Palos Verdes High School

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CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

Coordinator: D.J. HillDane (D.J.) Hill
Room: 401
310-378-8471 Ext. 43701
[email protected]


Advancement Via Individual Determination
Welcome to the PVHS AVID Page! At PVHS, we are passionate about AVID and are always looking for students to join our wonderful AVID team!
AVID is a 4-year high school program for students in the academic middle who want to improve their performance in school through structured support and guidance. AVID is NOT for straight "A" students in middle school or for students who are receiving many D's and F's in Middle School.  It is a 4-year program for students who earned Bs and Cs (and sometimes As) but have the ability, the potential, and the desire to do better with academic coaching and support.  For more information about the AVID program, please scroll towards the bottom of this page past this recruitment/application information. 
Below is a step-by-step walkthrough of the 2021 - 2022 AVID Recruitment Process: 

Students must apply to be in AVID in their 8th grade year.  Applications are due February 27th by 11:59PM and will become available on this page starting February 17th.  Applicants are carefully considered by a committee to determine if they are a good fit for the program (academic middle, desire to to do better and desire to be in the program).  Aspects of the selection process include a student application,  student interview, review of grades, review of iReady scores, teacher recommendations and counselor recommendation.


Below is a summary of the important events pertaining to the 2022 AVID Recruitment of 8th Graders. 


Step 1: AVID Coordinators visit the Middle Schools (Thursday, January 27th)


The AVID Coordinators from both high schools will give an overview of the AVID program to 8th graders.  This presentation is for students who are interested in learning more about AVID and 8th graders who have been identified as a possible good-fit for the program by their counselor or teachers.  This presentation will take place during the school day.  To request to attend this presentation, please fill out this form:  LINK TO REQUEST AVID RECRUITMENT INFO / EMAILS


Step 2: Attend an AVID Family Meeting


AVID Coordinators will thoroughly explain the AVID program to students and their parents.  Parents must attend this meeting if their 8th grader is interested in applying.  Current AVID seniors who have been in the program for 4 years will be present to share their experiences and insights into AVID.  There are two scheduled Family Meetings and both meetings are identical.  Please attend whichever date is better for your schedule regardless of which high school you will be attending next year.  If current COVID guidelines allow, these meetings will be held in person at the locations shown below.  If DPH guidelines do not allow for in-person gatherings, the family meetings will be held virtually.  Please fill out this form to receive important updates about the Family Meeting and a link to the meeting if it will be virtual:  LINK TO REQUEST AVID RECRUITMENT INFO / EMAILS   


Attendance at one of the Family Meetings is mandatory:   

February 16th (Wednesday), 6:30 PM @ Peninsula High School - Kelly Johnson Fieldhouse

February 17th (Thursday), 6:30 PM @ Palos Verdes High School - MPR  


Step 3: Submit an AVID Online Application (Due February 27th by 11:59PM)

A link to the online application will be posted here on February 17th (after the first Family Meeting) and is due on Thursday, February 27th by 11:59PM.  Please do not fill out an application until you have attended one of the Family Meetings and have had an opportunity to learn about AVID.  Please note, each high school has a separate application and students may only apply to one high school’s AVID program. Therefore, you must know which high school you will be attending next year before applying to AVID.






The AVID selection committees will hold interviews with each candidate.  These interviews will take place at school, during the regular school day.

PVHS Interviews - 

March 2nd (Wednesday), 9:00-12:20 @ PVIS

March 3rd (Thursday), 8:30-9:15 @ Ridgecrest  

March 3rd  (Thursday), 10:00-12:25 @ Miraleste  


Out of District Students - 

Parents of students who attend a middle school that is out of the district should email the AVID Coordinator of the high school their child will be attending next year to schedule an interview. AVID Coordinator at Peninsula High School is Mike Spalding [email protected] and AVID Coordinator at Palos Verdes High School is DJ Hill [email protected]


AVID Acceptances

Acceptances will be emailed out by the end of April and possibly sooner.


