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College Prep Efforts At Millikan, Robinson Now National Models

Robinson Academy and Millikan High School were recently named National Demonstration Schools by a visiting validation team representing the Advancement Via Individual Determination college readiness center. Evaluators noted rigorous and challenging curriculum in all classes, and a college-going culture that permeates the entire school at both Robinson and Millikan. "The students are the center of every program, and AVID is a cornerstone of their schoolwide initiatives," evaluators wrote about Robinson, where college posters, banners and pennants are a common sight. Robinson students "have hope and vision for college-bound opportunities and are able to articulate why they are in the program and why they want to stay with it," the reviewers added. "Students appear to be respectful of each other, their teachers and the learning process," noted Millikan evaluators. "There is a seriousness of purpose in all the classes we visited and ample indication that there are high expectations held for teaching and learning." Millikan was praised for effective tutorials that are led by well-trained college tutors, many of whom are Millikan graduates. The school also was noted for its training, or staff development, and for its "strong, passionate and committed elective teachers who work together with content area teachers and administrators to support AVID schoolwide." Millikan is one of only 85 high schools nationwide to earn this distinction. AVID is an in-school academic support program that prepares students for college eligibility and success. AVID classes are offered to third through twelfth grade students who want to be challenged academically and do what’s necessary to go on to post-secondary education. The elective AVID classes emphasize writing, inquiry and collaboration. Currently there are 110 AVID National Demonstration Schools in the U.S. AVID helps underrepresented students to become accepted into the University of California and California State University systems. More than 80 percent of AVID students complete the "A through G" college prep curriculum required for admission to the state university systems, compared to 35 percent of students statewide. Passage rates on the California High School Exit Exam also are significantly higher for AVID students. Colin Powell Academy was named an AVID National Demonstration School last school year. Powell was the first K-8 school in the nation to be declared a Demonstration School. Also previously named as a National Demonstration School was Marshall Middle School.