Closing the Circle Moreno Junior High School, Calexico Unified School DistrictWinter 2006 | Admin | January 21, 2006 at 3:08 pm
Located in Calexico, a rural agricultural community of 40,000 and across the border from Mexicali (population one million), Moreno Junior High enrolls 1260 students in grades 7, 8 and 9. The students are 98% Hispanic with about 80% English Language Learners (ELL). From 75 to 85 percent of students each year are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Of the100 to 150 students who come to Moreno each year as direct immigrants, most enter with very limited English skills. Forty percent of the families are employed in agriculture; 60% qualify for Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).
To establish a college-going culture, Moreno JHS implemented the AVID program in 1993. The high expectations of the AVID teachers were conveyed to the parents and students and led to follow-up of these students in high school. By examining the grades and courses, staff learned the following about high school students who had AVID in middle school:
- Their GPA was higher in high school;
- They took more college preparatory courses; and
- They had higher A-G course completion.
Now the focus is to expand AVID strategies to be used by all teachers.
The teachers push students into honors classes. There are AVID classes in grades 7, 8, 9 and for ELL students. California GEAR UP services impact ALL students and include using AVID strategies.
Regional Coordinator: Shirley A. Cunningham