVID lessons and strategies and got to see AVID coursework in action. In a feedback sheet, visitors said students were confident, kind and engaged in their learning of AVID strategies and teachers were passionate in their roles in leading students. The visit was organized with the help of Woodbury Middle’s AVID Coordinator Reuben Spinner and Principal Kari Lopez.

The group of visitors then went to Royal Oaks where they interacted with a student panel and sat in classrooms as AVID strategies were taught. One of the visitors provided feedback to the school that said, “it is refreshing, exciting and reflective seeing young students doing authentic, rigorous work and imagining where they will be in five years.” The visit was organized by Royal Oaks’ AVID Coordinator Jen Birkel and Principal Susan Risius.

“Our teachers are making a difference in students’ lives by incorporating AVID strategies into their lessons. We’re very proud that we are now being nationally recognized for this hard work,” said Lester.

Woodbury Middle School was recently named an AVID National Demonstration School and AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction. Park High School was also recently recognized as the first AVID National Demonstration High School in Minnesota. District 833 is the only district in the Upper Midwest to have three AVID Demonstration Schools including Oltman and Woodbury middle schools and Park High School.