AVID WORLD NEWS: Edison hoping to become showcase school for college-readiness
STOCKTON — Just a few short years after becoming the first high school in Stockton Unified to embrace a system that has equipped virtually every one of its traditionally underrepresented students to succeed in college, Edison is poised to mark another milestone.
District and board leaders toured classrooms Tuesday that were incorporating Advancement Via Individual Determination learning strategies for the first time as Edison held a dress rehearsal in hopes of being named an official showcase school for the college-readiness system next spring. The designation is all but certain, Edison officials say.
AVID National Demonstration Schools serve as exemplary models of campuses that have successfully implemented the system schoolwide and undergo a rigorous validation process. Only about 5 percent of the nearly 5,000 K-12 AVID schools nationwide earn the distinction of being named a demonstration site; only a handful of those are in California.
That designation will prove hugely beneficial not just for outside districts interested in implementing AVID in their own schools; for Stockton Unified, which plans to broaden the program districtwide over the next four years, Edison willserve as a blueprint for success.
“We really don’t fit the ideal mold of a demonstration site, so we really want to get rid of that stereotype,” Edison Principal Brian Biedermann said, noting the stigma south Stockton still faces among many outsiders. “Our kids can, too. We’re coming from a school that was considered to be low-performing into a school that is performing.”
The numbers tell the real story: 100 percent of AVID students apply to college; last year, 86 percent were accepted, Biedermann said. And many of those colleges, such as those in the University of California system, are the most competitive in the nation. “It’s based on data. It’s not based on anybody’s opinion, it’s what our data has taught us.”
The basic premise behind AVID is that every kid, given the proven tools and support, can succeed. “We put our best teachers where kids need them the most — some schools don’t do that,” he said.
“That’s our mission — for the district and for our school,” said Kristi Lee, AVID coordinator for Stockton Unified’s 17 AVID schools — 15 K-8s, plus Edison and Chavez High. “The key word is all — we understand that not all kids are going to go to college, but we’re going to give them every opportunity to get there, open up college and career opportunities for everybody. That’s what we’re about.”
Tuesday’s walk-through will give Edison officials a sense of what they need to work on ahead of the official demonstration site evaluation visit in March. At that time, AVID officials will look at 11 essentials ranging from how AVID components are embedded in lessons to how well the program recruits those underserved students to how committed students, teachers and parents are to the program.
What makes AVID stand out from other educational models is that the system pulls kids who might have been steered away from college under the old tracking system.
AVID, rather, creates a cultural shift on campus where college is practically a given.
“It raises the expectations of all students,” said Anna Lotti, Northern California director for AVID, who’s been partnering with Edison for the past decade as the school transitioned to the college-readiness system.
“This is what sets us apart — we focus on 2.0 to 3.5 (GPA), the middle-of-the-road kid,” Lee said. “We’re looking for the average kid, the first generation to go to college, underserved populations, average on their test scores, those kids that have overcome obstacles These are the average kids, which most of our population is. With a little support we get them into college, so it’s really, really powerful.”
Contact reporter Elizabeth Roberts at (209) 546-8268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @eroberts209.
Succeed by achieving academic and personal goals.
Organize information to think and communicate effectively.
Use knowledge to prepare for future academic and vocational experiences.
Lead by making positive choices.
Thomas Alva Edison High School will deliver challenging and meaningful instruction within programs that are designed to prepare all students for a variety of post-secondary opportunities.
Thomas Alva Edison High School will be a locally and nationally renowned learning environment where students, staff, parents, and community members collaborate to ensure that all students are college and career ready.
At Edison High School, student achievement is of foremost importance. A wide assortment of courses is offered to meet the needs of all students, from support and intervention to Advanced Placement. The school is also the home of the Career Pathway Program (formerly the Magnet Academy of Mathematics and Science) and five Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs).
Students at Edison have the opportunity to recover credit deficiencies through APEX, an online credit recovery program that is available on the campus after school. AVID is another influential program on campus that has successfully prepared students for college year after year.
The strong Edison athletic program and the YMCA program give students numerous opportunities to develop talents and interests outside the regular school day. All extra-curricular enrichment activities help students make positive choices and focus on achieving both personal and academic goals.
The faculty of Edison High is committed to providing meaningful educational opportunities to every student on campus. We thank you for your interest in our school and in the welfare of the young adults we serve, whom we regard as Soul Vikes.