On February 6, 2019, Ruby Drive Elementary School in Placentia hosted educational leaders from throughout California for an AVID Showcase on campus. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a nationwide non-profit organization devoted to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. The organization also trains 70,000 educators annually to help schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach.
After being named an AVID Showcase School in June 2018, Ruby Drive assumed the important responsibility of providing opportunities for educators to witness their program implementation, learn about their best practices, and study their strategies hands-on. Only six schools in southern California represent this identical level of achievement within the AVID organization.
That day, Ruby Drive’s Showcase experience allowed attendees to observe AVID classrooms and teachers in action across all grade levels – Preppy K through sixth grade. Visiting superintendents, district leadership teams, school board members, and teachers witnessed Ruby Drive’s vertical and horizontal articulation of AVID strategies to support student success. The program’s proven learning support structure, WICOR – which stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading – was also on display throughout classroom instruction and practices.
The event culminated with a panel discussion featuring students, teachers, and parents. AVID Elementary Program Manager, Traci Grove, engaged the panelists with thoughtful questions about the program’s approach, student support structures, communication, teacher development, and student success to end the day.
The Showcase could not have been made possible without the support of Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) leaders including Director of English Language Development/AVID, Minerva Gandara, Ruby Drive Principal, Diana McKibben, AVID Program Specialist, Paul La Porte, and Title I Teacher on Special Assignment, Sophia Vanderkooy. In addition, all of Ruby Drive’s faculty and staff members contributed largely to the success of the visit including AVID Lead Teacher, Amanda Cerda.
Since 2015, Ruby Drive has dedicated its efforts towards the application of AVID campus-wide. The Cougars are one of 18 schools in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, nine elementary sites and nine secondary sites, to implement AVID.