Baldwin Park Unified Bolsters Commitment to College Prep Program

BALDWIN PARK – Thirty-eight members of Baldwin Park Unified’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) team came together this summer for three days of intensive training to strengthen the college-readiness program’s offerings at two District high schools, two junior high schools and one middle school.
The teachers and administrators attended the AVID Summer Institute at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim from June 28-30, splitting their days between learning essential curriculum and developing Baldwin Park AVID action plans for the upcoming year.
The training represents the second year of increased investment in the AVID Program by Baldwin Park Unified, which had been forced by recession-era budget cuts to reduce its annual training efforts.
AVID was established in 1980 to give educators nationwide a solution for systematically increasing academic rigor and creating engaging learning environments, while accelerating the performance of underrepresented students, and delivering successful learning results schoolwide.
“AVID is an extraordinary program for its ability to make the dream of college a reality for so many students,” Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “I am so thankful we were able to provide this additional training as we work to expand the program across our secondary schools.”
Baldwin Park Unified offers the program at Baldwin Park High, Sierra Vista High, Jones and Sierra Vista junior highs and Holland Middle School.
AVID District Director Richard J. Noblett said the District intends to boost enrollment in AVID classes at the five participating schools and continue strengthening the training of teachers as the AVID culture grows over the next few years.
Holland is a Schoolwide Site of Distinction and has been a National Demonstration School. The campus is expected to seek to renew its national designation after expanding its program this year.
Among the school’s efforts will be the expansion of AVID programs for sixth-graders, including college tutors, and the addition of an eighth period to the school day so students interested in AVID won’t face conflicts with other elective courses, such as engineering or robotics.
Holland Middle School sent 12 teachers to this year’s training, up from four in 2015. About 120 of roughly 500 students participate in AVID.
“The idea is to spread the program across all of our grades and into all of our classrooms – so all students are exposed to the AVID mindset,” Holland Principal Mike Rust said.
Noblett said Baldwin Park Unified’s next step will be to expand AVID into elementary schools – a deliberate process requiring several years for the culture and training to take firm root – a process similar to the 10 years in which the District established its dual-language program, now considered a model program.
“Our commitment to AVID is growing as a district,” Noblett said. “The program is growing and becoming more of a Districtwide focus. We are strengthening our program and adding more sections for students, a process that begins with the Summer Institute professional training.”