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Avid Decades of college dreams

Ponderosa High School AVID Program


What is AVID?

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global nonprofit organization that operates with one guiding principle: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. AVID's kindergarten through higher education system brings research-based curriculum and strategies to students each day that develop critical thinking, literacy, and math skills across all content areas.

The AVID Elective

The AVID Elective class targets students in the academic middle, who have the desire to go to college and are capable of completing rigorous curriculum using the will to work hard. Typically, AVID Elective students will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. In the AVID Elective, students are routinely required to enroll in their school's toughest courses, such as honors or Advanced Placement®.

AVID Secondary starts with an elective class for one period a day, where students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable.

AVID Curriculum

The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is based on best teaching practices in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading, and it is supported by state and national content standards. AVID curriculum is used in the AVID Elective and content-area classes in AVID schools to guide teachers and students, while planning strategies for success, by focusing on time management and study skills.

What Do We Do In AVID?

  • Organization skills
  • Cornell and Focused Note-taking skills
  • Teambuilding/Fun Fridays
  • College Campus Visits
  • Fundraising/Mr. Ponderosa
  • Community Service
  • Scholarships/College Applications
  • WICOR Activities
  • Weekly Tutorials
  • Philosophical Chairs and Socratic Seminars



People walking outside in the rain with umbrellas

CSU Chico Field Trip, Fall 2015

AVID Contacts

Phil Leonhardt, AVID Administrator - ext. 2219;

Katie Hunter, AVID Coordinator/Counselor- ext. 2229;

Karen Norwood, Senior AVID Elective Teacher -

Tyson Escobar, Sophomore AVID Elective Teacher -

Alex LaBass, Junior AVID Elective Teacher -



Information and Application Materials

AVID Website

Is AVID for you?


Cornell Notes Template

Tutorial Request Form Template