Roseville steadfast in AVID support



As RHS remains the only school in RJUHSD with an active AVID program, site coordinators and AVID supporters continue to pursue college readiness for its students. Despite RHS’ strong AVID identity, some students may find the program does not best suit their future aspirations.


Two weeks ago, administrators and teachers from around the Sacramento region visited Roseville High School to assess its AVID classes and gain a better perspective on the school’s function as an AVID demonstration school.

Beyond its nationally certified status, Roseville High School is currently the only school throughout RJUHSD that still offers an AVID program to its students.

Other RJUHSD schools which previously offered AVID programs, including Oakmont, Woodcreek and Antelope High School, have made the decision to discontinue them.

The program aims to help these students in reaching their fullest potential particularly in relation to college aspirations, and as part of this place them on the path to graduate with completion of A-G requirements, with 88 percent of students completing all A-G requirements before graduating last year.

According to RHS’ AVID site coordinator and teacher Kelly Capell, Roseville’s AVID aspires to take on students reflective of the school’s student population in regards to factors like gender and ethnicity a serve as a “slice” of the student population.

“Sometimes those students in the middle, they have those [ambitious] goals but there’s not always a support system there,” Capell said. “AVID has really strived to be that support system for students across the board.”

Additionally, Roseville High School has services in place in order to provide the entirety of its student population with the tools to tackle high school and post-high school plans, many of which stem from AVID strategies. Examples include four-year plans, which counselors issue out to students each year starting in eighth grade, so students approach course registration while looking at the bigger picture. Counselors serve the role of helping students plan out their future courses and assisting them on their college and career search, whether or not AVID students are college-bound.

These types of interventions work on top of AVID teaching strategies implemented in day-to-day classes, part of what allows RHS to be an AVID demonstration school.

While this is the approach other schools have taken in place of AVID, AVID 9 teacher Scott Brink feels that holding a separate program dedicated to college readiness allows Roseville to go beyond teaching skills to offer students more specific college preparation, such as college application assistance.

“While content teachers might be using AVID strategies, they’re not going to be doing [AVID specific curriculum],” Brink said. “Even if every content teacher is doing AVID strategies there’s still a need for the program.”

Currently, Buljan Middle School is the only feeder middle school that still offers AVID, and its coordination with Roseville allows it to also hold the title of AVID demonstration school, creating a seven-year AVID pathway for students.

At Buljan, sixth graders will cycle through electives including AVID, so every student can have the chance to be exposed to the curriculum, an element sixth grade AVID teacher Lara Hatzenbiler feels is essential for every student to have a chance to determine if AVID is the right elective for them.

“AVID is helpful to certain types of students,” Hatzenbiler said. “Some students [understand academics, school culture] naturally and some students don’t. Those that don’t really benefit from having that support of an AVID program.”

While Buljan determined to keep the program and take on the identity in the district as the school for those interested in AVID, schools like Cooley discontinued it and continued to strive for AVID teaching strategies in a generalized classroom setting.

However, AVID is not always the right fit for all students.

Junior Fabiola Rios entered the AVID program in middle school and transitioned into the RHS AVID program as a high schooler.

Her reasons for joining reflected the AVID motto of preparing students for college and college related academic opportunities.

By her junior year, however, Rios felt that the program transitioned into a stressful experience that pressured her into pursuing a path for a four year college, though Rios felt it wasn’t the pathway for her.

“AVID just isn’t for everyone. It definitely wasn’t for me, and I’m not going to a four year university, I’m going to Sierra or Sac State for two years, and I have other goals in life that AVID doesn’t match with,” Rios said. “To me, AVID is stressful and I felt pressured.”