Distributed leadership practice and the AVID site team as a leadership practice community to prepare all students for college readiness and success in a global society: a multiple case study

The primary purpose of this descriptive, multiple case study was to examine the leadership practices of the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID site team at three secondary school sites as it performed the work of fulfilling the mission of AVID to prepare all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Three highly distinguished AVID schools were selected to participate in the study. Qualitative data were gathered via one-on-one interviews with four key site team members from each site, several site team meeting observations at each school and a review of various documents collected from the individual AVID school sites. The research questions were addressed and a rich description of the distributed leadership practices of the AVID site team was developed and analyzed with the support of Hyper RESEARCH tools. Findings indicate leadership practice is distributed, yet even when a strong site team and an excellent program that achieves good results for AVID students is in place, it does not guarantee the demonstration sites will be impacting overall school achievement. The study concluded that in order for the AVID site team to be successful in implementing the 11 Essentials to an institutionalized level, it will most likely require a well-developed community of practice. Attention may also need to be given to how best to distribute the leadership practices needed to achieve full implementation. Recommendations for practice and future research based on the findings are offered.