Welcome to the AVATAR Website

October 2014 | Houston, Texas
BY: Mary Harris and Jean Keller

AVATAR (Academic Vertical Alignment Training And Renewal) is a resource for individuals and groups seeking advancement of student learning through alignment of the core curricula of K-12 and higher education.   The AVATAR website provides both general and detailed information about the curriculum alignment process and how it is unfolding in the 20 Educational Service Center (ESC) regions across the State of Texas.

When you enter the AVATAR site, you will find a welcome letter, calendar, contact information, and opportunity to offer feedback.  You will find files that constitute the records of AVATAR, which is now in its fourth year of funding by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Four topics are featured on the AVATAR website as follows.

I. Current Resources for Curriculum Alignment

Look under Resources at the end of the Files menu for compendia of current state and national resources on the following:

II. College Preparatory Courses and Endorsements

College Preparatory Courses, defined as core subject offerings by school districts in collaboration with institutions of higher education, were shaped in Texas with passage of House Bill 5 (HB5) during the 83rd Regular Legislative Session in 2013.  Under College Preparatory Courses, users will find resources on Organization and Administration of these courses, as well as Mathematics courses, English Language Arts courses, and Other Resources.  This latter section includes national resources and approaches of other states that may inform Texas development of College Preparatory Courses and Endorsements.

III. The AVATAR Process

AVATAR operates through a network of regional partnerships that are coordinated at the state level by the North Texas Regional P-16 Council and the University of North Texas.  The Partners and Meetings section of the website presents the membership and minutes of meetings of the project’s organizing groups.  Records from the 2011-12 pilot project carried out in Region 10 and Region 11 appear in Pilot Testing (2011-12). For a complete overview of the AVATAR professional development process, go to Training of Trainers/Statewide Network. Here you will find Partner Agreements, Forms, recently revised Training Modules, Records of Technical Assistance provided by the project, and Documents for Trainers who are typically curriculum leaders from one of the regional ESCs.

IV. Progress of the AVATAR Project Overall and by Region

A folder for each of the regions active in the statewide  network in any given year appears on the website, which currently displays the accomplishments of Region 1, Region 2Region 6, Region 7, Region 9, Region 10, Region 11, Region 12, Region 13, Region 14, Region 15, Region 16, and Region 20.   Evaluations of the project as a whole appear under Evaluations.  Finally, Reports, Presentations, and Publications about AVATAR offers a complete picture of the project’s activities and accomplishments.

You are cordially invited both to use and to contribute to the AVATAR Website!  If you have suggestions or documents that should be included, please send them to us by us by using either the Feedback or the Contact Us sections of the website.