Wright Middle School is being recognized as a national model for the AVID college preparation program, becoming the second school in the Madison School District to receive the distinction.
The former charter school on the South Side has been selected as a “Demonstration School” for AVID, making it the only middle school in Wisconsin to be designated as such, according to a statement Wednesday from the Madison School District.
AVID — Advancement Via Individual Determination — is meant to support students in the academic middle who come from low-income and minority backgrounds or would be the first in their family to attend college. The program includes an elective class to teach students organizational, study and critical thinking skills.
The program is used in more than 6,400 schools across the country, according to the national AVID organization. There are 43 students who participate in the program at Wright Middle School.
“AVID’s mission aligns with Wright’s mission to ensure that scholars achieve at high levels, develop self-efficacy and become community, college and career ready,” Wright Principal Angie Hicks said in the statement.
In 2007, East High School became the first Madison school to implement the AVID program. It was designated a “Demonstration School” in 2013 and reauthorized in 2016.
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East will be up for re-evaluation next year.
To become a national model school, Wright, which started using AVID in 2012, went through an application, screening and review process that included site visits, according to the district.
In Madison, the national AVID program is combined with TOPS, or Teens of Promise, to also provide out-of-school experience in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.
The TOPS portion focuses on after-school mentoring, summer internship opportunities and college visits. On Monday, the Madison School Board approved a three-year partnership renewal with the Boys & Girls Club for AVID/TOPS.
The Madison School District has AVID in its four main high schools and 11 middle schools.