Did you know?
The average AVID GPA is a 3.5
21% of our students earned a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.8.
10% of those students earned a cumulative GPA of a 4.0 or above

Our goal is for 50% of AVID 11 and AVID 12 to enroll in at least 1 AP class

35% of the Class of 2025 are enrolled in an AP or honors course

47% of the Class of 2024 are enrolled in an AP or honors course

73% of the Class of 2023 are enrolled in an AP or honors course

81% of the Class of 2022 are enrolled in an AP or honors course

Class of 2021:
100% applied to 4-year universities
100% were accepted
100% completed A-G requirements

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)


AVID is a program targeting the academic middle students. It serves approximately 13% of the PVHS student body. The PVHS AVID program recruits 8th grade students with a grade point average (GPA) range of 2.5 to 3.2 who have the desire to attend college with a commitment to work hard. These students have the capability of completing a rigorous curriculum. In middle school, however, they fall short of this potential. 


The AVID program increases rigor by providing a challenging curriculum, teaching study skills, and organization, as well as offering academic support. As a result, students in the PVHS AVID program maintain an average GPA of 3.5.


AVID Curriculum
AVID students are encouraged to enroll in the most rigorous classes. They are given the goal of enrolling in at least 1 honors course by sophomore year and 1 AP course by senior year. In the 2019-2020 academic year, 35% of AVID 9 students are enrolled in at least 1 honors or AP course, while AVID 10 has 47%, AVID 11 has 71% and AVID 12 has 83% enrolled in at least 1 honors or AP course. 


The AVID elective class that meets every other day on the block schedule. The college readiness curriculum is driven by the WICOR method: writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. College test preparation is emphasized in the freshman, sophomore, and junior curriculum. Students prepare for the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and American College Test (ACT) in AVID with the support of outside test preparation companies such as Blue Train Tutoring and Study Hut Tutoring. 


College research is integral to the curriculum. The AVID elective team organizes two college visits per year. These trips are open to all AVID students. The AVID curriculum includes student research and presentations on diverse colleges. The AVID 10 curriculum includes Road Trip Nation, a career exploration program. In addition, the AVID 11 and AVID 12 curriculums focus on preparing college applications, letters of recommendation, writing personal statements/ college entrance essays and researching scholarship opportunities. All AVID 12 students are expected to take either the SAT or ACT as well as submit at least one 4-year university application.


AVID Faculty
One key to a successful AVID program is a site coordinator/teacher who works well with the faculty, the staff, and the tutors. The site coordinator and the AVID elective teachers strive to meet the needs of the students by coordinating AVID methodology school wide, organizing the AVID curriculum and activities, and placing students on a college preparatory curriculum. The AVID elective team guides the students through the college application process.


AVID Tutor
Tutors are essential to the success of the AVID elective class because they aid students accessing rigorous curriculum. 


The tutors (college students and graduates) receive formal training from the AVID District Director. As a result, they are well-qualified and excellent role models for students in the AVID program. The tutors serve as mentors to small groups of students in each AVID class. Through this mentor relationship, the tutor provides one-on-one monitoring and coaching of each student. Additionally, AVID elective teachers and tutors also offer study hall the weekend before semester finals.


AVID Parent
AVID parents support their students by encouraging academic achievement. They participate in site team meetings, as well as maintain regular contact with the elective teachers and the AVID coordinator. AVID family events draw many parents and students to participate.


AVID Site Team
AVID elective teachers, administrators, counselors, content teachers, students, parents, and tutors make up the site team. The site team meets monthly to evaluate and make improvements to the AVID program. Additionally, the team works to ensure annual certification.


AVID Student Support
The AVID elective teacher and counselor monitor the students’ four-year plans, ensuring that every AVID student meets the A-G requirements, are on track for four-year university admittance and complete at least one 4-year university application.


Mr. Hill photoD.J. Hill: Coordinator, AVID Class of 2021
As a Palos Verdes High School alumni himself, Mr. Hill loves teaching at what he views is the best high school in the world. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and History from UC Santa Cruz, and is currently earning his Masters Degree in Educational Technology and Leadership at California State University of Long Beach. Mr. Hill began his teaching career at PV High in 2015, earning the "Rookie Teacher of the Year" award. In the 2017-2018 school year, Mr. Hill was named Teacher of the Year by AVID students. In 2018-2019, he was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the PTSA. In the 2019-2020 school year, he was named AP teacher of the Year by PVHS AP students. 
The 2020-2021 School Year marks Mr. Hill's first year teaching and coordinating the AVID program. He has wanted to a part of the AVID program since he became a teacher, and is so happy to be on a new journey with the class of 2021. When not teaching or coordinating the AVID program, Mr. Hill teaches AP U.S. History, coaches with the boy's varsity soccer team, and is a member of the school's Culturally Relevant Teaching Team(CRT).

Mr Hill's AVID class focuses on college preparation. His goal is to have his students leave the AVID program as graduating seniors with the skills they need to succeed in college and professional life. There is a strong emphasis in note taking, organization, collaboration, comprehension, college test preparation and college exploration. AVID class not only prepares students for college, but also helps them to determine the college that fits them best.

Mr. Hill believes in the AVID program because he has witnessed its effectiveness. “I love teaching AVID because I am able to develop such a close relationship with my students. I have the unique privilege to watch them grow into adults and to support them in making the most important decisions of their lives.”

Tammi Sheridan: Teacher, AVID Class of 2022
[email protected]
Ms. Sheridan has been a part of the PVHS family since 2006. She is a New Jersey native, with a degree from Rutgers University in Spanish and Communications. After college, she and her now husband packed up her Honda Civic and drove across the country in search of new adventures.10 years later, they have built a life in Redondo Beach with their two children. She later earned her Master's degree in Educational Administration from Pepperdine University and also holds an administrative credential. Her first AVID class graduated in 2011 and she still keeps in touch with many of those students. Ms. Sheridan's personal highlights of teaching AVID are seeing everyone's personal and intellectual growth and fostering an open, dynamic and creative learning environment. She believes in tapping into personal strengths to succeed in school and life. "Our PVHS A-Team is second to none and working with the other AVID teachers and tutors energizes and encourages me. We are also great friends and I think it shows in the fun we have going on college trips and creating our fundraisers." You can find Ms. Sheridan chasing her kids around the beach on the weekends and practicing yoga in her free time. Namaste. 

Alex Morales: Teacher, AVID Class of 2019 
[email protected]
No one really knows where he was born? Possibly in Cuba or was it Hollywood? His age is somewhere between 28 and 48. This mystery man is Mr. Morales and the AVID Class of 2015 teacher. Morales is a lifelong learner and has demonstrated this by attending LA Harbor, Culver-Stockton, Long Beach State, Western Oregon, UCLA, and a few other schools. Alex Morales is a father of two beautiful children – a fact that is indisputable. Mr. Morales joined the PVHS staff in 2009 and immediately got involved with AVID. Along with being a family man, Mr. Morales is also devoted to his Spanish classes, coaching baseball, and being a socialite. Mr. Morales enjoys finding teachable moments to share with his AVID students and seeing them excel in their core classes. Mr. Morales is a big believer in education and all the doors that it can open. Mr. Morales uses a holistic approach to learning while he understands that grades and test scores aren’t the end all be all – but does recognize it is the system we have all agreed to play by. Mr. Morales’ AVID class focuses on skills needed to be high school successful and college ready. In conjunction with the AVID staples of Cornell Notes, Tutorials, and WICOR, Mr. Morales likes to incorporate current events, Philosophical Chairs, Socratic Seminar, and Project-Based Learning with his AVID students. Students are also exposed to SAT preparation, from test strategies to direct instruction in Math and English. “Alex Morales is a misunderstood genius. His teachings have provided me with lessons in both life and Spanish,” read a posting online by an anonymous student.

Leanne NemethLeanne Nemeth: Teacher, AVID Class of 2024

Leanne Nemeth graduated from high school in Michigan in the early '90s. There were no dinosaurs present, but the valedictorian had created fire; times were good. Ms. Nemeth attended beauty school concurrently and graduated later that same summer and went on to pass her state board exam for cosmetology. At about 20 she began volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and was paired with a kiddo in elementary school named Amanda. Ms. Nemeth began volunteering in Amanda's classroom and caught the teaching bug. She enrolled in community college part time while working as a hairstylist full time. Meanwhile her boyfriend, a cool cat she met in 7th grade honor's math, graduated from the University of Michigan and relocated to Southern California to work in Aerospace. That summer Ms. Nemeth traveled to Costa Rica for a 3 week Spanish immersion program and decided to move to LA at the end of that year. She rolled into town on New Year's Eve 1997, got a job as a nanny, earned her Associates from Pasadena City College, and transferred to UCLA where she earned her Bachelor's in General Math, (2005) and a Master's of Education (2006). She's been teaching at PVHS since 2007 in the math department. This is her first year teaching AVID and distance learning. Ms. Nemeth got married the August of 2000 and became a family of three in the Spring of 2012.