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PHS bestowed AVID National Demonstration School designation

Aug. 2, 2018 

AVID National Demonstration School  For the past decade, Pflugerville High School has made a commitment to the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) system. But the work has paid off for the Panthers, as the campus will carry the title of AVID National Demonstration School for the next three years.

In April, members of a national AVID Validation Team visited Pflugerville High School, evaluating the campus on its implementation of the system, geared toward preparing students for college. Evaluators toured eight classrooms, speaking with students across various grade levels. 

A team of administrators, counselors and faculty members annually work to improve the system on-campus, providing strategies to increase the rigor of lessons and on plans that call for the regular use of the WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) method. The AVID Validation Team specifically judged school faculty on the usage of the WICOR method in classrooms.

After the site visit, Validation Team evaluators bestowed the National Demonstration School designation, for the maximum three-year period. There are only 87 high schools in the United States with that designation, according to PHS AVID Coordinator Kim Winn.

“All in all, this journey of 10 years has always been about being the best we can be for our students,” Winn said. “They are the reason teachers at PHS work so hard and give so much. In the end, the students receive the education needed for future success and to be productive members in today’s society.”

AVID targets students in the academic middle – B, C and even D students – who desire attending college and who are willing to work toward that end. AVID students enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, as well as the AVID Elective course.

Arming themselves with the knowledge in the rigorous AP program, students further gain educational support toward their college dreams through tutorials, organizational skills exercises, critical thinking lessons and more in the AVID Elective. Also, system coordinators research post-secondary facilities to find the right fit for individual students.

According to AVID, 93 percent of its total participants in 2017 completed four-year college entrance requirements. Sixty-two percent planned to attend four-year colleges. 

AVID was in place that year in approximately 6,400 schools in 47 states across the United States plus on overseas military bases, Canada and Australia, according to AVID.

From 2010-13, a total of 100 AVID students graduated from Pflugerville High School, with more than 80 of them accepted to four-year colleges. In 2014, six of the school’s 39 AVID graduates were in the top 10 percent of their class. 

Winn noted that all PHS students may include the AVID National Demonstration School designation on their college applications. 

“Admission counselors see this as an advantage and it may help a kid who is ‘on the bubble’ get accepted [to a college],” Winn said. “It also indicates a level of rigor that colleges are looking for with incoming students.” 

During the 2017-18 school year, Pflugerville High School had 224 students involved in AVID, with five AVID Elective instructors and 24 campus team members tasked with providing strategies to fine-tune implementation of it.