Officials from Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) headquarters in San Diego, California visited McKinney North High School on March 1 as part of the school’s scheduled AVID National Demonstration School revalidation process. The revalidation team’s findings would determine whether the campus would retain its status as an AVID National Demonstration School for the next three years. After a day of observation, interviews and evaluation, McKinney North High School received the coveted news that they had received the team’s stamp of approval.
McKinney ISD boasts three AVID National Demonstration School campuses: McKinney North High School, McKinney High School and Evans Middle School. The revalidation process that McKinney North completed recently is a routine requirement of serving as a National Demonstration School campus.
AVID National Demonstration Schools play a vital role in helping campuses nationwide who are interested in starting their own AVID program or who may be struggling with implementation of the program already in place. To ensure that these model schools maintain the highest standards, each National Demonstration School must be evaluated routinely through the revalidation process.
Marita Cleaver, McKinney ISD Coordinator for Advanced Academics, said that qualifying as a National Demonstration School through the initial validation process is a tremendous challenge — only two percent of all AVID school sites achieve National Demonstration School status — but maintaining those high standards through the course of successful revalidation can be even more challenging and represents an outstanding accomplishment.
Implementing a successful AVID program requires a team effort from many dedicated people. “I am blessed to have such a wonderful site team that is full of teachers who truly care about student success,” said Cory Homer, AVID Coordinator at McKinney North. “They work hard every day to ensure that McKinney North High School is not only an AVID National Demonstration School but a quality learning environment for other schools to come visit and take ideas back to their campus to implement. So much work and preparation went into making this day a success. It could not have happened without the students, teachers, staff and administrators all working together toward a common goal!”
“This is an enormous honor for our campus and MISD as a whole,” said McKinney North AVID Assistant Principal Sean Walker. “Coach Homer, Terra Boyko and the AVID Site Team do a fantastic job and their efforts are truly appreciated,” he said.
The national revalidation team cited McKinney North’s continued focus on preparing students for college as well as their implementation of the AVID tutorial program. The school’s progress in increasing AVID participation school wide was also highlighted.
“Every day, AVID teachers and supporters of AVID are making a huge difference in the life of each AVID student in McKinney ISD,” Cleaver said. “Their dedication, unwavering support and tenacity to demand the best of our kids is second to none. They are cheerleaders, guides and great believers in our students and their potential. Their mission is to tap those resources and help uncover talents and skills the students did not know they had in them. Thanks to them, leaders are born and dreams become true.”
AVID is a national college preparatory program that reaches out to students who are among the first generation in their family to attend college. AVID National Demonstration Schools make an on-going commitment to excellence within their AVID elective classes, and site teams serve as catalysts for school-wide change. The AVID program strives to achieve a strong communication system that gives and receives information about students and about program needs and successes.
In the fall, Scott Johnson Middle School will apply for validation to become an AVID National Demonstration School. If successful, they will become the fourth McKinney ISD campus to earn that high distinction.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of a group of people with such great belief and so much love for all our kids. Congratulations to the McKinney North family for such an outstanding achievement!” said Cleaver.