Parents, your children may have come home telling you about a new course that is available at SSMS and SSHS. That new course is AVID. What is AVID? Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a college readiness system for elementary through postsecondary students that is designed to increase schoolwide learning and performance. According to AVID literature, “The AVID College Readiness System (ACRS) accelerates student learning, uses research based methods of effective instruction, provides meaningful and motivational professional learning, and acts as a catalyst for systemic reform and change.”How did AVID begin? AVID began in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, then-head of the English department at San Diego’s Clairemont High School. AVID was first implemented as an academic elective. But it’s more than a program - it’s a philosophy. The AVID philosophy that SSISD most embraces is the program’s belief to “hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.” Beginning with one high school and 32 students, AVID now serves over 425,000 students in more than 4,800 elementary and secondary schools in 48 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 countries/territories. The AVID College Readiness System spans elementary through postsecondary, and SSISD will implement the philosophy in grades 8-11. It is the belief of the SSISD that AVID can be a strong bridge between the tough middle and high school years. This will fully prepare the students for the rigors of high school and help our kiddos select high school courses wisely, learn how to take effective notes, improve study skills, grow in confidence, and discover their career choices that they will want to pursue once out of high school. The formula is simple - raise expectations of students and, with the AVID support system in place, they will rise to the challenge. What differentiates AVID from other educational reform programs is its astounding success rate. Since 1990, more than 110,000 AVID students have graduated from high school and planned to attend college. Of the 27,891 AVID graduates in 2011, 91% plan to attend a postsecondary institution; 58% in four-year institutions and 33% in two-year institutions. SSISD has researched the AVID program over the past 3 years and traveled to school districts in Texas with AVID implementation success. At Roscoe ISD, all students in grades 9-12 participate in AVID every year through out high school. Rosoce High School is a small 1A school district and it is a collegiate high school, meaning all students take college classes. AVID prepares them for this college rigor. We recently made a visit to Grape Creek ISD, a 2A school district near San Angelo. We interviewed students and watched three classes of students as they participated in their AVID classroom activities. Students from each of these classes at Grape Creek expressed their appreciation of the program and how it has made them successful in high school and has challenged them to participate in courses they did not think they were capable of participating in previously.As we close this school year, we are already preparing for the 2012-2013 school year. The Literacy Grant, the building program, AVID and a new UIL classification gives SSISD so much to look forward to in the coming school year. As well, we look forward to the incredible mark that our students will make on the world. The Class of 2012 has much to be proud of and each and every one of them can make a positive mark on whatever they select as their life path. Good Luck to the Class of 2012! We will be cheering you on as you make your mark on the adult world!!!Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! School is coming to a close quickly. Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3771 or email me at email@example.com .