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WE Embrace Equity: AVID Summer Institute

This school year, Beaverton School District students are being trained in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) strategies. This summer, teachers polished their AVID instructional skills at the Summer Institute.

With support from the Nike School Innovation Fund (NSIF), 180 secondary educators from BSD were trained in AVID philosophies and practices to help close the achievement gap in our schools. This is the third year the BSD has attended the Summer Institute, and each year, new ideas and practices are brought to life. "There was a different pace this year. I think people are starting to see the differences it is making at their own sites and becoming really energized by that," noticed Mike Chamberlain, Executive Administrator for High Schools and Option Programs.

Summer Institute allows for open collaboration between not only the Beaverton School District, but also districts from across the state. Teachers are able to learn and utilize useful methods in all of their classes. These include strategies such as Cornell notes and Socratic seminars, which allow for maximum student reach even beyond AVID elective students.

"I think its empowering. We don't get into teaching to sort kids and have some kids go to college. As teachers, we get into education because we want to inspire kids and we want to change their lives," says Ken Struckmeier, Secondary Administrator for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. AVID is a philosophy, a method in which instruction is brought forth to students and allows them to take ownership of their own learning, pushing them to be prepared for their futures. Summer Institute invites teachers to be active in their teaching and gives opportunities to grow both in their practice, as well as in their own teaching philosophies. 

"I always leave feeling so revived and invigorated about teaching, and learning what I can do to make it better for all students," says Martina Pedersen, Language Arts Teacher for Aloha High School.

The AVID program embraces the goal of equity amongst students and provides a framework for post-high school success. Struckmeier emphasizes, "I think AVID, from the get-go, challenges the assumption that some students are destined for college and others are not."