Almost 50 educators came from near and far to hear about how McNary is implementing AVID, to tour classrooms, and to ask questions during a student-led panel discussion.
“Educators are here today from across Oregon, and even from Washington state,” said Salem-Keizer AVID Coordinator Barb Bamford. “They are here to learn what it looks like to implement AVID schoolwide. Some of the visitors have AVID at their schools now and are looking for ways to improve and enhance. Others are thinking about what it would be like to start AVID at their schools.”
Last spring, McNary was designated an AVID Site of Distinction School, along with Claggett Creek and Stephens middle schools. This honor is awarded to a small group of AVID schools that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their students.
McNary Principal Erik Jespersen said that 78 percent of teachers at his school have extensive AVID training. He also spoke about the implementation of Focused Note Taking, which was pioneered at McNary.
McNary AVID Site Coordinator and Instructional Mentor Heidi Tavares talked about how recognizing student success, for example with monthly WICOR-licious Awards (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading), is a strategy that motivates students.
McNary Counselor Jessica Rist explained that Celtic graduation rates have gone from 82 percent (in 2015-16) to 90 percent (in 2018-19) after AVID was adopted at the school.
Automotive Technology Career and Technical Education teacher Michael Melting worked with juniors exploring their futures in Advisory. Using an AVID strategy called Backward Mapping, students looked at elective classes they will take next semester as part of college planning.
Culinary CTE teacher Wendy Bennett led students in a Gallery Walk. They moved to different stations in the kitchen and got ideas for drawings about the presentation of food on plates.
This group of educators was led by two student chaperones. They popped into several classrooms at 10 minute intervals to get a taste of how AVID strategies are served up at McNary High School.