AVID began in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, then-head of the English department at San Diego's Clairemont High School. The federal courts issued an order to desegregate the city's schools, bringing large numbers of inner city students to suburban schools. While applauding the decision, Swanson wondered how these underserved students would survive at academically acclaimed Clairemont High.
Her answer was AVID, an academic elective. But it's more than a program - it's a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.
Beginning with one high school and 32 students, AVID now serves over 400,000 students in nearly 4,500 elementary and secondary schools in 47 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 countries/territories.
Policymakers and school administrators now consider AVID an essential strategy for closing the achievement gap and making the college dream accessible to all students