|July 1, 2017
Dear Edison Families:
This year, Edison Language Academy begins its 31th year as SMMUSD’s dual immersion elementary school! Edison is a warm and diverse community that focuses on the development of the whole child. Our motto (Together Through Two Languages) is not just a goal, it describes the way our students learn: 1) studying both English and Spanish; 2) using both languages to learn rigorous academic content (integrated with the arts), and a social/emotional curriculum; and 3) learning about the diversity of people from the Americas fostering pride in students’ own identities and respectful appreciation of others.
It is such a privilege to lead this learning community for another year. My roots at Edison are deep, spanning more than two decades as a classroom teacher at Edison, director of school restructuring project, and (for the last 13 years) as Edison’s principal. My own two children are Edison alumni, so I’ve also experienced our district K-12 immersion program as a parent. Before coming to Edison, I was a teacher trainer, curriculum developer, and evaluator in a variety of national education research and demonstration projects, so I appreciate how unique and special Edison is as a learning community.
Edison has a strong 90-10 dual immersion program model. We are part of a well-resourced school district that has supported the program over three decades and consistently made equity a district goal. The school is populated by amazing families who want their children to become bilingual and bicultural in a diverse public school environment -- and actively seek that kind of setting. Our students and alumni are risk-taking, critical thinkers and cooperative learners who become like family to each other over time. They grow into some of the most impressive young people you will ever meet.
And very importantly, Edison is served by stellar teachers and staff committed to both excellence and equity for all children. Their commitment is not only professional, it’s personal. Many have put their own children in the school, and some actually attended Edison as children. Teachers push themselves and support each other in becoming ever more effective educators. In Professional Learning Communities, we continually look at student work, reflect on practice, investigate promising approaches, and refine and improve instruction.
Our steadily rising test scores reflect Edison’s commitment to both equity and excellence. We were thrilled to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence last year and pleased to be recognized again by the Education Results Partnership as an Honor Roll School with a special designation in STEM. These recognitions are all the more notable because both our population and our instructional model are so different from those of schools who usually win these kinds of awards.
Please use the information on our Edison Website (www.edison.smmusd.org ) to stay informed about programs, policies, events, and announcements and review the Parent Handbook. Read the weekly newsletter (El Semanario) and review the Wednesday packets to stay informed. Our Edison PTA also operates a separate website that focuses on school events, parental involvement, and how to support Edison. Please become familiar with that site as well (www.edisonamigos.com ) sign up for weekly email information blasts and Wednesday packets on-line if electronic information works for you.
Finally, our students benefit from some amazing programs and services that we are only able to offer because of donations to the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation and to the Edison PTA. Please consider contributing as generously as you are able to both organizations. The Ed Foundation provides support for our Instructional Assistants, arts programs staff (music, theater, and visual arts), on-line learning programs and technology, and professional development. The Edison PTA funds field trips, assemblies, technology, and additional supplies and materials for classrooms, the library and PE. Your support makes a huge difference in the kinds of opportunities we can offer to Edison students.
Here’s to a wonderful new school year learning together through two languages!
Lori S. Orum, Principal