Rancho Viejo Middle School has been re-validated as a National Demonstration School by Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a nonprofit organization that provides staff with strategies to ensure students are college and career ready when they graduate.
Rancho Viejo joins approximately 150 other AVID National Demonstration Schools, including West Valley High School which was re-validated in December of 2016. Rancho Viejo’s Demonstration School status will remain through the fall of 2019. At this time, site staff will re-apply for the Demonstration status and will be visited by AVID representatives to ensure the program is preparing students for life after high school.
Rancho Viejo staff has put in a lot of work to ensure AVID strategies and expectations are school-wide. English Learner students, special education students, and general education students all have access to the AVID curriculum. Principal Jonathon Workman credits the school’s high reclassification of English Learners to English Proficient to the school-wide implementation of AVID.
Counselor Chelsey Hallberg said the AVID program has planted the seed of college in the minds of many of the students at Rancho Viejo. “The wonderful thing is students who felt like college wasn’t an option for them, are now going home and talking to their parents about different colleges and steps they need to take to reach this goal.”
Staff at Rancho Viejo have created many activities to reach out to students and their families to begin the conversation about life after high school. Students visit a variety of colleges throughout the year; students take surveys to determine their interests and which college and career they would be best suited for, and AVID family nights allow families to interact with staff and ask questions about their child’s future goals.
Hallberg said the morale on campus since implementing AVID school-wide has greatly improved. She commented that it’s not just the students who are excited, but staff is thrilled as well. In fact, a video began circulating of students celebrating in the multipurpose room after the school was named an AVID National Demonstration School.
Workman and Hallberg agreed this recognition would not be possible if it wasn’t for the support they have received. Staff at Rancho Viejo has continued to implement the AVID strategies in and out of the classrooms and the support and funding received from the district office has been instrumental in bringing AVID school-wide.
Thank you to the Rancho Viejo staff for creating a positive culture and starting the conversation of student goals and their life after high school. Our students have been given a better opportunity because of the resources and tools you have provided.
Another HUSD site (Dartmouth Middle School) is scheduled to have their AVID site visit in the next two months to determine if it will also become an AVID National Demonstration School.