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Kyrene de las Brisas Students are Ready for the Future with AVID

Posted July 2023


Kyrene de las Brisas Geckos will return to campus on July 19 to hallways and classrooms that are decked out in college pennants, flags, banners, and all manner of collegiate spirit gear. These are the signs of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) in action, and Brisas is celebrating one year of being an AVID school. In 2022, Brisas became the first Kyrene elementary school to implement AVID.

AVID has traditionally been implemented in middle to upper grade levels as students prepare for high school, college and career. At the elementary school level, students’ focus is mainly on learning challenging, age-appropriate habits that will help them be successful in middle school and beyond.

According to Brisas Principal Christie Winkelmann, in the past year, AVID has helped students become organized and, as a result, more capable of achieving success in school. Students’ proficiency in English Language Arts, Math, and Science have increased an average of 10% in just one year. Additionally, Kyrene’s Annual School Quality survey documented that 84% of students feel their teachers set high expectations for all students—a foundation of AVID—and 88% of students said staff and students at Brisas treat one another with respect.

“Implementing AVID schoolwide at Brisas has helped build relational capacity between students and staff,” shared Winkelmann. “We are confident that as we continue to engage our school community in AVID’s best practices that we will build a sustainable AVID college and career readiness system that can support all students in maximizing their potential.”

Several Kyrene School District schools have incorporated AVID for several years, including Kyrene Aprende, Kyrene Centennial and Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle Schools, as well as Kyrene Traditional Academy. Aprende Middle School, which shares a campus with Brisas, was named an AVID National Demonstration school in the 2021-22 school year.

“In our first year, we focused on organizational strategies,” said Brisas Assistant Principal Melissa Taugner. “Each student from preschool through fifth grade had a daily agenda to fill out and a purple folder that they would take from school to home each day. It has been great to see students taking ownership of their binders and recognizing the importance of staying organized.”

During the 2023-24 school year, Brisas will focus on ensuring all students have meaningful access to rigorous instruction by implementing Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading (WICOR) strategies across content areas in classrooms schoolwide.

“As we look to the 2023-2024 school year, we are excited to continue our AVID journey,” said Taugner. “We are going further students’ organizational skills and utilize structured, focused note taking strategies. We are going to dive deeper into rigorous instruction, so all students feel challenged and supported in their learning.”

For more information about Kyrene’s AVID schools, visit