History of AVID Elementary

In its first 30 years, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has proven time and time again that, when given academic rigor and support, students can be academically successful. AVID Center's vision for the future is to provide entire feeder patterns—elementary, secondary, higher education—a comprehensive model to focus on success for all students.

AVID Elementary is based on the same learning foundation that underlies the AVID Elective. However, whereas the AVID Secondary site is a combined effort of a dedicated elective class and core content area classes to create a schoolwide impact in middle and high school, AVID Elementary is designed to be embedded into the daily instruction of all elementary classrooms across entire grade levels to impact schoolwide structures. AVID Elementary is not intended to be taught in isolation or within an elective setting.

AVID Elementary takes a systemic approach through Beginnings, Foundations, and Bridges implementation resources for different levels and settings in order to support all students on their journey to college readiness.

AVID Elementary is a foundational component of the AVID College Readiness System and supports AVID Center's mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

  • Stages of AVID Elementary

    AVID Elementary (AE) spans K-8 in three stages: Beginnings, Foundations, and Bridges. Each stage is designed to meet the needs of students within that range of development.

    • AVID Elementary Beginnings

    Addresses the beginning years of education, when students are emerging as learners. Students are learning to read, learning to write, and learning to learn.

    AE Beginnings classrooms are designed to promote learning to WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading), or L-WICOR, throughout the academic day.

    • AVID Elementary Foundations

    Addresses the foundational years of education, when students are becoming independent learners. Students are reading to learn, writing to learn, and learning to reflect on their own learning.

    AE Foundations classrooms are designed to promote WICOR throughout the academic day.

    • AVID Elementary Bridges

    Addresses the transitional years of education, when students are becoming independent thinkers. Students are thinking about thinking and learning about their own learning.

    AE Bridges classrooms are designed to promote WICOR throughout the academic day.

    AVID Elementary Essentials

    Essential One: Instruction

    Writing to learn, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading to learn (WICOR) as well as Learning to WICOR (L-WICOR) are the foundation for instruction in the AVID Elementary classroom.

    Essential Two: Culture

    AVID Elementary sites incorporate rigorous, relevant, differentiated opportunities for all students in an environment that promotes college readiness.

    Essential Three: Leadership

    AVID Elementary Leaders support, guide, and facilitate AVID Elementary implementation for all students.

    Essential Four: Systems

    AVID Elementary sites align their systems through the use of the 4 Pillars of Excellence (accountability, articulation, assessment, calibration) to ensure the fidelity of AVID Elementary implementation across the site.

    AVID Elementary Certification Process

    The 2013-2014 academic year will begin the inaugural certification process for eligible AVID Elementary sites. This process will enhance the work of AE educators as they align their work to the 4 AVID Elementary Essentials and collect data to inform their instruction for all students.

    In our constant effort to align quality and fidelity to our valued clients, we are excited to share the official AVID Elementary Certification Instrument.

    Whether you are beginning the certification process or would like a glimpse into the expectations as you begin Implementation, we are hopeful that you find the Certification Instrument to be a valuable one.

    AVID Elementary Certification Self-Study Continuum 2013-14

    Research Connections

    AVID Elementary (AE) is immersed in the research of Dr. Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. The AVID Elementary implementation resources, trainings, and philosophy are all grounded in the idea that the growth mindset can be taught to students and that it is through the growth mindset that AVID students succeed in following their dreams and fulfilling their aspirations.

    In the growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be developed through passion, education, and persistence. For them, it’s not about looking smart or grooming their image. It’s about a commitment to learning—taking informed risks and learning from the results, surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you to grow, looking frankly at your deficiencies and seeking to remedy them."

    Dr. Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

    AVID Elementary also uses the “best teaching practices” and research findings of Marzano, Gaddy and Dean, What Works in Classroom Instruction (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning), which has become critical to the entire AVID System. This research identified nine instructional strategies that have the highest probability of enhancing student achievement for all students in all subjects at all grade levels, including:

    •  Identifying similarities and differences
    •  Summarizing and note-taking
    •  Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
    •  Homework and practice
    •  Nonlinguistic representations
    •  Cooperative learning
    •  Setting goals and providing feedback
    •  Generating and testing
    •  Activating prior knowledge

    AVID Elementary Certification is grounded in the work of Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory.  This theory focuses on the power of individuals to influence and educate one another through imitation and reciprocal determinism. Through this lens, the academic environment, the educator’s perspective, and the student’s perspective merge together within the AVID Elementary grade levels and ultimately the entire site. The AVID Elementary Essentials (instruction, culture, leadership, systems) provide a clear roadmap for AVID Elementary sites as they move through their levels of implementation.

    If you would like further information about AVID Elementary, please contact us at