BRUNSWICK — There are programs to encourage high performing students to reach further just as there are programs to help students who academically struggle.
But a new college readiness program at Brunswick High School is aiming to help the middle — the group of students who are capable of,but might not choose to take honors level courses for one reason or another.
The Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program is offered at high schools across the nation, and now that includes Brunswick High.
“We start off with a group of ninth-grade students and then we keep the students in the program all the way through 12th grade,” said Daniel Relic, instructional coordinator at the high school.
“The goal is to help students reach their potential. It’s meant for students in what we call the academic middle. Those are students who might have a 2.0–3.0, but they are capable of a lot more, they have a lot of potential.”
In order to identify students who might qualify for this program, program coordinators talk to the middle school counselors for referrals.
They then reach out to those students to see if they are interested. Interested students can then fill out an application to be in the program.
When accepted, they begin their time in the program during their freshman year.
They take an AVID elective course, which is the first honors-level class that they will take in their high school career.
Through this course, students can get to know each other, encourage each other, and work together. Tutoring services are also offered for those in the program.
“So, it’s targeted toward a specific kind of student. It’s really for those kids that are … just kind of getting by,” Relic said.
“That might be because they need a little extra support or they need help with organizational skills and so what we try to do is we try to offer them that support and then put them in some advanced classes.”
Halle Schmidt, a ninth-grade algebra one, physical science and AVID elective teacher, has been involved in helping to get the program up and running.
The process started last year, said Schmidt, and this fall semester was the first one where she was actually working with students at the high school.
“It’s been a really awesome experience,” she said. “It kind of started out as an internship project and kind of doing some research about what AVID is and, you know, was it a good fit for Brunswick. And ultimately, when we pitched it, it ended up being a really good fit.”
There are currently 24 freshmen in the program.
“The kids that we’ve chosen to be in this program are awesome,” said Schmidt.
The search for the next group of ninth-graders will begin soon.
For more information on the AVID program, attend the Be Engaged session at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Concord Little Theater at Brunswick High School.