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AVID program serves as a role model for success

By MARGO HORNER, The Mirror

Federal Way High School was recently recognized as a demonstration school for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. The demonstration school status means that the AVID program at Federal Way is one of the best in the country — a model for other schools.

“It’s quite an accomplishment and an honor,” said Christine Baker, AVID director for Federal Way Public Schools.

The AVID program is aimed at students who are typically underrepresented in college, such as minorities, people in poverty and students whose parents never attended college.

To apply for AVID, a student must have a 2.0 through 3.5 grade point average, good attendance, good test scores and a desire to go to college. Students must also be prepared to work hard.

AVID students give up one of their elective classes and choose instead to spend their free hours studying organization techniques, note-taking skills and college preparation. Students are required to show the AVID teacher their notes and report their grades in all classes.

Junior and senior AVID students research colleges and practice writing essays. They study scholarship and financial aid options. Most go on to college.

“Many of our kids had thousands of dollars worth of scholarships that they received,” Baker said.

There are currently AVID programs at all but two secondary schools in Federal Way. Lakota and Sequoyah middle schools will implement AVID programs beginning next year. Federal Way Public Academy will not have an AVID program because it is already a specialized academy, Baker said.

Among the items Federal Way was judged on were the AmeriCorps tutoring program for AVID students, teacher training in the AVID curriculum, participation by AVID students in a pre-advanced placement or advanced placement class, and parent involvement.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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