MARYSVILLE – Just looking at the numbers, you can’t help but be an avid fan of AVID.
Thirteen Advancement Via Individual Determination students at Marysville Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools are receiving more than $105,000 in scholarships for college next year.
“And there are still scholarships rolling in,” Amy Price, AVID district director, said prior to Monday’s school board meeting. She added that six of the 13 were getting Rotary scholarships Wednesday for unknown amounts.
One student, Skyleigh Morrison, received a $20,000 Dell scholarship, for example.
AVID is a school curriculum that helps prepare students for college. For some they are the first to graduate high school. Many who take it don’t know the process because they are the first in their family to attend college. It teaches them how to write essays, how to apply to college and for scholarships, how to pay for college, etc. For some, college was just a dream. It encourages them to try harder, gives them support, explains options and choices, and gives them hope.
Director Chris Nation said later that some “probably wouldn’t get a higher education without AVID. This was the right thing to do for kids.”
Corby Schuh is an MG math teacher and boys basketball coach, but also teaches AVID there. “He’s a caring, supportive teacher, but also our best friend,” Price said his students wrote about him.
Schuh said this year’s seniors helped AVID get its own room and helped mentor younger AVID students who were able to take the class during the same period for the first time, allowing them to develop a culture.
He added that some of the students were so ready for college that they ended up dropping the class in favor of Running Start.
Director Pete Lundberg said later that he predicts AVID will grow when the school district changes to a schedule that allows more electives.
Schuh then introduced his graduating class: Morrison, Western Washington University, psychology and education; Nathan Horton, Central Washington, psychology and computer science; Kelly Tablante-Emory, Everett Community College then the University of Washington at Bothell; Lul William, EvCC, computer engineering; Kevin Ortiz-Palacios, UW Bothell; Mya Smith, Western Washington; Chyona Edwards, Academy of Arts in San Francisco.
Price said M-P AVID students said of their teacher, Taya Schweizer, that “she’s supportive and never gives up. She’s like a second mom to us.”
Schweizer said some of her students have been in AVID since seventh grade, and she said of the middle school AVID teachers that they are amazing.
Her students: Rhielynn McIntosh, CWU, teacher; MaKenna Cannon, WWU, teacher; Alejandra Campos, EvCC then Whitworth, health care; Leonardo Jaramillo, Southwestern Oregon then Oregon State, engineer; Fatima Lopez, EvCC then CWU or Washington State University; Jacquelin Sulog, EvCC.
Prior to that, during the school board work session, Rod Merrell, director of secondary education, talked about Naviance, another district curriculum that helps students plan for the future.
Merrell said more than 1,500 high school and middle school students and 120 staff provided input. Advisory teachers don’t like it because it takes up too much time. Students don’t like it because there are too many assignments and doesn’t help that much in picking a career or college.
As a result, “It’s a barrier to positive relationship building,” which is a goal of advisory, he said, adding only 30 percent of staff like it.
Merrell recommends next year to only use the part of Naviance that the state requires. Dial back the assignments and teach, “What you want to do and how do you get there.”
That’s really the goal of the state requirement, planning for the future, starting as early as eighth grade.
“There’s so much work the message is lost,” Merrell said.
He added that Naviance will go away after next year. The district has found a curriculum that is more user-friendly and costs only about $2 a student, so it will save the district money.
There was also a quick update on the Regional Apprentice Pathways. The district is still trying to find a way to pay for the $1.2 million needed in repairs to the building. Until that is figured out, RAP leaders are looking at other classrooms at Marysville-Pilchuck High School to use this fall. In the meantime, applications from Marysville, Arlington and other north Snohomish County schools are coming in from interested participants.
Donetta Oremus, director of Career and Technical Education, compared it to a gear device.