What is AVID?

AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination”.  It is an ACADEMIC ELECTIVE designed to both prepare (ensure that each AVID student enrolls in the required “a-g” course work and takes the tests for college acceptance) and ready (teach and instill in each AVID student  the necessary academic and social skills) to maintain enrollment at the university/college. There are current 334 AVID students.

Each AVID student is encouraged to take the most rigorous courses possible. Fortunately, the AVID program is designed to allow the AVID student time to collaborate with peers enrolled in the same course(s) in order to achieve mastery of the most challenging course concepts.  In addition, the AVID student will earn a “g” elective so long as he/she has been enrolled in AVID for a minimum of three years with two years being the junior and senior year.

Two of the unique outcomes of the AVID program for the AVID student are 1) the AVID student will have an exit plan from high school specifically tailored to the student’s personal and academic needs (university, community college, military) AND 2) AVID teachers work to instill in AVID students the ability to advocate for themselves. Often, a barrier to student success is the inability of students to advocate, or speak up for themselves. Teachers work with AVID students to advocate for themselves by teaching the AVID student to meet with their academic teachers about academic lessons and homework assignments. As a parent you can encourage your student to speak up and advocate for themselves in a timely and respectful manner.

Additionally, the AVID student assumes responsibility for his own learning and learns that advancing to college (post-secondary learning) after high school graduation is a process rather than automatic.  Therefore, other benefits afforded to the AVID student include: becoming aware of all the steps necessary to be admitted to a university/community college which include:  the actual applications, the various placement tests for each college system such as the PSAT, SAT, ACT, EAP, ELM, EPT, Analytical Writing Exam, and Accupacer, the difference between the two  public California  university systems (UC and CSU) as well as other California and out-of-state universities and California Community Colleges, the specific university admission personal statements, exploring majors/careers, applying for scholarships and other forms of financial aid, gain an understanding of technology, and learn to balance academics and extracurricular activities.

It is for these reasons that the path to post-secondary learning is much less time consuming, challenging, and frustrating for the student who remains in the AVID program throughout high school.

Who is an AVID Student?

AVID is designed for students who have the individual drive to do what is necessary to be prepared and ready for a four-year university upon graduation.  The AVID student must remain “on-track” in the “a-g” courses and have at least a “C” average.  Other criteria include but not inclusive are:  first generation in their family to attend college, historically “least served” in four-year colleges/universities, low income, and special circumstances.  AVID is a year-long elective, but to maximize the program’s benefit students should stay in AVID for the four-years of high school.  Statistics show that students who begin AVID in middle school and stay in AVID throughout high school are more likely to complete college-entrance requirements and be admitted to a four-year university.  Students can be recruited by the AVID site staff, recommended by teachers or other site staff, individual student referral, or by parent/guardian request.

History of the Montgomery High School AVID Program

The Montgomery High School AVID Program began in the Fall of 1986 and became a Certified AVID school in Spring of 1988.  It has been an AVID Certified site since that time.  There are currently 330 AVID students enrolled in grades 9-12.  The Montgomery High School and its feeder middle school, Montgomery Middle, have a strong articulation relationship.

For more information on AVID visit:  www.avid.org
For research on AVID’s effectiveness visit:  https://www.avid.org/res_research.html

Montgomery High School AVID Program Staff

Ms. Nancy Schmerbauch

AVID Coordinator/Head Counselor


Ms. Tala Kosa

AVID Senior and AVID Junior Seminar Teacher/AP US Government Teacher


Ms. Allison Scott

AVID Junior Seminar Teacher/Integrated Math I and Integrated Math II Teacher


Mr. Colton Titmas

AVID 10 Teacher/Integrated Math I Teacher


Ms. Leslie Milholland

AVID 9 Teacher/English 11 Teacher