Shannon Wyszynski

THS Seniors Nick Denesik, Morgan Rogers and Rock Repola raise excitement around fundraising.

Shannon Wyszynski, Staff Writer

TELLURIDE– AVID is a program that is offered in the Telluride R-1 district to provide students help in developing life-skills, organization and college preparedness. 

AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, first came to THS in 2015 and took hold in 2016.  Now, four years later, the AVID program is offered from 8th through 12th grade at TMHS.   

In AVID 12, a course for seniors, students are selling Girl Scout cookies to raise money that will go towards the local troop’s visit to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

As part of the AVID curriculum, students are encouraged to do a service-based project.  Senior Dillon Sheehan came up with the idea.  Each box is sold for $4 and the proceeds go to the local troop.

Bonnie Emerick teaches English and AVID 12 at THS.  “This can be a great way for the class to get out into the community by supporting a local organization,” Emerick said.

On Wednesdays, the True North Youth Program comes in to help the students of AVID 12 with homework and essays for scholarships. True North also helps the students deal with the stress and pressure of having tons of homework as a senior.

AVID works by making the classroom student-centered.  It includes focusing on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR).  While AVID strategies can be implemented in any classroom, the program also presents itself in the form of an elective.  Curriculum for the elective varies from organization to college preparedness to student-led activities, like Socratic seminars and tutorials.  Students can expect to learn note-taking skills and binder organization techniques.

“AVID is a class that can help you prepare for college,” Kaila Reloj, a THS senior said.  “It can [really] help students with their classes.”

Owen Murphy is a THS senior said AVID has been handy.

“In AVID, the most useful thing that I have learned has been how to stay organized with my homework, and it has helped me turn things in on time, as well as come to class prepared,” Murphy said. “In my sophomore AVID class, I had so much fun due to the fact that Alex Jones was the teacher. Every Friday as a class, we would all take a trip to Clark’s where we got chips and popsicles.”

Jones said the idea for implementing AVID classes was first introduced by the Telluride School Board.

“AVID originally came into play because the school board was really behind it, and Mike Gass was very behind it, seeing as our school could benefit from having this program here,” Jones said.

There is no estimated time for how long the school with offer AVID.

“A big part of how long we will have AVID really depends on the school board and if they continue to support it,”  Jones. said.  “A big factor of having the AVID program is funding. It’s not cheap [but] we have had grants in the past and gracious donors who have donated towards our ability to have the AVID program.”

According to Jones, AVID is a “much-needed” class that helps students who are doing well in school, do even better.