AVID began in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, then-head of the English department at San Diego's Clairemont High School. The federal courts issued an order to desegregate the city's schools, bringing large numbers of inner city students to suburban schools. While applauding the decision, Swanson wondered how these underserved students would survive at academically acclaimed Clairemont High.
Her answer was AVID, an academic elective. But it's more than a program - it's a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.
Beginning with one high school and 32 students, AVID now serves over 400,000 students in nearly 4,500 elementary and secondary schools in 47 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 countries/territories.
Policymakers and school administrators now consider AVID an essential strategy for closing the achievement gap and making the college dream accessible to all students
The AVID curriculum revolves requiring students to maintain a well-organized AVID BInder in which students take notes for all their academic classes, Tutorials in which students collaborate together to solve problems they are having in their classes. In addition, writing, reading, and higher level thinking strategies are emphasized.
(a) History / Social Science – Two years, including one year of world history, cultures, and historical geography and one year of us history or one-half year of us history and one-half year of civics or American government.
(b) English – Four years of college preparatory English that include frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature.
(c) Mathematics – Three years of college preparatory mathematics that include the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.
(d) Laboratory Science – Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three disciplines: biology, chemistry, and physics.
(e) Language Other Than English – Two years of the same language other than English.
(f) Visual & Performing Arts – One year, including dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.
(g) College Preparatory Elective – One year (two semesters), chosen from additional "a-f" courses beyond those used to satisfy the requirements above, or courses that have been approved solely for use as "g" electives.