BP STEM Academy Earns AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction Award

The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Baldwin Park Unified’s STEM Academy teaches students vital skills through program instruction and strategies that help ensure college readiness, resulting in the school receiving an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction Award.

The award is the highest rating a school can earn on the AVID certification rating scale, placing BP STEM Academy’s program in the top 10% of all AVID programs in the country.

BP STEM Academy achieved this prestigious certification by expertly implementing AVID instruction across all subject areas, promoting college awareness, and training teachers on the usage of college preparation resources, ways of assessing student growth, and more.

“The award recognizes our commitment to equity and opportunity for all students on campus,” BP STEM Academy Principal Mike Rust said. “It shows BP STEM Academy’s dedication to promoting rigorous academic opportunities for our students while deploying highly effective, research-based instructional practices across the school.”

The AVID program at the middle school level focuses on teaching writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR) strategies. Students meet with college tutors weekly, who teach them how to problem-solve in a formalized structure. The program also emphasizes team building and college exploration.

Throughout the school year, students in the AVID program attend field trips to colleges and universities. These trips aim to encourage students to explore the differences between schools and help them visualize what they are looking for in their future college.

“It’s such a heartwarming feeling to know that we are able to prepare our students for college,” Rust said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for getting students ready for the next level of their education and preparing them for their futures.”

According to the AVID website, 94% of AVID students complete four-year college entrance requirements, 90% of students who apply are accepted into four-year colleges and 84% of students who enroll in college continue into the second year.

Baldwin Park Unified’s statistics in these categories exceed the national averages, showcasing the high level of college encouragement and preparation at Baldwin Park Unified schools.

“The BP STEM Academy AVID program earning this prestigious rating showcases our District’s dedication to college and career readiness,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “We work tirelessly to ensure all our students receive the best instruction and resources possible to help them excel in their future.”