AVID proven achievement. lifelong advantage. National demonstration School

Regardless of their life circumstances, AVID students overcome obstacles and achieve success. They graduate and attend college at higher rates, but more importantly, they can think critically, collaborate, and set high expectations to confidently conquer the challenges that await them. (www.avid.org)

Proven Achievement. Lifelong Advantage.
75% of AVID students are from a low socioeconomic status background, and 80% are underrepresented students. Nevertheless, they outperform their peers in crucial metrics nationwide. 94% of AVID students complete four-year college entrance requirements, 90% who apply are accepted into four-year colleges, and 85% persist into the second year of college. (www.avid.org)

AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID is a college and career readiness system that helps motivated students achieve higher levels of rigor in advanced classes to better prepare them for college and career opportunities. 

AVID was established more than 40 years ago with one teacher in one classroom. Today, AVID trains 85,000 educators each year, and it impacts more than 2 million students in over 7,500 schools. For additional information, visit the AVID site at www.avid.org or check out this AVID Facts page by clicking hereView the  Virginia Snapshot here

AVID Eligibility indian river avid

AVID methodologies (writing to learn, emphasis on inquiry, collaborative activities, organizational skills, and critical reading) are utilized schoolwide so that all IRMS students benefit from research-based instructional practices and college and career exposure. AVID is an academic elective class that gives students who already possess the potential and a strong desire to succeed the resources, tools, and opportunities to successfully complete middle school and beyond. 

Students eligible to enroll in the AVID Elective and higher level courses include students who exhibit the following: 

  • Good attendance
  • Good citizenship
  • Determination to do well
  • Average to above average grades
  • Passing scores on standardized tests
  • Capability to succeed in academically rigorous courses with the support of AVID

AVID is not a remediation program, nor is it a study hall. 

Students must apply to join AVID. Click here to view the application. The application process includes an application, an interview, teacher recommendations, and a review of student academic records. Current IRMS students may apply and be considered for AVID at any time during the school year. For rising 6th grade students who will be new to IRMS, we follow a student selection process that spans March – May.


avid proven achievement lifelong advantage

History of AVID at Indian River Middle School

1999: Under the leadership of Dr. Linda Scott, the IRMS principal and AVID District Director at the time, AVID was introduced to our school during the 1999-2000 school year.

2002: AVID was fully implemented at IRMS.

2004: IRMS became a National Demonstration School.

2005 – 2014: IRMS remained a National Demonstration School under the leadership of Naomi Dunbar as principal from the 2005-2006 school year to the 2013-2014 school year.

2014 – 2021: Currently under the principalship of Terre Werts, IRMS remains a National Demonstration School, and is just one of five demonstration schools in the state of Virginia.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child still take two electives each day? Yes, all IRMS students are enrolled in two electives – a PE/Health elective plus one other elective of their choice based on availability (e.g., a music course, a foreign language, Art, Technology, Family and Consumer Science, Reading, or Algebra Readiness). The AVID elective class takes place daily during the same instructional block of time as Core Plus – a class designated for instructional intervention and enrichment activities based on student needs. Students not enrolled in AVID are enrolled in Core Plus. 


What core classes will my middle school child take as an AVID student?  AVID students still take the same core subjects as their peers, but they are enrolled in Honors English, Honors Civics/History, and Honors Science. Therefore, AVID students must be capable of Honors coursework. It is the same curriculum, but Honors students engage in more rigorous discussions, activities, and collaborative projects. This is where AVID comes in – AVID students strengthen their academic skills three times a week in their AVID class, and twice a week they engage in tutorials where trained and paid tutors support student groups in problem solving questions from their content classes. For Math, it is highly encouraged that advanced math be among the classes an AVID student takes, but math placement is based on readiness according to grades, teacher recommendations, and standardized test scores. AVID students may be enrolled in grade level math, or advanced math, whichever course is most appropriate.  


What do students do in AVID? In AVID, students learn strategies for becoming better readers, writers, problem solvers, and collaborators. They also learn how to improve study and organizational skills. Although AVID is a graded class, what students learn in AVID supports their learning in all other classes. Students also get to explore college and career opportunities through classroom activities, guest speakers, and one or two college field trips. 


What happens when my 8th grade AVID student goes to high school? If IRMS students remain in this zone to attend Indian River High School, students may apply for AVID in 9th grade as a high school elective, and they are encouraged to remain in AVID each year through 12th grade. AVID’s extension into high school continues to support students in their advanced core classes, and lessons that explore opportunities beyond high school become an increased focus on college and career opportunities. High school AVID students receive extensive support in completing college and scholarship applications. Each year, both Indian River High School and Oscar Smith High School AVID seniors (collectively) are accepted into multiple colleges and receive millions in scholarships. 


What happens if my child does not do well in AVID? If an AVID student struggles in academics or citizenship, he/she will be placed on Academic/Behavioral Warning. Parents are notified, and the parent, student, and teacher sign a Warning letter reiterating AVID expectations. If concerns persist, the Warning status escalates to Probation. Parents are notified, and the parent, student, and teacher sign a Probation letter reiterating AVID expectations and requiring additional measures to support the student. If concerns still do not improve, the student will be at risk for removal from AVID. If a student is removed from AVID and wishes to go back in later, he/she may reapply. If a student on Warning or Probation improves by the next marking period (interim or report card), then the student is in good standing again. However, if a student improves in one area, but begins/continues to struggle in another area, the student may REMAIN on Warning or Probation for more than one marking period at the teacher’s discretion.


We were informed that my child is on the AVID Watchlist. What does this mean? The IRMS Watchlist serves two purposes: 1) if space is at capacity in an AVID class, students on the Watch List may wait for a space to open, or 2) it helps us watch your child’s progress to ensure that he/she is ready for AVID. We always want what’s best for the students, so it is important to ensure they are ready for the academic rigor of AVID. Because we are AVID Schoolwide, this means that even if your child is not enrolled in AVID, he/she is still learning AVID strategies (organization, annotating, note-taking, etc.) to become a better reader, writer, better at organization, etc. Our teachers are all introduced to AVID best practices and expected to utilize them daily. Additionally, the entire school participates in an AVID lesson every Friday. We are continuously evaluating our students to determine if they are ideal candidates for AVID – our teachers know (and are reminded) to consider students for AVID at the turn of every nine week period. 

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