Rusk Middle keeps designation as AVID demonstration school

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Students and staff at Dallas ISD’s Thomas J. Rusk Middle School got the answer they wanted to hear on Thursday, Nov. 30.

After a thorough review, Rusk once again earned a designation as an AVID National Demonstration School. This time, the renewed certification won’t expire for three years, which is the longest time period granted.

The announcement came in a pep rally-type setting, with Rusk cheerleaders and the band setting an exciting tone. Mike Mozingo’s confirmation of the recertification made students and staff in the school auditorium cheer.

“You are a very good school,” said Mozingo, a program manager for AVID in Texas. “To be a National Demonstration School, you have to do AVID very well.”

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and its techniques give students the tools they need to succeed academically. That includes such things as teaching them how to take effective notes in class to learning how to be organized by using a detailed binder for all their schoolwork. The end goal is to make students college-ready. Several Dallas ISD schools offer the AVID program.

Being a National Demonstration School means that Rusk’s program exhibits best practices, and will be an example other schools in the region can visit to see what it takes to implement a high-level AVID program.

Principal Juan Cordoba credited AVID students and staff for putting in the hard work necessary to renew the certification.

Rusk is in its first year as an ACE (Accelerating Campus Excellence) school, a district effort that staffs academically struggling schools with experienced, proven educators and also requires an added commitment from students and parents to strive for excellence.

Cordoba called the AVID recertification a big win, and it is among many others sure to follow.

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