Student Voice: Don’t Defund AVID!
I am always impressed when students reach out directly to me as a Commissioner to make their voices heard. Lately, I’ve been receiving a multitude of emails advocating to support various programs across our district, specifically AVID, a class for first-generation college-bound students.
AVID stands for, “Advancement, Via, Individual, Determination” is designed to help middle and high school students prepare for their future. I am hearing directly from students that the program helps students achieve their goals and lifetime aspirations. Included in the list of praises about the program, students say I have helped them with the following:
- Develop critical thinking skills,
- Deepen content knowledge,
- Manage stress, learn about health,
- Gain important organization skills.
Students speak up about AVID
Students don’t often advocate for more academic programming. When they do, we should listen. Here are some excerpts from some of the many emails I have received.
“AVID has helped me grow as a person…”
“I am a 10th-grade student and I go to Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. I am writing to ask that you do not shut down AVID because it is cool. I have been enrolled in AVID at Galileo for 2 years. During my time in AVID, it has helped me grow as a person by teaching me better organizational skills which helps because I have very bad ADHD. If SFUSD no longer funds AVID I will lose this community we have built and that other students have. It will also affect us by no longer being able to have Fun Friday which is always a highlight of my week and field trips that helps me learn about colleges. I urge you to not cut AVID and I thank you for your time and consideration.”— 10th-grade student at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
“AVID has built me a community…”
I am a Muslim-Pakistani 7th grader at Roosevelt middle school in San Francisco. I am writing to ask that you don’t cut AVID. I have been enrolled in AVID at Roosevelt middle school for 3 months now. During my time in AVID it has built me a community with different grades and learning about my future. I have learned about high school, college, and much more. I have loved my past few months because it is a relaxing class where I can learn things, work with others, laugh, and get my homework done. It has helped me with my organization for other classes too! If SFUSD no longer funds AVID, I will not be able to think about my future and learn about high schools/colleges with a class. We can’t go for field trips, and organize our work. It has helped me become a young adult. I know that others enjoy it too, and we always have a bright and fun time! I urge you to not cut AVID,— 7th grade student at Roosevelt Middle School
“AVID is full of people of color, including me…”
“I am an Asian Indian American Muslim 9th grader at Lowell High School. I am also the Treasurer at Lowell High for the class of 2025. I am writing to ask that the school board does not eliminate the funding for avid.
I have been enrolled in Avid for 4 years now. I attended Avid in Aptos Middle School for all three years and I am currently in avid in 9th at Lowell. During my time here AVID has helped me in so many possible ways from helping me get through homework. To help me plan out my high school classes and to think ahead. And making reasonable goals. Avid has helped me settle into Lowell better.
If SFUSD no longer funds AVID We will not have funding and materials for the appropriate materials we need for avid. Hence we will no longer be able to go on field trips to colleges or volunteer to make the world a better and cleaner place for the next generation. Hence avid is full of people of color including me. Struggling through the rigor that Lowell has. The reason is you should not cut the funding for Lowell.
I humbly request you to speak out and help stop the elimination of funding in avid. I look forward to reading your email shortly Avid means a lot to me it has helped me through so much struggling crying and distress.”— 9th grader at Lowell High School
“AVID is helpful for students who are unfamiliar with navigating college systems…”
I am a Mexican American sophomore student at Galileo Highschool. I am writing to ask that you don’t cut off the Avid program because it is helpful to students who are unfamiliar with navigating college systems and it also helps you develop better academic and organizational skills.
I have been enrolled in AVID at Francisco Middle School for 1 year and Galileo High school for 2 years now. During my time in AVID, this program has helped me in many ways, either it being writing skills, communicating skills, learning much more about College and lastly it helps me be more organized in classes and in general.
If SFUSD no longer funds AVID then I see that as an open door for some students to most likely be unprepared for College and not have as much time management. In addition, some students wouldn’t be receiving the amount of help as they are now in this program ( AVID).
I strongly urge you to continue funding the AVID program as it is beneficial to our youth in many ways. Thank you for your time and consideration.10th grade student at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
I am an 8th grade student at A.P. Giannini Middle School. I am writing to ask that you don’t cut AVID from SFUSD funding. I have been enrolled in AVID at APG for two years. During my time in AVID I have learned organization, preparing for classes, paying attention in class and caring more about school and learning in general. It has also been an opportunity for me to step out of a box and ask for help from my peers and teacher. Doing so has helped me become a better learner.
If SFUSD no longer funds AVID, current and future AVID students will be deprived of their learning needs. Students join AVID for a reason, that reason may be their lack of ability to pay attention in class, taking notes, and reaching out for help. AVID is a vessel for many students to have support in tasks/abilities that seem to be basic or unworthy. AVID also given me much support with high school applications, and I hope that I still have it when applying to college.
I urge you to not cut AVID from funding. Thank you for taking your time to read this. I hope you can please reply to this and reconsider your decision to take AVID away in the future, because it really does mean a lot to me and many other students.8th grade student at A.P. Giannini Middle School
“It’s thanks to AVID that I currently stand at a 4.3 GPA…”
I am an 11th grade, first generation, Filipino-American student attending Lowell High School. I am writing to ask that you keep AVID as a curriculum offered at Lowell, despite the recent budget cuts.
I have been enrolled in AVID at Bessie Carmichael Middle School and Lowell High School for over three years. During my time in AVID I have learned about the in-depth process of applying to colleges and what to think about when it comes to applying to colleges based on my goals and personal interests. Not only that, I have learned how to properly use my notes to further my learning, and have learned how to write a professional resume to apply to part-time jobs and internships. It is thanks to AVID that I currently stand at a 4.3 GPA, and have gotten into a highly selective, high-paying summer internship.
If SFUSD no longer funds AVID, I will struggle next year in applying to colleges and writing my personal statements knowing I do not have a community who are facing the same struggles I am – as a minority, first-generation college student – to help guide me.
I urge you to keep our struggles and our background in mind when considering what classes to cut. AVID truly does mean a lot to us, not only as an academic class, but as a community of marginalized groups here at Lowell. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing your response as the situation moves forward.— 11th grade student at Lowell High School
To learn more about AVID programs in our district, contact your local school to see if your school has a program (not all SFUSD schools do). You can also visit the District AVID webpage.
If you are interested in advocating to preserve these valuable programs, come out to upcoming SFUSD Budget meetings and speak during public comment. SFUSD is convening a Budget and Business Services meeting this Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 4 PM. Click here to see upcoming agendas and information about how to log into meetings.
Upcoming meetings of the full Board will occur on December 7, 2021, and December 14, 2021.