The AVID Program at Lee High School Proving Successful

By Mitzi Loera
Newswest 9

All educators want students to excel and M.I.S.D. has put into place a program that makes sure a group of students does the very best they can.

"As she was telling me I had goose bumps, and really excited to think that this is something that could really bring us to a new level.  I guess in regard in our mission in helping the students to get to that ultimate point in success," Lee High School teacher Maggie Portillo describes when she found out about her new assignment.

A teacher for only five years Portillo is a first time teacher of AVID which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

"What I've seen a decline over the years is just students having a passion or goals for any achievement," said Portillo.

The students in the AVID class are not A and B students.

They take the class as an elective with Portillo as their teacher, and are challenged to take higher level courses than they are use to.

"What we are looking at is first generation college students no one else in their family may have gone to college they don't know the different avenues to you know to help push them along that way," said Portillo.

And to get these teens to be successful in their other classes they work on specific things.

"Their note taking strategies, time management skills, all the things they could potentially need when they get to college," said Portillo.

Sierra Carlisle, a 10th grade AVID student, already has her sights on higher education, but that wasn't always the case.

"I uh did the least amount I could," said Carlisle.

A "C" student before, in just one month of participating in the AVID program she's already making progress.

"Right now I have A's and B's, I'm actually really happy I brought home a progress report for math, and I got a hundred and I've never got that for math," said Carlisle.

This one achievement is just a stepping stone for the goals Sierra has set for herself.

"To get all A's both semesters," said Carlisle.

A goal she shares with the rest of the peers in her class.