Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) at TUHS is an academic support program for students in the 50th-80th percentile. The goal of the program is to turn student with potential and "individual determination" into honors students who go on to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes during their junior and senior years. AVID teaches students a variety of college-level skills and strategies in writing, inquiry (questioning), collaboration, and reading (WICR method). Specially-trained college students come into the AVID classroom twice a week to lead small-group tutorials using the Socratic method of questioning, rather than the traditional method of direct instruction (providing students with both the information and answers). AVID turns students into independent, responsible learners and provides a college-going culture for students who are typically the first in their family to go to college.
The AVID program is tailored to the needs of this diverse group of student, and it works for them because:
AVID accelerates underachieving students into more rigorous courses, instead of consigning them to dead-end remedial programs.
AVID offers the intensive support students need to succeed in rigorous courses.
AVID uses Socratic methods and study groups that specifically target the needs of under-achieving students.
AVID is a schoolwide initiative, not a school within a school.
AVID changes the belief system of an entire school by showing that low-income and minority students can achieve at the highest levels and go on to attend college.
The role of the teacher is redefined from lecturer to advocate and guide.
The role of the counselor changes from gate-keeper to facilitator.
AVID creates site teams of administrators and educators from different content areas, encouraging communication and sharing among teachers, counselors, and principals.
All AVID strategies are based on research and tracking - the process by which some children are channeled into challenging courses and others are relegated to remedial ones - and peer influences in student achievement.