Over seven years, the Miami Beach Senior High School (MBSHS) AVID program has served more than 600 students, becoming one of the most successful college-preparatory programs ever for academically underserved students at Miami Beach Senior High School. The AVID mission emphasizes success for ‘academically average’ students in rigorous and advanced coursework when they are provided with the correct guidance and tools. College attendance is no longer a lofty goal, but instead becomes an expectation and a reality.According to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), the overall state graduation rate is 75.6 percent, with M-DCPS graduation rates at 77.2 percent. MBSHS had an overall graduation rate of 79.9 percent while the AVID graduation rate was 99 percent.
The AVID Program graduation rate is an indicator of the continued success of the AVID site team and the skill level of MBSHS AVID trained faculty. Miami Beach Senior High AVID has trained thirty-six faculty members who consist of core curriculum teachers, academic administrators, counselors, and the AVID elective teachers; all who have participated in Summer Institute Professional Development. The professional development activity and monthly site team meetings reinforce the AVID mission, develop the team’s leadership capacity, and build communities of practice within our school.
Our AVID strategies perpetuate the theory that student success directly correlates to the accessibility of rigorous curriculum. AVID Site team introduces students to higher-level classes such as Honors and Advanced Placement while also providing academic support strategies and by teaching Critical Thinking Skills to promote academic growth. AVID‘S established academic support structure in known as WICOR , which incorporates teaching/learning methodologies in the areas of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading to learn.
As a college preparatory program, MBSHS AVID promotes skills that allow students to succeed in rigorous courses by creating a culture of success. The program goal is to have students with college readiness skills to increase its school site’s college acceptance rates.
Miami Beach Senior High serves an array of students, 78 percent of which are minorities and 69 percent of the entire student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch, a commonly used indicator of poverty. This high need, at-risk populace, when compared to the community at large does not have the same degree of educational success. Therefore it is imperative to work with students in the “academic middle” to provide opportunity for success .
The capacity of MBSHS AVID program has been built from the relationships established by the partnerships between the school site and community organizations. As we continue to involve universities, colleges, and companies with the AVID program and its students, we increase community involvement in our school.
MBSHS AVID program within Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has operated in the community for seven years. AVID has obtained private and school funding which has provided the resources to continue the program in our school. This process has enabled Miami Beach Senior High to leverage resources with local universities and other community partners in an effort to build sustainability of the program.