8th Grade AVID 2018-19

Eric Bowman, Room 8 (503) 825-5418

Course Overview and Philosophy

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is offered as an elective course that prepares students for entrance into four-year colleges and and/or a career path.  There is an emphasis on analytical writing, preparation for college entrance and placement exams, study skills and test-taking, and research. AVID is designed to increase each student’s learning and academic performance.  The mission is to ensure that all students are capable of completing a path to college and/or career. AVID students are expected to succeed in a rigorous curriculum, increase school and community involvement, and prepare for enrollment in a four year college and/or career path.

Course Description

AVID students will receive two hours of instruction per week in college entry skills, two hours per week in tutor-led study groups, and one hour per week in motivational activities and academic survival skills.  In AVID students participate in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading to support their academic growth.

On tutorial days, students work with college tutors and other students.  Tutors assist students in small groups with academic questions that students bring to tutorial.  Students are required to take notes during tutorial and use class and textbook notes to inform their discussions during tutorial.  Tutors help students with the process of learning through inquiry, rather than giving students the answers. Students also learn the value of working with others in tutorial.

Students will also participate in motivational activities including college and career research, college and career outreach speakers, field trips to colleges and businesses and other educational opportunities in their communities, and service learning experiences.  These activities provide students with the resources they need to learn about many positive opportunities available to them in the community that will impact their future.

Course Objectives

Students will:

1.  take courses that meet four-year college entrance requirements

2.  participate in tutorials for academic courses including but not limited to English, math, science, and social studies.

3.  learn and apply AVID skills including note-taking, organization, time management, and goal setting.

4.  improve their oral communication skills through a variety of activities, including presentation and Socratic Seminar.

5.  participate in writing to learn activities, including note-taking, learning logs, timed writing, and essay   writing.

6.  learn to evaluate their own and others’ writing, using the rubrics and scoring guides  provided.

7.  prepare for college entrance examinations including the SAT, SAT Subject, and ACT.

8.  complete and present a multi-grade level portfolio of their work in AVID.

Classroom Expectations

  1. Students are required to bring textbook, paper and writing materials to class.

  2. Students are to remain in assigned seats.  Be seated and ready to begin when the bell rings.

  3. Profanity, verbal insults, harassment, ridicule, intimidation are all inappropriate and a violation of school district policy.

  4. Be respectful of other students and the instructor.

  5. Participate in classroom activities and discussion.  Listen and follow directions. Do not engage in private conversations while the instructor or other students are speaking.

  6. Students are expected to use all of class time for class work.

  7. Please treat all materials with respect and do not write on desks.

  8. All AVID students are expected to take responsibility for themselves, their own work and grades.  If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor to get work missed.


AVID students will be assessed with a variety of performance-based assessments.  They will be judged not only on the AVID basics such as a well-organized notebook, participation in tutorials and note-taking, but also according to their performance on timed writings, practice college entrance tests, participation in Socratic Seminars and other activities.  Students are required to develop and present a multi-grade level portfolio at the end of the year representing their work in the AVID program.

Grading for the course will be by percentage of accumulated points.  Daily grades range from 20 to 50 points; major grades will be given for tests, essays, and projects.  These range in value from 100 to 200 points. Grade percentages:

90-100 A

80-89 B

70-79 C

60-69 D


Students are required to attend class regularly and participate in all class activities.  Attendance policies for this class follow school attendance policy as explained in the student handbook.

Late Work

Students who miss class are expected to make up the work missed.  All work missed due to an absence should be made up within one week of returning.  Make up work will not be accepted after the end of the six-week grading period.


Class calendars are available to students on their Canvas accounts (parent access to those calendars are coming in late September).