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USD seeks to continue AVID program, remain demo school PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 13:17

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



The USD No. 480 AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) system continues to stay strong in transforming the instruction, culture, leadership and systems to ensure college readiness for all students.

Liberal High School is implementing its 10th year of AVID and is pursuing the continuation of the prestigious Demonstration School status this spring.

At Monday’s USD 480 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, district federal programs director Sheri King said LHS is up for its revalidation in early February to keep the Demo School status.

“That’s a pretty big accomplishment, and those staff and administration at LHS have been working very hard to make sure that goes over well,” she said. We’re pretty excited about that.”

Eisenhower Middle School and Seymour Rogers Middle School have likewise implemented the AVID Secondary system for several years at the former South and West Middle School campuses. King said she was excited to announce some sixth grade sections for this year.

“We’re testing the waters to see what that might look like as a bridge program,” she said. “We have some teachers trained that were sixth grade teachers, and we’re moving forward with that.”

USD 480’s five elementary schools are using the same learning foundations that underlie AVID Secondary with AVID Elementary (AE). AE is designed to be embedded into the daily instruction of all elementary classrooms, across all grade levels, to impact schoolwide structures and focus on the four necessary areas to ensure that all students are poised for academic success – instruction, culture, leadership and systems.

King said she works closely with all of the district’s elementary schools to make sure AE is implemented and the program’s structures are being used in classrooms.

“It’s been very, very well received this year,” she said. “We sent a large number of staff members to Dallas last year to get AVID trained. I’ve been visiting the buildings this past fall. One of the things I heard from the administrators and the site leaders was that we want all our teachers to be trained. It’s so much easier if they have these training and these opportunities to hear this training. We started talking about what were ways we could do that.”

King said at this rate, many staff members at USD 480 felt it would take a long period of time to fully train 35 to 40 fellow staff members.

“We started to explore some other options, and one of the things that came up is that we have the opportunity to host an onsite Path training – the exact same training they get at summer institute, except without all the expenses of cost of travel and meals and hotels and things like that,” she said. “We can actually bring an AVID person, staff developer here to Liberal and have the opportunity to train up to 70 staff members, which would be almost all of our elementary teachers that haven’t been trained at this point if they chose to do so.”

Having a training in Liberal, King said, could be done with no additional costs to the district.

“It would be a wash because the way we looked at this is we would not send as many to summer institute,” she said. “It costs about a thousand dollars to send one staff member to a summer institute training, and if we cut that in half, of the staff that we would normally send, it would be about $20,000, which is approximately what it would cost to get them Path trained here and train four times as many staff.”

BOE Vice President Travis Combs questioned King about available data that would show how AVID students perform compared to other students. King said with new elementary schools in Liberal, seeing how those students perform is not available at this time, but she added that data will definitely be tracked as the program progresses at all grade levels.

“We can look at all kinds of things – graduation rates, the participation in AP and honors courses,” she said. “If you want data, I can absolutely provide it.”

In her report in the agenda packet for Monday’s meeting, King said for the 2018-2019 school year, in an effort to increase the number of staff receiving AVID professional development, plans call for hosting the first AVID Elementary Path training in Liberal.

“This will allow up to 50 elementary teachers to receive the required trainings in an effort to deepen the implementation process without the additional cost of travel, accommodations and incidentals,” she said.

King added in her report that the recommendation is for eight staff from the three secondary AVID schools and four staff from the AVID elementary sites in USD 480 to attend summer institute in 2018.

“Hosting an onsite AVID Path training is a new form of professional development that will have no additional costs for the school district,” she said. “Instead of summer institute for 20 elementary staff, up to 70 staff can attend Path training for the same cost as 20 summer institute attendees.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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