Advancement Via Individual Determination
Charlottesville City Schools partners with the nationally recognized program AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to offer services for students in grades 5–12 who demonstrate strong academic potential but may need encouragement to reach and maintain their high performance capabilities. Rising 7th through 12th graders may apply for the AVID elective class by contacting a school counselor or one of the school’s AVID teachers.
In addition to AVID, Charlottesville Schools partner with other organizations to help students blaze a trail to college — other partnerships include the Virginia College Advising Corps, Gear Up, and Upward Bound.
AVID is an in-school college preparatory program designed to assist students in rigorous courses. Its mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID guides students toward challenging courses, including honors and Advanced Placement classes.
AVID students visiting various Virginia colleges and universities. (Clockwise from top left: Longwood University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, and Old Dominion University.
AVID at Walker, Buford, and CHS
At Walker Upper Elementary School, a school-wide AVID program supports the development of study skills, organization, and college readiness.
Buford Middle School and Charlottesville High School are AVID secondary sites and offer AVID elective classes. In AVID classes, students learn study skills, Cornell notes, time management, organization, test readiness, critical thinking, writing to learn, and group study skills. The AVID curriculum is used in content area classrooms as well as in the required AVID elective class. Outside the classroom, AVID provides college campus visits and more. Students develop ideas to impact their world and gain the resources to put them in action through shark-tank style pitch events with partners such as the CFA Institute and the Tom-Tom Founders Festival.
According to 2018-19 data released by AVID, Charlottesville City Schools students are outperforming other students in the state and nation in important college readiness metrics.
Last year, 94% of Charlottesville City Schools seniors participating in AVID completed a FAFSA application, compared to the national rate of 61%. Likewise, 97% of AVID students applied to a four-year college, and 85% were accepted. Nationally, 81% of high school students aspire to earn a bachelor’s degree yet less than 50% actually enroll at a four-year university.
Research shows that applying for financial aid is one of the best predictors of whether a student will enroll in college. Through the AVID program, students receive support from school staff and peer mentors to complete the FAFSA form and college applications, as well as learn about additional financial aid resources available to them.
School Tours and On-site Admissions Offers
During the fall, AVID students have the opportunity to tour several college campuses. Admissions representatives from all over the nation also visit CHS, and some of them hold on-site admissions during their visit. This process allows CHS students to apply while at school, and some receive instant offers of admission.
AVID parents play an important role in supporting their students. They come to meetings and join us when we go on college/university visits. They serve as chaperones and get a chance to see colleges first hand. It helps open doors for families where their CCS student might be the first college student in their family.
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