Originally Published: October 5, 2015 6 a.m.
With Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Granville takes the next step in equipping every student with skills to approach increasing challenges of school with confidence and preparedness to carry them to secondary education and beyond.
When Humboldt Unified School District tasked each campus with creating a focused and intentional Signature Program, Granville knew AVID Elementary was just the system to set them apart. As principal Bucky Bates puts it, "Our responsibility is to set these students up with a strong foundation for success." What better way than to implement features of the established AVID program at HUSD middle and high schools serving nearly 350 students?
In contrast to secondary AVID programs which strategically target a group of students, AVID Elementary is a school wide program, touching every student at every level of need. So how do you organize, challenge, nurture and establish ownership of learning with 582 students from vastly different backgrounds? Everyone takes ownership. Granville staff, students, and parents have embraced the initial steps in the three-year certification process with gusto. PTO spent nearly $3,000 to ensure students would have the materials they needed to kick-off the program, and teachers and students have committed to using the program with fidelity.
AVID Essentials call for specific, measureable goals in four vital areas: Leadership, Systems, Culture, and Instruction. Thus far, Granville has implemented a full-scale, wildly successful adoption of student organizational binders from 1st grade to 6th grade. Teacher Denise St. Clair, already observes, "A sense of pride and ownership in 'their' binder." Additionally, Cheryl Peterman finds the binders "...especially helpful during parent meetings" because materials are on-hand and give a clear picture of the student's progress." Sixth-grader Alexis Wilson is such a believer that she helped her older brother set up a binder for high school this year!
Evidence of the school culture is apparent as students are prompted with common terms such as SLANT or in the enthusiastic cheers and call backs used to celebrate successes and engage them as attentive listeners. Take a peek in the "Notes" section at various grade levels and see that strategies previously reserved for college are already in place. Student Teresa Musser says her "Notes" section in Math really helps at home: "If I forget how to do something, I know just where to look."
Upon her first visit, AVID's Regional Representative Denise Campbell assessed Granville's progress as being a year beyond what would be expected in the first six weeks of implementation. Advancement Via Individual Determination and shared ownership are a recipe for success at Granville Elementary!