SCHS takes on a great achievement: the new AVID national demonstration school

SAN CLEMENTE HIGH SCHOOL’S AVID program earns a special title. (Brianna Hernandez)

Brianna Hernandez | Head Editor

March 12, 2024

As of February 28th, 2024, the AVID program at SCHS won an outstanding national title. In 1998, San Clemente High School welcomed a program known as AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The purpose of this program is to prepare students for academic and personal success, especially for college. Recently, official AVID board members visited SCHS to examine the program further, and in return, the school recently became an AVID National Demonstration School. This is an excellent achievement for SCHS, especially for those making the program remarkable and meaningful for students. 

The program started under Jo Britain, later passed on to Tiffany George, and is currently coordinated by Erin Dollar. When Ms. Dollar began coordinating the program, it only comprised of 104 students. Now, the program has increased rapidly, with 305 participating students. Many students look forward to forming a part of this program, as former and current AVID students have always given positive responses. “It was a great experience in 4 years. I started because of the difficulties I was going through, which helped me choose the right path and career,” said senior Gil Tapia. “It helped me stay organized and pushed me to work harder.” The AVID program teaches students many life skills that will help them succeed in college, including organization skills, time management, organized note-taking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

AVID SENIORS wearing AVID spirit wear at the program’s achievement celebration. (Brianna Hernandez)

Multiple AVID representatives and board members have visited SCHS various times to analyze the program’s effectiveness on students. Thanks to the outstanding effort of the teachers and students involved, the school becoming an AVID National Demonstration School allows other schools to visit SCHS and witness the program’s excellence by viewing the practices and activities in an AVID classroom. Ms. Dollar expressed her gratitude towards this achievement and stated,         “[She is] overwhelmed and proud that the student’s work is being recognized nationally.” The AVID program at SCHS would not have received this title if it weren’t for the interest and dedication of the students in all grade levels. It is safe to say that their commitment to the program has paid off well. 

Last Wednesday, the school hosted a small and wholesome celebration for students and teachers where the title was announced, and representatives from the AVID committee and Capistrano Unified District joined. Cake was served, interviews were done, and photographs were taken. Ms. Dollar and Principal Carter said a few words, and the room was filled with prideful and joyful AVID students. Multiple AVID teachers like Mrs. Willey, Ms. Shick, Ms. Peters, and Mrs. Mariani were present and proud of their students. These AVID teachers look forward to demonstrating to other schools how to use the program and help others lead their students to success. 

The AVID program is a place where families are built and filled with support and love. Bonds are formed, and students grow. Help is given, and it is appreciated. AVID coordinator Ms. Dollar is proud of her students and stated that this achievement is only possible with the efforts of each student. “This isn’t about me or the other AVID teachers; it’s truly about the students and what they do for this program.”

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