Setting Sights for College

By Peter Day
Social Media Advisor
To borrow a few synonyms, one of the newest programs at Lucerne Valley Unified to bring passion, enthusiasm and excitement is AVID.
AVID means Advancement Via Individual Determination, and this year Lucerne Valley students are jumping into the program with zeal. AVID is being implemented at Lucerne Valley Middle School by longtime teacher Naomi “Ms. O” Oyadomari, and Mrs. Linda Schlenz is handling the high school AVID teaching duties.
The AVID program prepares students for college by teaching organization, critical thinking and improved writing and readings skills — all qualities necessary for getting into college and succeeding there, in business and in life. Many of the AVID students will be the first in their families to attend college.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Ms. O teaches AVID curriculum. On Tuesdays and Thursdays several high school students visit the middle school class to help facilitate tutoring sessions. The class divides into four study groups with an older AVID student heading each one. After 30-second introductions in which students discuss a problem they are having difficulty completing, each student goes to a white board to present their problems in depth. Most, Ms. O says, are math-related.
The high school tutors then score the tutorial request forms, known as TRF’s, on how each middle school AVID student presented and solved their particular problem.
“But,” Ms. O says, “this is just one component of AVID.”


Every other Friday, the middle school AVID program hosts a quest speaker. LVHS graduates Madison Redding and Keagan Weiss, who were top students and FFA officers during their high school careers, spoke to the class during winter break from college. Mr. Brigham Welch, the school’s former music teacher who is now teaching at Victor Valley College, also visited the class as a guest speaker.
Besides learning positive study habits and an array of strategies for success, the AVID program is sparking visions of exciting futures for the middle schoolers.
Eighth-grader Paula Woods has her sights set on a career in the health field.
“I kind of want to be a veterinarian, but I don’t like snakes,” she says.
So instead she may go into nursing. Two of her aunts are nurses, and one recently took her enthusiastic niece along to perform volunteer duties at the volunteer clinic where she works.
Lucien Kennedy, a 7th grader, already knows which school he would like to attend. “I want to go to Full Sail University and become a video game designer.”
While college is a long way off, reaping the benefits of the AVID curriculum and approach is happening right now. Liliane Velasco, who already has surpassed the 1,000-point mark on her Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), sees benefits that are making her an even better student.
“I don’t have any confusion anymore,” Liliane says.
Liliane envisions majoring in English at either NYC or UCLA and becoming a book author.
Needless to say, the arrival of AVID at Lucerne Valley schools is making a difference in students’ study habits and preparation for success college and careers, according to Ms. O.
“I see a lot of benefits already.”
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