AVID program to begin at THS


By Stephanie Caputo, Staff Writer

Jan. 1 marked the day that Tigard High school began implementing the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program into the system. Headed by AVID Director Alfredo Belanger, the program is supposed to help minority, low income, or first generation college students prepare for their future. According to Belanger, they are striving to integrate these students into the IB program as the district is, “figuring out ways to be more equitable.”

AVID has been in effect for over 30 years now. It began at San Diego’s Clairemont High School, and is now implemented in every state in the U.S., along with other countries at U.S. military bases. According to avid.org, the program, “impacts more than 700,000 students in more than 4,900 schools and 28 post secondary institutions in 46 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 other countries/territories.”

As freshman, students will be able to join and continue the program until they graduate. The school will target students in the middle, who have between a 2.0 and 3.5 GPA. The goal is for them to have taken at least two IB classes by their junior year, and this is a requirement for AVID tutors.

The class will be taken as an elective, taught by teacher Rudy Rivera every third period B day. Tutors will be given about six or seven students each to assist, depending on the subject area they are proficient in. The students will be required to take notes in a specific way taught by AVID, and then fill out TRFs (tutorial request forms) before each class. On these forms they will have a problem or a concept that they do not understand from a lesson. The groups will then work through the problem together. The tutor will work as a sort of guide/supervisor to ensure the process is followed correctly, and that the student is not just given an answer. The other part of class will consist of teaching students strategies so that they are able to succeed in their classes.

Belanger says that its important for students to analyze what they already know, and that Avid helps them learn more the things they are having trouble understanding. AVID participators are also required to carry a planner, because organization is key. They must have all the necessary materials and binder checks will take place every Friday.

The AVID program has funding for the first two years, and when those two years are up, the school district will evaluate the program’s effectiveness. If they see success and an improvement they will keep the program at the school.

Belanger said, “If you follow the program the way we are supposed to and the students stick with it, it’s pretty much a guarantee.”

Along with Belanger and Rivera, other THS staff who support the program include Vice Principal Mickey Toft, counselor Diana Thompson, and teachers Frank Caro, Nancy Mayer, Matt Nelkin, and Mike Savage.

Belanger said it will create a cultural change in the school; “It’s gonna change the stereotype of who goes into IB and not.”