Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID Coordinator: Ms. Fatima Binta Calhoun

Mission Statement

The mission of Northwood AVID is to ensure that ALL students, especially the least served students who are in the middle, will…

  • succeed in rigorous curriculum,
  • complete a rigorous college preparatory path (specifically honors, Advanced Placement, and University of Maryland early college admission courses),
  • enter mainstream activities of the school,
  • increase their enrollment in four-year colleges,
  • become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Northwood AVID program is to encourage students to apply to a variety of appropriate colleges and universities, achieve enrollment in a four-year college or university upon graduation from high school, stand out as top notch candidates at four-year colleges and universities, and graduate from four-year colleges and universities and become productive members of society.

AVID 101 (What AVID is)

avid logo

The AVID Program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a fourth through twelfth grade program that explicitly teaches students the skills they need to be successful in a rigorous academic curriculum. The goal of AVID to increase access to rigorous course work for students who are in our general education courses, who possess potential to do Honors and AP work but lack the necessary skills and or support systems to be successful in higher level academic course work. A team of trained educators work together to create opportunities for our least served students to take higher level courses and eventually attend colleges or universities upon graduation from high school.

AVID at Northwood High SchoolThe AVID Student

AVID targets students in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation.

A potential AVID student needs to fit into all or most of the following criteria:

  1. has 2.0 -3.5 GPA
  2. is a member of traditionally under-represented or disadvantaged college bound group (i.e. minority group, first generation to go to college, economically disadvantaged)
  3. demonstrates a desire and willingness to succeed in a college prep and Advanced Placement courses
  4. expresses a desire to go to a four-year college or university upon graduation from high school
  5. is willing to commit to a four-year program and give up an elective to take the AVID course


Objectives of AVID at Northwood High SchoolStudents will be able to:

  • Take Cornell notes to increase comprehension and retention of information.
  • Use effective organizational strategies.
  • Use effective communication skills to increase ability to interact with various people for various purposes and various situations.
  • Use effective writing skills in academic, personal, and professional settings.
  • Use inquiry to solve problems and discover information.
  • Collaborate with peers and superiors to increase their own chance for success.
  • Use effective reading skills and strategies in academic, personal, and professional settings.
  • Build positive character traits and a strong work ethic that will help students achieve academic, personal, and professional success.
  • Research, select, apply to, and gain acceptance to four year colleges and universities.
  • Research, select, and prepare for professional careers that suit their individual strengths, aptitudes, and interests.
  • Research, select, and apply for financial aid.
  • Use appropriate life skills to survive academically, personally, and professionally.
  • Meet or exceed Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals as set forth by state and county mandates

Course Scope and Sequence

At Northwood High School, the course of study broken down by year will be as follows:

Freshman Year

Career exploration, communication skills, and PSAT preparation will be major focuses of the ninth grade year. During the first semester, AVID students will participate in an extensive communication unit based on the book Tongue Fu by Sam Horn. The goal of the unit is to help students learn how communicate positively and avoid conflict. Students will learn how to approach others in a manner that demonstrates respect and understanding. During the second semester of AVID students will complete an extensive Careers Path unit. Students will learn about their personal strengths and aptitudes and start researching possible career choices. Additionally, students will learn which majors they need to pursue and which courses they need to complete to prepare for their careers of interest. The unit will culminate in a career fair. Throughout the year, students will prepare for their Algebra HSA exams as well.

Sophomore Year

Expanding test taking and study skills are the major focuses of this year of course work. Also students will engage in an extensive college research unit first semester. The goal of this unit is extend what students learned during their freshman year. Students will research colleges that offer programs of study that will help them obtain their career goals and start the process of selecting viable college options based on their goals, financial situation, and aptitudes. In an attempt to help build more effective teens, sophomores will engage in lessons from 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. During second semester, students will take the lesson learned from Covey and use them to build their ability to engage in moral reasoning as defined by Lawrence Kohlberg. Throughout the year, students will prepare for their English HSA exams as well.

Junior Year

College level and college entry exam preparation and college planning are major focuses of the eleventh grade AVID curriculum. Students will start to refine their college choices, taking all extenuating factors in to account. Students will complete research on and begin applying for financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans). Also, students will learn about the expenses associated with college and learn how they can offset these costs. Junior students will engage in heavy SAT and ACT practice in preparation for one or both of the exams in the spring. Students will receive additional support in preparing for AP exams as well. Finally, students will select four colleges of interest and start applying for early admission to colleges as well as start the process of figuring out how to pay for a higher education. Junior students are required to take at least one AP course.

Senior Seminar

The first semester of the senior year will be dedicated to applying to colleges and applying for scholarships and grants. Also, there will be a heavy focus on college essays, the AP Exams, and resume building. The second semester is designed to help student prepare for college life. They will explore all aspects of college living such as dorm life, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs.