AVID School of Distinction

AVID School of Distinction
AVID School of Distinction

New Town, Pikesville high schools honored as first AVID Schoolwide Sites of Distinction in Maryland


TOWSON, MD. – New Town and Pikesville high schools have been named the first AVID Schoolwide Sites of Distinction in Maryland.


AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college readiness system designed to help students prepare for success in postsecondary education. In BCPS, AVID is offered at 22 high schools, three alternative schools, 19 middle schools, and one elementary school.


“While AVID began with the model of having a cohort of students take an elective class and receive additional supports, over the last five years, AVID has worked toward a more schoolwide model,” said Dr. Heather Wooldridge, BCPS coordinator of college and career readiness. “The honor that New Town High School and Pikesville High School have received recognizes and validates that AVID is having an impact schoolwide on instruction, systems, leadership, and culture. The result is that these schools are excelling in preparing students for college readiness and higher overall academic achievement.”


Wooldridge explained that 78% of Pikesville High teachers and 79% of New Town High teachers are AVID center-trained. “This gives them the advantage of a more standardized way of incorporating proven best practices. For example, these teachers have a shared vocabulary about teaching, a uniform way of helping students get organized, and a shared system for making notations on student papers. All of this contributes to student success as does an exceedingly high level of rigor at both schools.”


In letters to both schools, Dennis A. Johnston, Ph.D., senior director/chief research officer, and Ellen Nickerson, director of Schoolwide, wrote, “An AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction represents the highest level of AVID implementation fidelity demonstrating excellence in instructional practice and the promotion of college readiness schoolwide. We applaud you for your diligence in attaining this achievement, and look forward to your continued efforts in transforming the lives of students across your campus.”

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