PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- Mills Middle School launches AVID Excel for the 2023-2024 school year.
On Thursday, July 27, 2023, Mills Middle School held a community bridge meeting with the scholars along with their families who will participate in the inaugural AVID Excel class. The goal of AVID Excel is “to change the trajectory of long-term English learners by accelerating language acquisition, developing literacy, and placing AVID Excel students on the path to high school AVID and college preparatory coursework.”
“I’ve wanted to launch this initiative in our district for some time,” says Dr. Janice Warren, Assistant Superintendent for Equity and Pupil Services, and AVID District Director. “The ELL population is growing exponentially in the Mills feeder and I thought it was the perfect time and place to launch this initiative in our district.”
The community bridge meeting included the scholars who will participate in this inaugural AVID Excel class along with their families. Dr. Janice Warren, Georgette Sierra, AVID District Coach, Renea Smith, AVID District Coach, and Dr. Lisa Watson, Principal, Mills Middle School were also present. The community bridge meeting was facilitated by Kwadjo Boaitey, AVID Coordinator, Charde Wilson, AVID Excel Language Coach, Susana Resolme, Pupil Services Translator/Interpreter and community partner, Mamas Unidas, Maria Alverez, President and Maria Guiterrez, Member.
The AVID Excel Course sequence is as follows: 7th Grade AVID Excel Summer Bridge Session(s), 7th Grade AVID Excel Class, 8th Grade AVID Excel Summer Bridge Session(s), 8th Grade AVID Excel Class, 9th Grade AVID Elective Class (inclusive of college preparatory classes). 7th/8th Grade AVID Excel Summer Bridge Session(s) includes ‘community-based experiences.’ Common course strands include: Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Academic Vocabulary, Study Skills, Self-Determination/Leadership.
The AVID Excel Elective classroom is a dynamic and interactive environment in which intermediate-level/upper-level emergent multilingual learners have multiple opportunities each day to practice their oral and written language in a supportive space. The AVID Excel Elective classroom is characterized by high levels of teacher-directed student interaction, participation, and activity. Both the physical environment and the philosophical environment are intentionally structured.
“I am excited about this initiative,” says Dr. Lisa Watson. “It ensures that the personalized academic and social needs of all of our scholars will be met and that they will be prepared for success.”