Mequon-Thiensville School District


What is AVID?

Advancement Via Individualized Determination, or AVID, is a national, nonprofit college readiness system offered to students of all academic levels in grades K-12. AVID's nationally acclaimed College Readiness System equips students with the necessary intellectual skills and behaviors for academic success in rigorous coursework. AVID empowers students with critical thinking skills to navigate the educational landscape through an explicit focus on high expectations. AVID emphasizes the development and refinement of student competence in Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR), the key components of AVID's research-based instructional framework so that students are poised to achieve their future goals and aspirations.

How long has AVID been in MTSD?


In 2011, AVID first started in the Mequon-Thiensville School District with the implementation of the elective course in one section of 9th grade at Homestead High School. In 2014, both middle schools began implementing the elective course in one section of 7th grade. In 2016, all three elementary schools began AVID Elementary implementation in a handful of 4th and 5th grade classrooms. From a strategic, systems-thinking approach, district administration had a vision for an AVID Districtwide, Schoolwide system before AVID expanded beyond the high school. MTSD’s approach to gradually implementing AVID systems over the past ten years has been conducted with purpose and thoughtful planning by district and school leaders.

MTSD's AVID Achievements

  • Homestead High School - Designated as an AVID National Demonstration School in 2017; Revalidation earned in the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Steffen Middle School - Designated as an AVID National Demonstration School in 2020.  Revalidation earned in the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Lake Shore Middle School - Emerging National Demonstration School - Schoolwide Site of Distinction

What are the benefits of being an AVID district?


A 2017 internal audit of the effectiveness of the AVID College Readiness System noted the following positive impacts:

  • AVID Elective students enroll and persist in post-secondary education at a higher rate than their peers.
  • AVID Elective enrollment increases the rate of enrollment in rigorous courses (Advanced Placement), which is critical for college preparation and significantly linked to college persistence.
  • AVID Elective participation ensures students excel through transitions from middle school to high school and from high school to college.
  • In English Language Arts and Mathematics, the rate of increase of milestone attainment over a two-year period is greater for the AVID cohort than the overall grade level.
  • AVID Elective students are achieving desired benchmarks in English Language Arts at a greater rate than they are achieving desired benchmarks in Mathematics.
  • AVID Schoolwide has a positive impact on student engagement as measured by MTSD’s annual student survey.
  • Teachers who participate in two or more years of AVID professional learning exhibit stronger observations ratings related to classroom environment and instruction.
  • Nearly all MTSD staff indicate their teaching methodologies were more effective and student learning was improved after engaging in AVID professional learning opportunities.

AVID Student Testimonials

(Click image to enlarge)

Read comprehensive results (as presented to the MTSD Board of Education at the October 2, 2017 meeting) from the audit below.


"Survive or Thrive? There is
Only One Choice."

Featured AVID Newsletter article written by Steffen Principal, Dr. Deborah Anderson


"Helping Students Achieve Success"
August 2019 Mequon Beacon article by Homestead High School student Bella Magee, Class of 2022