GPISD AVID Director's News

Monthly updates from AVID District Director

Welcome Back !

Message from District Director

Dear AVID Family,

Welcome Back! I am excited to start this "EPIC" year of learning for all our AVID scholars. It was great to meet our new AVID Coordinators and visit your campus this month. We have some great things plans this year and I look forward to attending your Site Team meetings and meeting your students.

AVID emphasizes building relational capacity as a cornerstone of student success. Intentionally building relational capacity engenders trust and safety in a group, which contributes to students building agency and feeling comfortable collaborating and taking risks when learning. Why is it especially important for teachers to focus on building relational capacity with and among their students as they return to school this year?

Students need to feel safe.
Many students are returning to school from a COVID season filled with trauma—the loss of loved ones, isolation, food insecurity, and financial stress. Supporting students’ psychological safety as they return to school is imperative, both for their social and emotional well-being and for their ability to academically engage. Activities that build relational capacity with peers and educators help students tap into their agency and activate their academic potential as they celebrate the obstacles through which they have persisted.

Students need to collaborate.
In the midst of social distancing and remote learning, students may be out of practice when it comes to effective and meaningful collaboration. What we know in AVID is that a high degree of relational capacity is a prerequisite for meaningful collaboration. Relational capacity activities allow students to practice the skills needed for effective collaboration—skills in speaking and listening, respecting others’ contributions, and asking clarifying questions. What if prior to doing that first Socratic Seminar or World Café over course content this fall, you instead did a Socratic Seminar over how students are feeling, or their highs and lows from the last year? Not only would they gain comfort with the collaborative structure, but they would also begin building the relational capacity necessary for full academic engagement.

Explore examples of how to build relational capacity in your class. In addition to establishing relational capacity at the start of the school year, educators are encouraged to continue building relational capacity throughout the year by embedding it into instruction. How about a graph in Algebra of how students have felt over the last week? What about an Exit Ticket where students are asked to write one way a peer helped them learn today? Or consider establishing group norms and expectations prior to a collaborative activity, and then debriefing afterward on how effectively students worked together. We encourage you to continue building your toolbox of relational capacity-building resources and activities .

Big picture

AVID 2021 - 2022 Leadership Council

Elementary Schools

1. Austin Environmental Science Academy - Letola Miller, / Lizet Gonzalez,

2. Sallye Moore College Preparatory – Felica Horne,

3. Travis World Language Academy - Charles Cunningham,

Middle Schools

1. Digital Arts & Technology Academy @Adams Middle School - Ebony Jones,

2. Fannin Middle School – Robert Ponce,

3. Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute – Lisa Mihelich,

4. Jackson Middle School – Becky Black,

5. Sallye Moore College Preparatory – Ola Dupree,

6. Travis World Language Academy – Charles Cunningham,

7. Truman Middle School – David McCraw,

8. Young Men’s Leadership Academy – Melynn Bowen,

9. Young Women’s Leadership Academy – Kourtney Brice,

High Schools

1. Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute - Lisa Mihelich,

2. Grand Prairie High School – Kimberly Patten,

3. South Grand Prairie High School - Kia Pearl,

4. Young Women’s Leadership Academy – Kourtney Brice,

Site Team Resources

Site Team Modules

The following modules are available for you to facilitate during regularly scheduled Site Team meetings throughout the year:

AVID Tutors

2021 - 2022 AVID Tutors

New Resource for Synchronous AVID Tutor Training

AVID Tutors who are 18 and older will access their training in a MyAVID eLearning course. Tutors will need a MyAVID account to be enrolled into the course. All AVID Site Coordinator and AVID Elective Teacher have access to view an audit version of the eLearning course, enabling AVID districts to know what their tutors are learning within the training.

Additionally, in GPISD for the 2021–22 school year, the Tutor Training course will be virtually facilitated on August 30th & 31st . For more information, visit the AVID Tutor Training webpage in MyAVID.

Big picture

AVID Around the District

The Curve of Forgetting


GPISD AVID Alumni Spotlight