More students in Redmond will have the opportunity to better prepare for the future when the district expands its AVID program to all middle and high schools.

The AVID college readiness system — which trains educators about how to teach better study habits — was implemented at Ridgeview High and Elton Gregory Middle schools in Redmond four years ago. A $106,000 grant from the James and Marion Miller Foundation will allow the program to expand districtwide over the next three years, and educators in Redmond are thrilled.

“We are very thankful for this opportunity to bring AVID to all secondary schools, because all students deserve to be college ready,” said Tracie Renwick, director of Secondary Education. “This is a lens to help our kids get future ready. We talk about college and career in a planning way, not as a remote dream.”

AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a national nonprofit that focuses on offering ways to close the achievement gap and send more kids to college, in part by training teachers to promote certain skills in the classroom.

AVID was established in 1980 and is used nationwide in over 5,500 schools in 44 states. It is used in 65 districts in Oregon. The program will expand to include Redmond High, Obsidian Middle and Terrebonne Community schools.

“At the middle (school) level, AVID has helped us reinforce to students a sense of confidence that today’s actions will result in future success,” Renwick said in a news release. “It’s not enough to have a college dream, students must have a college plan.”

The grant will mostly pay for the training required for teachers.

More than 40 educators will travel to Seattle this year for the Summer Institute to learn how to implement specific learning strategies in their subjects, such as better note-taking skills in an English class.

“Teachers will go to a training and learn how to infuse research-based strategies into their teaching,” Renwick said.

“We are setting kids up with habits and skills to keep them successful in college.”

The training has provided a common goal for the educational team at Elton Gregory to focus on, said Gena Bennett, assistant principal at Elton Gregory.

The expansion will also allow schools to offer more AVID electives. Elton Gregory, for example, already offers an AVID elective class for seventh- and eighth-graders and will be able to offer the same opportunity to sixth-graders.

“This will provide the opportunity for students who have goals for themselves to recognize strategies they might not have,” Bennett said.

“This is a great program. It helps students get to where they want to be.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829,