AIVD designation gives school access to special curriculum

NORTH BAY – Roseland University Prep charter high school has been named an AVID National Demonstration School for providing an academic culture that successfully prepares students for college.

AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, a nonprofit educational organization in San Diego, is a college-readiness system intended to increase the number of students attending four-year colleges.

James Nelson is the executive director of the AVID Center.

“As one of a select group of sites so honored throughout the U.S., your school is in an elite category among the more than 4,400 AVID schools in 45 states, the District of Columbia and 16 countries and U.S. territories,” Mr. Nelson said.

Although AVID serves all students, it focuses on the least-served students in the academic middle. The formula is simple – raise expectations of students and, with the AVID support system in place, they will rise to the challenge.

AVID is an elective course of study designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges.

RUP was the only school to be named an AVID National Demonstration School in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

Amy Jones-Kerr, principal at Roseland University Prep, said the AVID educational concepts are a natural fit at RUP.

The six-year-old prep charter school  is dedicated to preparing all students for college.

Last year more than 90 percent of seniors graduated, and 74 percent were eligible for admission to a University of California or California State University campus.

Ms. Jones Kerr said 66 percent of her students are enrolled in the AVID elective, and the entire RUP faculty uses AVID methodologies in their classrooms.

“It has made a big difference in our students,” she said. “If you are organized and skilled at critical thinking you are going to be better prepared.”

“We’re so proud of our students and our teachers. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, RUP has been awarded this incredible honor to be recognized as a national demonstration school,” she said.

Gail Wright, director of AVID’s Region 1, said RUP is unusual in the community of schools engaged in the AVID program.

“At most schools, about 10 percent of students enroll in the AVID program,” she said. “For RUP to have 66 percent of its student body enrolled in the course and the entire faculty employing AVID techniques is just phenomenal.”

Roseland University Prep is a small college preparatory high school in the Roseland community.

In January 2004, Superintendent Gail Ahlas and Ms. Jones-Kerr started Roseland University Prep, the very first high school in the Roseland School District.

During its first year, RUP was granted WASC interim accreditation, making its courses transferable to colleges and universities. The school was acknowledged for “Empowering the Latino Community by the North Bay Leadership Council” in 2008 for its leadership in “closing the achievement gap in education within the Latino community and promoting an increased number of high school graduates moving on to attend higher education.”

RUP opened in 2004 and has about 350 students in grades 9 through 12.

For the next 2011 school year, the school is expecting 70 new students. This year, the senior class is on track with a 100 percent graduation rate.