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Lee County Schools has AVID-tude

Visitors engaging with students.

Last week, two of our Lee County Schools had the opportunity to showcase to visitors from around the nation what they do every single day in the classroom: AVID.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a program that aims to close the achievement gap by preparing all students to succeed in education and global society, and is implemented in most Lee County Schools.

Broadway Elementary students showing visitors their alumni wall.

Broadway Elementary and SanLee Middle schools demonstrated to AVID district directors and coordinators from 17 states how they use AVID in multiple subject matters — the AVID elective, English language arts, math, science, art and more. Students greeted visitors, gave tours, talked to visitors about what they were working on in their classes and also participated in a panel along with administrators, teachers, parents and tutors.

Lee County Schools AVID District Director Paula Layton noted what an honor it was for the AVID Center to have chosen Broadway Elementary and SanLee Middle to demonstrate AVID strategies being carried out with fidelity and consistency.

Visitors taking photos of Broadway Elementary culture.

“It is a privilege to be chosen by the AVID Center to represent the Eastern Division at their District Director training,” she said. “Sixty-eight AVID District Directors, who oversee AVID in their respective school districts, and AVID upper-level staff visited Lee County to observe how a strong AVID system transforms the Instruction, Systems, Leadership and Culture of Broadway Elementary and SanLee Middle to ensure college and/or career readiness for all students. AVID is the vehicle that drives the social, emotional and academic success of all students at these model AVID schools.”

And both Lee County schools’ students and staff brought their “A” game to visit day.

 

SanLee Middle students greeting visitors.

SanLee Middle Principal Betsy Bridges said the visitors had nothing but praise for the school. 

“I had several people say they wanted to ‘steal’ my teachers,” Bridges said. “They commented on how organized everything was and well behaved our children are, as well as how wonderful our AVID student leaders were in answering questions, helping them get around the school and professionalism.”

Visitors observing students using AVID in their art class.  

Broadway Elementary Principal Ricky Secor noted how visitors were impressed with all K-5 students and their ability to make an argument and support it with facts, the AVID culture throughout the building (posters and work displayed on the school’s walls) and more. What awed Secor was the fact that “more than 1/3 of the states in the Union were represented” in his school.

“You go in to the (teaching) field hoping to positively impact the lives of people, but I don't think most of us think about having the opportunity to share and potentially have an impact on such a level,” he said. “Every time I think about 68 people from 17 different states being in our building where everyone works so hard for kids every day, it just feels like such a blessing.”

Visitors observing SanLee's AVID elective class.