Commonly Asked Questions and Answers
The following are some commonly asked questions and answers.
Q: Do parents need to be proficient in Spanish to send a child to Edison?
No. Parents do not need to have proficiency in the Spanish language. School bulletins and homework instructions are sent home in both languages. As you help your children with their homework and listen to them read, you will pick up some Spanish too. About half our families are monolingual English speakers so you will not be alone if you do not speak Spanish in your home.
Q: How can I help with homework if I don’t know Spanish?
Parents can support students at home by making sure that they have the right environment and tools to get homework done (e.g., a quiet space and enough time, paper, dictionaries in both languages, writing utensils, and art supplies such as construction paper, paste, tape, and colored makers). Parents can also ask questions about the homework in the language spoken at home, thus giving the students opportunities to explain the assignment in their first language. Homework is usually reading or math practice or extra time to work on a project begun in the classroom. Children generally have homework buddies that they can call if they need clarification and the Edison PTA publishes a school phone directory to make it easier for parents to contact other families in the classroom if need be. The CREST program also provides an after-school homework club. Bilingual staff are on hand to help children complete their homework successfully.
Q: How do I know if my child is a good fit for an immersion program?
Research has shown that students from a variety of different backgrounds can be successful in dual immersion programs. Students from different ethnic, socioeconomic, and language backgrounds, and with varying academic strengths and needs, have all benefited from dual language education. If your child has special learning needs that make you wonder if this might be an appropriate placement, we’d be happy to talk with you and explore the issues in more depth.
Q: We are applying from out of district, what are our chances of getting in?
Edison is a popular school among residents in SMMUSD and each year we have a waiting list. We do take some students from outside the district generally siblings and children whose parents work in Santa Monica. The number varies from year to year depending on the language balance in the applicant pool. Edison’s overall goal is to enroll approximately equal numbers of children who speak Spanish with native-like ability and children who speak English with native-like ability because that’s the way that dual language programs work best. For more information see the enrollment page on our website.
Q: What happens if our child starts at Edison and then we move to a non-immersion school? Will they be behind?
If your child begins Kindergarten in a dual Immersion program and moves in Kindergarten, First or Second Grade to al all English program, their English reading skills will not be the same as those students who have only been studying in English since most initial literacy in the dual immersion program at Edison is developed in Spanish. Their English skills may lag temporarily in English reading, word knowledge, and spelling while instruction is occurring exclusively in the immersion language (Kindergarten and First Grade). However, after a year or two of instruction in English language arts, this discrepancy disappears. It is important for parents to understand that this lag is temporary and to be expected. But, if you know you are moving in a year or two and there will not be a dual immersion program in your new community, it’s probably best to choose a school with instruction in one language.