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A V I D and T O P S Logo.AVID Mission:

AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

What is AVID?

west high avid tops videoAVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is not just another program, it is a research-based school-wide system that prepares all students for college, career, and community readiness. At its heart AVID is a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.  This college readiness program is for elementary through higher education students.  The system accelerates student learning, uses research based methods of instruction and provides meaningful and motivational professional learning.  In MMSD, students can begin the AVID program as early as 7th grade.  When entering high school, students apply to the program and remain in the AVID elective class, with a cohort group of students, all four years of high school.  This college readiness system includes 3 components: 1)  an AVID Elective Course for students in the academic middle in grades 7-12 supporting students in the academic middle  to attend post-secondary education; 2) AVID Schoolwide, which ensures every student has access to key strategies to help them become college, career, and community ready; 3) the highest quality training and resources to support all school staff.  In Madison, we are fortunate to have a strong partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.  The Boys & Girls Club provides financial support to the AVID program through tutors, school supplies, and field trips.  This partnership is integral to the success of the AVID Program.  In Madison, we are not just AVID, we're AVID/TOPS.   TOPS stands for Teens of Promise, a Boys & Girls Club college readiness program.  To find out how you can get involved, go to the Boys & Girls Club website

What is the AVID Elective Class?

The AVID Elective is a class that students can start taking as 7th graders and continue through high school. It is part of the academic day. It:

  • teaches skills and behaviors for academic success
  • provides a positive diverse peer group for students
  • gives students amazing opportunities including: college campus visits, professional internships, guest speakers and community mentors

What is the student profile for the AVID Elective Class?

AVID is designed for students with academic potential, students who are in the academic middle who need a little extra support and encouragement to be successful in higher level courses.  AVID students all have a strong dream of attending a 4 year college and the goal of the program is to get them there. Typically, AVID students have average to high test scores, a 2.0 through a 3.5 grade point average, college potential, and a desire and determination to work hard and study smart. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential.

Additionally, an AVID student is one who meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • First in family to attend college
  • Historically underserved in 4-year colleges
  • Low family socioeconomic status
  • Special circumstances

What is the process to apply to the AVID Elective Class?

Contact West High School AVID Coordinator, Danielle Borneman at 608-204-3076 for information about the application process.

Contact Information

AVID Coordinator: Danielle Borneman, 608-204-3076

AVID Elective Teachers: Coming Soon...

Additional Resources

MMSD AVID/TOPS Webpage (Secondary)

Feeder Pattern Links:

  • MS→ HS
  • HS → All MS in Feeder Pattern

the AVID and TOPS program is modeled on two successful initiatives (A V I D - Advancement Via Individual Determination and T O P S - Teens of Promise) that produce college enrollment rates at over 95%AVID/TOPS In The News!

AVID/TOPS Program increases academic success, emotional support for Madison students featuring West Senior Cerxio Guerrero and West Freshman Shamya Gilmore (Channel 3000) - 4.14.16
MMSD News - West AVID Senior is a Featured Graduate for MMSD - 2.1.16
Youtube Video - West AVID Senior Wins Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Youth Of The Year Award - 1.27.16
Capital Times AVID Story and Channel 3000 Video - Boys & Girls Club of Dane County receives seven-figure grant to boost AVID/TOPS program - 1.19.16
Madison Commons - West AVID Senior Receives Race to Equity Scholarship - 12.30.15
Capital Times Story and Video on WKOW Channel 27 - West AVID Senior Gets $100,000 Scholarship - 8.20.15

West AVID/TOPS Facebook Page

west high school facebook page link

Pictured below, AVID students from West High School volunteering at Global Youth Service Day in April 2015 by making bracelets for Special Olympics Athletes and preparing food for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

students holding supportive banners for special olympics. students working in a kitchen in aprons and hairnets

A V I D Student Spotlight: Jacqueline Zuniga Paiz, age sixteen:From the moment I joined my AVID family I, like many others, have strived to become a role model in school, challenged myself academically and have set my sights on a college degree. A V I D (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a pre-college preparation class offered to middle schoolers and high school students determined to improve their grades to stand up and beyond the standards of various colleges. In AVID Students work together to solve their confusion in difficult classes through inquiry-based tutorials, using the Cornell note taking format, scheduling assignments in planners and maintaining an organized binder. Students in the AVID class also research and visit possible colleges throughout the school year: While  comparing financial aid, costs, majors and college life. Some of the colleges I've visited with my AVID family includes U W Madison, U W Parkside, U W Oshkosh, Edgewood and more. As students get closer to important dates like the A C T / S A T, college applications and internships, AVID teachers will stand alongside their students to help them achieve their goals. Paying close attention to their stress-levels, areas of improvement and interests. A truly priceless opportunity, AVID students are destined to lead and succeed wherever they go and whatever they choose.