For Immediate Release: May 22, 2019

Contact: Rachel Strauch-Nelson, Madison School District, 608-663-1903

Madison’s Wright Middle School has been selected as a National AVID Demonstration School, a distinction given only to the top schools in the country implementing the college prep program. The recognition means that Wright Middle School is a national model for the implementation of AVID and is the only middle school in Wisconsin recognized as a demonstration school.

"We're excited about this designation because it acknowledges a great deal of commitment and hard work by scholars and staff,” said Dr. Angie Hicks, principal of Wright Middle School. “Wright is a community where all are held to high expectations, all feel included, valued, supported and scholars are the central focus. AVID's mission aligns with Wright's mission to ensure that scholars achieve at high levels, develop self-efficacy and become community, college and career ready."

“We are so thrilled for Wright Middle School and the impact this will have on their community of scholars. This partnership is a privilege to be a part of and we congratulate the students and staff on their outstanding accomplishment,” said Michael Johnson, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County.”

“Not only is Wright Middle School’s AVID/TOPS program making a difference for our students, but it is also a national model for success,” Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “Congratulations to the staff and students at Wright and our partners at the Boys & Girls Club who have made this program successful.”

AVID or Advancement Via Individual Determination is a college readiness system that includes an elective course focused on organizational strategies, study skills, critical thinking, tutorial support, and career and college awareness.

In MMSD, AVID is partnered with the Teens of Promise (TOPS) program through the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. TOPS provides full-time student coordinators in each of the four high schools, summer internships, after-school mentors, funding for more than 40 tutors during the elective course, and a variety of college and career field trips.

According to an evaluation of the program released this month, students in AVID/TOPS are enrolling in postsecondary education and earning more advanced placement credits than peers not in the program. Districtwide, 95% of students in AVID/TOPS graduated from high school in four years.

Wright Middle School was selected through an application process, screening, and review, which included several site visits. As part of the process, Wright is recognized with strong student voices, a culture of high expectations, college and career going culture, strong leadership and a culture of belonging.