Kimball Middle School Continues as a National AVID Demonstration School
ELGIN - The AVID Center, devoted to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society, has revalidated Kimball Middle School as a National Demonstration School. The designation signals that staff and site administrators from other districts should visit the Elgin school to experience the school-wide college readiness system in action.
AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a nonprofit that trains educators to use proven practices to prepare students for success in high school, college and a career, especially students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Students are taught skills and behaviors for academic success, surrounded by a positive peer group and provided intensive support with tutorials and strong student/teacher relationships.
“Good things are happening along the AVID system, and we are proud to have a demonstration school in the District,” said Ron Raglin, U-46 Assistant Superintendent for Educational Support Programs and Alignment. “As AVID continues to expand in the Midwest, U-46 is becoming the go-to place for AVID support through events such as the AVID Midwest Showcase and the AVID Summer Path Training.”
The U-46 school received its original, three-year validation as a National Demonstration School in April 2015, and it was only the third school in Illinois to be so recognized. The latest designation is a two-year validation that will last through fall 2019. The recognition places Kimball in the top two percent of schools nationwide to achieve this designation.
The rigorous revalidation process to become a National Demonstration School began in the summer of 2017 with an application to the AVID Center and included four formal coaching visits where specific recommendations for improvements were provided for the school’s AVID elective classes and school-wide implementation of WICOR (Writing to learn, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading to learn).
To achieve the recognition, a school must show a high level of competence in four critical and research-based areas: systems, leadership, instruction and culture. These are critical areas that need to reflect the highest standards of AVID expectations, specifically tutorial process, school-wide college readiness systems and culture, a high level of functioning of the AVID elective classes, and the school-wide implementation of WICOR strategies.
Since being designated as a National Demonstration School, Kimball Middle School has hosted administrators from nearly two dozen schools and districts who have come to see the AVID system in action. Kimball twice welcomed educators from across the Midwest to tour the school's AVID College Readiness System at work. The AVID Midwest Showcase demonstrated critical thinking, students working together on science experiments, socratic seminars, philosophical chairs and much more.
“This recognition is a tremendous validation for Kimball students and staff regarding our instructional and learning strategies,” said Al Tamburrino, Kimball Middle School Principal. “We have worked hard to push these researched-based strategies throughout the school, including a change in instructional climate over the years of our AVID journey to become more focused and aligned.”
School District U-46 serves families in 11 communities: Bartlett, Elgin, South Elgin, Hanover Park, Streamwood and Wayne, as well as portions of Carol Stream, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, Schaumburg, and West Chicago. In total, the District encompasses 90 square miles within the Fox River Valley, approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Chicago, and includes communities within Cook, DuPage and Kane counties. More than 39,000 pre-K through twelfth graders attend the 57 District schools and programs. To learn more, visit the U-46 website, or like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.