BOISE, Idaho — Boise School District officials are calling themselves the “latest target” of Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin's “indoctrination task force after state representative and co-chair Priscilla Giddings requested about $150,000 worth of public records requests looking into the district’s curriculum."
Two of the main focuses of the requests from Giddings were looking into the district's English Learners Program (ELL) and Advanced Via Individual Determination program, otherwise known as AVID.
AVID has been in the Boise School District for about 15 years and serves as s a college and career readiness class for students.
“Both the AVID program and the ELL program were the focus of attention of the public records request, and we believe the public really ought to know that the focus is on programs that are successfully preparing our students to service all to work in our community. These are programs that are working, and we have the data show that,” Boise School Public Affairs Administrator Dan Hollar said. “We're treating this as any public records request that we receive. We have complied and will make sure that the information is provided to [Rep. Priscilla Giddings] and so we have nothing to hide in that regard.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Giddings, Anna Miller, Mike Nelson, Lorna Mitson and Ryan Spoon were provided the opportunity to review the curricular materials, according to a news release from the district.
Today, Boise School District provided curricular materials to members of the Indoctrination Task Force. Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird), co-chair of the Indoctrination Task Force, requested the materials through a public records request. https://t.co/BtRFqLNI6Q— Boise Public Schools (@BSDEducation) June 22, 2021
This year, the district has its first AVID graduate who will attend an Ivy League school.
“Going into high school, I struggled and AVID taught me that struggling was OK and to struggle well and turn that into success, "Monica Juarez Velasco said.
Juarez Velasco will attend Harvard in the fall and is one of the 1,132 AVID students to have graduated a few weeks ago.
“It gave me redeeming qualities that I didn't have I don't think I would have gotten in...I know I wouldn't have gotten in without the qualities and the people that helped me get there,” Juarez Velasco said.
Another success story from the AVID program and ELL program is Patrick Ngalamulume.
In 2008, his family immigrated here from Zambia and he knew little to no English. So, in 8th grade, he started the English Learners program in the Boise School District.
“I think the biggest thing I took from it was how to interact with Americans and how English is properly utilized,” Ngalamulume said.
He went to Borah High School and was a part of the AVID program there and then he attended the University of Idaho in Moscow for his first year of grad school.
“I didn’t know how college worked, how to do an application and AVID taught me critical thinking skills, how to take notes properly in college, how to talk to people in groups, how to apply for FASFA or the things that other people that had parents who went to college have a leg up on,” Ngalamulume said. “I think AVID and the ELL program are the biggest reasons why I went to college cause I didn’t know anything about college. AVID and the ELL program have played a big role in my success and me pursuing higher education. It all goes back to AVID.”