Learning Strategy for K-12 from QD Learning

What is AVID?

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

What Is AVID

AVID started in secondary schools but now it has expanded to elementary and colleges.

AVID Elementary (K-6, K-8) teaches students academic skills at an age-appropriate level that will help them succeed at each level of their education. AVID Elementary professional learning provides teaching strategies and best practices that are utilized in each class across the grade level. Students learn note-taking, organization, and collaboration skills - and are able to start thinking about their educational path to college.

AVID Secondary (grades 7-12) helps students in the AVID Elective develop their academic skills, specifically writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (what AVID refers to as WICOR). The AVID Elective also provides students with opportunities to increase their college knowledge and take college field trips. Students and teachers in the AVID Elective often develop a close-knit peer group, commonly known as the AVID family. AVID Secondary also acts to improve access and equity to rigorous courses on a campus and the professional learning provides strategies that can help all students be more college ready, even if they are not in the AVID Elective, through the use of AVID teaching strategies in content-area classes.

AVID for Higher Education has three initiatives: Student Success Initiative, Teacher Preparation Initiative, and the Career and Technical Workforce Initiative. The Student Success Initiative focuses heavily on college persistence for students who are already enrolled in college. The Teacher Preparation Initiative provides AVID teaching strategies to future teachers in their education program at their college. The Career and Technical Workforce Initiative is newer and is focused on career readiness.

[Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advancement_Via_Individual_Determination]

Why does it matter?

AVID is "a style of teaching that was geared to conceptual understanding, not just memorization of facts and formulas."

"Students learn how to take notes, question teachers, manage their time, plan for college, plan for life, make effective presentations, write persuasively, and develop other skills that the regular classes did not have time for. "

Our understanding is that AVID provides a framework for learning. It combines lots of best practices in specific areas such as note taking, organization all the way to a variety of soft skills such as listening, public speaking and delivers in a comprehensive package. It is a great framework to hold everyone (students and teachers) to the highest standard.

[Source: Question Everything (Mathews, 2015) ]

People Like Me (AVID Video)

AVID Strategies

AVID 11 Essentials

1. Students are selected from the middle and would benefit from AVID support to improve their academic records and begin college preparation.

2. Student and teacher participation is voluntary.

3. The school is committed to full implementation: AVID is scheduled as an academic elective.

4. AVID students are enrolled in a rigorous curriculum.

5. A strong and relevant writing and reading curriculum is a basis for learning in the AVID Elective class.

6. Inquiry is used as a basis for instruction in the AVID classroom.

7. Collaboration is also used as a basis for instruction.

8. Trained tutors regularly facilitate student access to rigorous curriculum using AVID methodologies.

9. Program implementation and student progress are monitored through the AVID Data System and results are analyzed to ensure success.

10. The school or district identifies resources for program costs, supports the Essentials, participates in certification and commits to AVID staff development.

11. Active, interdisciplinary site teams collaborate on issues of access to and success in rigor college preparatory classes.

[Source: What is Avid? http://www.avid.org/dl/gearup/avidindetail.docx ]

AVID Elementary Strategies


-Planners/agendas, binders/organizational tools, time management, goal setting


-Writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, reading

Student Success Skills

-Speaking skills, study skills


-Site, district, home, community

See details below:

AVID Secondary Strategies

Go deeper on WICOR:

  • Writing, is basic to thinking, learning and growth, requiring students to consider issues in new, complex ways, contributing to self-knowledge, and helping them to clarify and order experience and ideas.
  • Inquiry, AVID’s emphasis on inquiry focuses on the application of Costa’s three levels of “intellectual functioning," whereby learning to ask progressively more complex questions is scaffolded and students become progressively more metacognitive—aware of their own thinking processes.
  • Collaboration, Collaborative learning involves intentionally designed student groups engaged in “co-laboring” toward meaningful learning outcomes, using active engagement activities planned to maximize learning, and facilitating the sharing of the workload Barkley, Cross and Major (2005)
  • Organization, Because college students face competing priorities that are often overwhelming, organizational skills are critical to success in academic and social situations.
  • Reading to Learn, College instructors consider reading a basic skill, one that all students should have acquired before entering college.

See details below:

AVID Around Us

Orange Unified School District

Elementary Schools

  • California
  • Chapman Hills
  • Crescent
  • Esplanade
  • Handy
  • La Veta
  • Palmyra
  • Panorama
  • Taft
  • West Orange

Middle School:

  • Portola Middle school

Placentia Yorba Linda School District

  • El Dorado High School
  • Valencia High School
  • Kraemer Middle School
  • Valadez Middle School Academy
  • Yorba Linda Middle School

Orange County Department of Education

Action Items for Parents

Get familiar with AVID and be involved in child's learning by doing:

  • Ask specific questions about school
  • Reinforce the agenda at home
  • Support homework blocks
  • Make school your child’s “job”
  • Celebrate short-and long-term goals

We will also cover specific strategies such as Organization, WICOR in future topics. All of those skills will benefit educators and parents as well.

For more information on AVID

Check out Jay Mathew's book on AVID. Jay presents stories and winning strategies behind AVID. You can find it on Amazon. There is one more book called "Wall of Fame" that tells the story of AVID's beginnings. You can download the book here.

In addition, you can check out AVID's blog "Adventures In College & Career Readiness" that covers current efforts in preparing all students for success in this global society (That is AVID's mission).


  1. Advancement Via Individual Determination from Wikipedia
  2. What is AVID? from AVID.org http://www.avid.org/dl/gearup/avidindetail.docx
  3. What is AVID Elementary from Slideshare.net
  4. WICOR: AVID’s Foundation for High Engagement Teaching & Learning from AVID.org

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