PHS college-bound program best in Europe
June 1, 2011
STUTTGART, Germany -- The Patch High School Advancement Via Individual Determination program for college-bound students once again earned a top national ranking during its biannual AVID recertification April 25.
“AVID certification takes place every two years and Patch High School was re-certified at a Level 3 school [highest level] which places us as a National Demonstration School. We are currently the only school in DODDS Europe with this rating,” said Claire Dickmeyer, Patch High School AVID coordinator.
The AVID program began in 1990 to help bridge the gap for students in the academic middle who are committed to meeting college entrance requirements. In the Stuttgart military community, it is offered as an elective to all students who are making average grades and aspire to go to college.
This year, there are 70 students in the AVID program, with 85 registered for next year, said Dickmeyer, who has been an AVID coordinator for 12 years. “All AVID students graduating [have been] accepted to a university,” she added.
The AVID ranking is a high honor for PHS.
“Only 3 percent of 4,500 schools [worldwide] achieve National Demonstration School status,” Dickmeyer said. “My students, like the name of the program, are determined to succeed.”
The AVID classes are a mixed group of students in grades nine through 12, supported by a staff of student tutors, and tutor assistants. Parents are also part of the AVID family.
Jonas Jones, a PHS senior, started as an AVID student in 2009 to strengthen his organization and leadership skills. Jones had a 3.4 grade point average and attributes his current 4.0-plus GPA to AVID.
“I went from a messy backpack to an organized binder,” said Jones, an AVID student physics tutor. “Now, I keep doing the right thing at the right time.”
On May 19, it was Cultural Day in the AVID classroom, designed to give students the opportunity to educate their peers on the cultures of other countries.
Wayland Owsley and Mardi Adinkrah, both freshmen, studied South Korea. For their presentation, they cooked a stir-fried vegetable dish that gave classmates a taste of the region.
Jacob Abraham, sophomore, and Lane Warchol, senior, gave a presentation on the culture and history of Israel. They shared artifacts and prepared blintzes: thin crepe-style pancakes.
Parent Tamyla Abraham attended Cultural Day and stepped in to support the Israel team by mixing the blintz batter and flipping them. Before moving to Stuttgart, Abraham had never heard of the AVID program before, but is pleased that her children have the benefit of enrolling.
“Education is very important … and my first thought about AVID is how my children would benefit from learning organizational skills,” she said.
Those in other school systems can visit and observe Patch High School’s AVID model, now the singular National Demonstration School in Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe, something Dickmeyer attributes to the students involved.
“The dedication and desire of the AVID students at Patch High School is unparalleled. The students here are successful as a result of their own determination and their own longing for success in high school, college and eventually, in the professional world,” she said.