While schools throughout RJUHSD have discontinued their AVID programs, Roseville High School retains its’ status as a nationally certified AVID demonstration school, setting out to support students in building up the skill sets necessary to be successful in graduating high school and entering into college.
AVID’s intended goal of closing the achievement gap by preparing students through college readiness allows students to master the trials and tribulations of the education system, but neglects to look past what lies beyond the college campus. College readiness for all students is a virtuous pursuit, but we must recognize that college isn’t the goal for all, nor is it the most complimentary option for the entire student body.
And while AVID may not be for every student, there is an entire section of students that are not exposed to the assistance AVID provides for its students.
As of 2018, 32 percent of RHS’ student population fell under the category of socio-economically disadvantaged.
According to RHS AVID site coordinator Kelly Capell, about 10 percent of RHS students take part in the AVID program. And while the program may garner extensive support and participation, we cannot neglect students that may meet AVID student requirements yet may not have had the opportunity presented to them.
When pursuing student equity in post-graduate opportunities, schools must work on closing the achievement gap for all students, not just those involved in specific programs like AVID.
The class may foster the skills applicable in high school and future education, but this isn’t the right way to address the issue of aiding students that truly need the assistance.
Though college may not be for everyone, we cannot allow students to fall to a “second-tier” category because of a lack of interest in higher education. Continued support from sources like AVID shouldn’t be the end goal; universal support should be.
As we continue to promote AVID strategies schoolwide, we must also provide support for students that AVID does not assist. Roseville High School is the only school within RJUHSD that continues to support the AVID program — and with viable reason.
Community support for the AVID program proves to be unique as the program continues to grow. As a national demonstration school, individual classes not associated with AVID are required to employ “AVID strategies” – but we must be conscious that we do not entirely accredit AVID with the effectiveness of these specific approaches.
We can encourage AVID while also embracing good teaching skills. We can support “middle of the road” students while also recognizing where we fail in student equity.
And Roseville High students’ education should not be validated through the AVID name, but through the efforts the school as a whole can take to collectively work on pursuing student equity across the board.
We can embrace the strength of AVID and its’ influential role at RHS while also seeking new opportunities to cut the achievement gap for students that may or may not fall under the requirements of the AVID persona.