Salem Middle School achieves a national role in preparing students for the future

March 6, 2019, Salem Middle School became part of the two percenters. As in the 2 percent of 5,600 schools worldwide that excel at AVID, or Advancement via Individual Determination, a college readiness system.

“We are excited to welcome Salem Middle School to our family of national demonstration schools and a center for teaching excellence,” said Dr. Kristen Wellman, one of the cadre of AVID national representatives who came to Salem for the day to make the final assessment.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) started using AVID in 1998. Today, 22 schools use the system, which focuses on four pillars of success: systems, leadership, instruction and culture. AVID also emphasizes writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading (WICOR).

“It’s about giving students the tools to succeed,” said Dr. James Smith, principal of Salem Middle School. “What we’re really trying to do is open multiple pathways for them. It’s giving them goals to aim for, it’s teaching them to become independent learners, independent thinkers. It aligns well with the strategic plan in terms of transformational learning and the teaching and learning framework. A lot of the AVID strategies are already embedded and align perfectly with the vision for the school system.”

As an AVID National Demonstration School, and the first middle school in Virginia Beach to achieve the honor, Salem Middle School will now host administrators and teachers from other school districts around the country to learn how to implement the program. Smith is excited about the school’s new, national role.

“Virginia Beach has always been about inviting other schools and sharing best practices. This gives us the opportunity to really showcase our work and learn from other districts.”

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One thought on “Salem Middle School achieves a national role in preparing students for the future

  1. Very proud of the efforts of the leadership and staff at Salem Middle Schools. In Dr. Smith’s words, it’s “jawsome!”

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