Monte Vista Elementary held an AVID certification meeting on Wednesday, May 29, to review their school-wide program as an accountability piece to ensure the program's effectiveness for their second year.
Being AVID certified for the second year verifies that Monte Vista has had an effective school-wide program for students for the past two years. Each year AVID will come to conduct a certification meeting and provide support throughout the school year to ensure that Monte Vista is meeting the needs of their students.
During the meeting Monte Vista teachers and principal, Andrea Larios, met with and AVID representative and presented both student and teacher work as evidence of meeting both AVID’s and Monte Vista’s goals. The work presented was all under the four AVID essential categories which is instruction, leadership, culture, and systems.
Teachers shared about specific AVID tools such as binders, agendas, WICOR, and AVID one pagers, as key elements in student success. They stated they have seen an increase in critical thinking from students and that AVID’s three column notes have helped students write more effectively.
AVID has also allowed teachers to act more as facilitators and students are given roles allowing them to be more engaged in their learning and accountable talk. Some teachers shared stories about specific students and how they have seen AVID tools help them achieve personal educational growth. One teacher also stated that AVID tools have helped close the achievement gap by bringing awareness to students who need more support and providing resources to give that support.
“My goal is for student's to learn in a happy effective environment,” Monte Vista principal, Andrea Larios, stated.
“AVID is just one of our district and site initiatives. We utilize all of our programs (GLAD, AVID, PBIS, Thinking Maps, etc.) to support student achievement. I believe the reason AVID has been utilized effectively at Monte Vista is due to everyone's belief in the program. We believe that students utilizing the tools and skills of critical thinking through inquiry, note-taking to show their learning and thinking, and organizing their thoughts and self within their agendas and binders will develop positive learning habits that they reinforce now and will continue to support their learning through college.”
Teachers and principal Larios then shared about their culture and how Monte Vista has become a college-minded environment. Every month Monte Vista highlights a different college or university, teachers have decorated their classrooms with college banners and pennants, and students have visited Loyola Marymount and Cal State Long Beach within the last two school years and plan to continue doing more university visits.
Monte Vista began their AVID journey four years ago during a Summer Institute training and built it from 6th grade to school-wide. Monte Vista's staff has wonderful support from the District Office administrators as well as their Board Members as they all believe in the effectiveness of the program to promote student achievement.
"I am most proud that we have been school-wide certified for 2 years, with only having begun the training for the program 4 years ago,” Larios shared.
“It takes time to build a strong effective program and to have done it so quickly feels extremely rewarding because I know our students are better learners because of it.”