AVID is an acronym that stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. In Palo Alto, AVID is an in-school academic support program for grades 7-12 that prepares students for college eligibility and success. AVID is for all students, but it targets those in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard.  These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential.

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Name E-mail Phone Courses
Renee Johnson rjohnson@pausd.org 856-5188 x5425 Teacher English 7, 8, AVID Coordinator
Mary Melnick mmelnick@pausd.org 856-5188 x6676 Teacher Science 7, AVID


Students work on enhancing their study skills with the goal of successfully participating in college preparatory classes and eventually attending a four-year university. Students learn how to advocate for themselves in academic and non-academic situations—to help them gain access to the same educational opportunities that already-successful students receive. Teachers promote personal empowerment and encourage students to feel validated and recognized in school settings.

AVID is a regularly scheduled elective class that will:

  • Teach self-advocacy and self-knowledge.
  • Help students develop academic skills in mathematics, writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading.
  • Help students navigate the process of attending the college or post-secondary option of their choice.
  • Provide academic coaching and tutoring
  • Develop students’ organizational and time management skills
  • Provide a home base for students where they feel comfortable and supported in order to move confidently within multiple learning communities.

If you are interested in the program, contact your student's guidance counselor.