• AVID 7 - COURSE OVERVIEWgraduation cap

    AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).  It is a globally recognized curriculum designed to close the achievement gap by helping students succeed in high school and college (also see www.avid.org). In February of their 6th grade year, students must complete an application and go through an interview process to be selected into AVID for 7th grade.

    Students are selected by a group of Plank Jr. High staff members know as the Plank AVID Site Team.  They can be recommended for AVID by one of their 6th grade teachers, but that is not necessary.  Upon acceptance into AVID, students must enroll in at least one honors-level course in 7th grade. AVID is a full year elective class.
    Students selected into AVID commit themselves to improvement and college preparation through a rigorous curriculum in academic survival skills (a.k.a; "how to do school").  Students are taught how to:
    • Set goals and work hard
    • Stay organized and manage time
    • Take focused notes, collaborate, and study with others
    • Read, think, question, and inquire critically
    • Write to learn and practice writing
    Students participate in twice weekly socratic seminars called Tutorials, led by adult tutors.  All participants are expected to use skillful questioning to develop a higher level of critical thinking via the socratic method. AVID students also receive individual mentoring from Plank AVID Site Team members. 
    What AVID is . . .
    • a challenge to work hard, stay academically focused and organized.
    • an in-school curriculum that prepares students for high school, college, and life success.
    • a placement of academically middle to upper-middle students in honors-level classes with additional support.
    • a target for students in the middle who are currently getting B's, C's, and maybe even a D with average to above-average STAR test scores.
    • a potential to level the playing field for low-income, minority, and other students without a college-going tradition in their families.
    • instruction in WICOR strategies and disciplines that can be implemented school and district-wide.

    What AVID is not . . .

    • a free ride or easy "A".
    • a shallow curriculum that will not challenge the student.
    • a remedial or dynamics program


    Grades are calculated based on your percentage of total possible points for the semester.  Each assignment has a total possible points.  Assignments with the most possible points count more than assignments with a smaller number of possible points.  No one assignment category (e.g., Performance, Classwork, etc.) has a greater weight then another category, although Performance assignment tend to have a greater number of possible points associated with them.  As students construct much of their own knowledge, a greater emphasis is placed on the amount of effort exhibited in class and ability to follow directions. Speed is not particularly emphasized on any assignment; however, this is not an excuse for not working in class. There are NO penalties for late assignments. Grades are posted regularly on the district Home Access system and a student can ask for their current grade at any time. The grading system is as follows:

    District 308 Grading Scale:

    A = 100 - 90%, B = 89 – 80%, C = 79 – 70%, D = 69 – 60%, F = 59% or below

    Plank AVID Site Team
    In addition to AVID student selection, the site team meets regularly throughout the school year to review AVID goals and objectives.  The team serves as a conduit to school-wide implementation of AVID methods.   The team helps Plank Jr. High obtain certification through the global AVID organization (also see http://www.avid.org/avid-schoolwide.ashx).  The team also attends training together in the summer at AVID Summer Institute to better prepare for their role on Plank's AVID Site Team.  
    Jim Martin - Plank Jr. High Principal
    Caitlin Gannon - Plank Guidance Counselor and AVID Site Team Coordinator
    Stan Brown - 6th thru 8th Grade Technology and AVID 7 Teacher
    Katherine Barry - 7th Grade World History and Honors World History Teacher 
    Hana Bridge - 7th Grade Science Teacher
    Sandra Campanaro - 8 Grade Language Arts and Honors Language Arts Teacher 
    Sean Ferguson - 7th Grade Language Arts and World History Teacher
    Jim Johnson - 8th Grade Honors U.S. History and AVID 8 Teacher 
    John Tamez - 7th Grade Math Teacher
    Donna Thill - 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher