Palos Verdes High School

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CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

Coordinator: Cari Secrist
Room: 410
310-378-8471 Ext. 43710
[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 Ds and Fs 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 2022 - 2023 AVID Recruitment Process: 

Students must apply to be in AVID in their 8th grade year.  Applications are due Friday, February 24th by 11:59PM.  Applicants are carefully considered by a committee to determine if they are a good fit for the program (academic middle, desire 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.



Step 1: AVID Coordinators visit the Middle Schools (Friday, January 20th)


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: 



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. Please fill out this form to receive important updates about the Family Meeting:  LINK TO REQUEST AVID RECRUITMENT INFO / EMAILS   


Attendance at one of the Family Meetings is mandatory:   

Tuesday, January 31st at 6:30PM in the MPR (Palos Verdes High School)

Wednesday, February 8th at 6:30PM in the PAC (Peninsula High School)


Step 3: Submit an AVID Online Application (Due February 24th 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 1st (Wednesday), 9:00-12:20 @ PVIS

March 2nd (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 Cari Secrist [email protected].


AVID Acceptances

Acceptances will be emailed out by the end of April or 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.


Ms Shellie Parkinson has been teaching at PVHS since the school reopened in 2002, which makes it her 22nd year on campus. Before teaching at PVHS, Ms P taught at Raney Intermediate School in Corona-Norco Unified. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Illinois State University in 2000 and finished her Master’s Degree in Instrumental Conducting from Sam Houston State University in 2011. Here at PVHS, she oversees the PVHS Full and String Orchestras, the Jazz Band and the Marching Band. She also teaches Music Theory AP and has an AVID 12 class that she adores. In her “free time”, she enjoys working with the Jazz students at PVIS and conducting the Pit Orchestra for the PVHS Drama Musicals.