South Whittier School District

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Australian Educators Visit Graves Middle School

Australian educators visited Graves Middle School on Wednesday, December 13, to observe the school’s AVID and AVID Excel programs.


The educators are from a school in Australia that reached out to the AVID organization here in the U.S. in hopes to observe a school with a thriving program. Graves Middle School, being a National AVID Demonstration School ranked as one of the top 2.7% of schools in the U.S., was recommended by the organization.


Educators had the opportunity to visit classrooms, observe lessons and student interactions, as well as speaking with students and hearing their stories about how AVID has had a positive impact on their education and self confidence.


Australian education administrator, Rebecca, shared, “Our biggest issue is always consistency school wide.” She went on to share they admired how all teachers are trained in the AVID program and that the program is taught through out all of Graves. She then shared how she loved that all students were very college focused and hopes to take back that same attitude to their students.


After being able to speak with students, Graves’ principal, Dr. Fraijo, shared a presentation with the educators about changes they have made that have helped students progress. Graves has implemented a new master schedule and has incorporated electives and a study skills class. 


The study skills class is a program that is designed to target the lowest performing students and give them the time, space, and resources they need to succeed in their classes. Dr. Fraijo shared about one student who went from a 1.8 GPA to a 3.8 GPA after joining the study skills class.


Graves Middle School educators and the Australian educators closed with a discussion about how AVID focuses on systems, leadership, and culture in order to help their teachers and students thrive.