Paramount, CA – Reaffirming their commitment to establishing a District-wide college-going culture, over 100 Paramount Unified School District administrators, faculty, staff and students attended the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) 2017 Summer Institute, held in Anaheim on July 5-7.

AVID is an elective course that prepares students for the rigors of higher education by implementing a comprehensive academic curriculum of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading, or WICOR. Students who participate in AVID must fulfill certain criteria – such as holding a 2.0 to 3.5 GPA – and submit an application.

The AVID Summer Institute is a professional development symposium where school personnel receive specialized training during Path to Schoolwide Strands that focus on content areas like English Language Arts and mathematics, as well highlighting methodologies and best practices for achieving success in higher education.

“AVID has brought a culture of college-going awareness that has spread across the entire District,” Jackson Middle School AVID Coordinator Sandra Gonzalez said. “The AVID Summer Institute makes it possible for District staff to bring AVID instructional techniques into every classroom, ensuring that every student has an opportunity to receive its benefits.”

PUSD began its AVID affiliation with a pilot program with 32 eighth-graders at Jackson during the 2014-15 school year. The AVID program has since expanded to all PUSD middle schools and Paramount West High School, with more than 200 sixth- to ninth-graders enrolled in AVID elective classes in 2016-17, receiving mentoring from college tutors and travelling to local universities to get a taste of college life.

Jackson is now a Level 2 AVID certified school, with 74 percent of their faculty and staff AVID-trained. Jackson’s AVID program has resonated so well that four of its students were selected as leadership representatives and led strands at the Summer Institute.

Jackson eighth-graders Derek Gonzalez and Arian Montano, seventh-grader Giselle Gonzalez and sixth-grader Vanesa Cruz made presentations in front of AVID teachers and administrators from school districts all over California, demonstrating their knowledge of WICOR, displaying their AVID binders and championing the preparatory curriculum as essential to fulfilling their college and career dreams.

“It was a great experience,” Derek Gonzalez said. “We were able to talk to teachers and principals from other districts. They enjoyed the advice we gave them on how to keep their students organized. I would definitely recommend the Summer Institute and I look forward to AVID in high school.”

AVID will be available for sixth- to eighth-grade students at all five AVID-certified Paramount middle school campuses – Alondra, Jackson, Paramount Park, Zamboni and Hollydale – for the first time in 2017-18; for ninth-grade students at Paramount West and for sophomore students at the Paramount Senior Campus.

The 2017-18 school year will also see AVID pilot programs at Jefferson and Lincoln elementary schools, and for fifth-grade students at Jackson.

“Our mission at Paramount is to ensure that every student has the ability to attend the college or university of their choice, and have equal access to the college-going curriculum and resources,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “By implementing a District-wide AVID strategy, and making AVID training available to all faculty and staff, we are accelerating students into more rigorous coursework and developing a sense of hope and personal achievement throughout our student body.”

072617_PARAMOUNT_AVIDINSTITUTE1: Paramount Unified administrators attended the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) 2017 Summer Institute July 5-7 as the District expands its program to foster a college-going culture.

072617_PARAMOUNT_AVIDINSTITUTE2: The 2017-18 school year will see AVID pilot programs at Jefferson and Lincoln elementary schools, and for fifth-grade students at Jackson Middle School.