As part of its unique approach, Edison offers its students engaging learning opportunities called Edison Excursions. On these unique educational trips, small groups of students and teachers travel to outside destinations, where they immerse themselves in an environment or an experience, exploring outside the classroom and across the curriculum. The groups also stay over for one or two nights, providing time for bonding and social activities.
Each excursion gives students the chance to discover what makes the Pacific Northwest unique. Activities during the trips may focus on science, geography, geology, marine science, history, drama and higher learning; they also meet the varying needs of students with audio, visual and kinesthetic learning styles.
Past excursions have included:
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University
- Oregon Coast
- Nehalem Bay and Tillamook
- Oregon Coast Aquarium
- Oregon Dunes
- Columbia River Gorge
- Central Oregon
- High Desert Museum
- Lava Butte
- Twin Lakes
- Newberry Crater
- Seattle Center for Wooden Boats
Service learning encourages the development of empathy, problem-solving skills, self-discipline and social skills. We want service learning to be a vehicle for our students to develop as citizens, experience a sense of social responsibility, recognize that young adults can make a difference in their communities and learn how their actions affect others. It also provides our teens with valuable understanding of real-world issues, while helping them access leadership opportunities and work experience, all of which will serve them well in their years after Edison. By volunteering in the community, they learn firsthand the importance of good citizenship—and giving back.
Edison students commit to contributing a number of service learning hours each year: 15 hours for new students and 20 hours for returning students, for which they receive school credit. Students choose their own areas of service, and submit a paper or PowerPoint presentation reflecting on the experience.
A limit of 10 hours of service learning each year may be gained from Edison High School events, including:
- Link Crew – 6 hours
- Edison Breakfast – 2 hours
- Edison Auction – 4 hours
All remaining hours are served through community organizations, self-selected by the student. There are many opportunities throughout the Portland metro area. Families are encouraged to assist their student or join with them for their service learning projects. Students have volunteered at the following organizations in the past, among many others:
Habitat for Humanity
Hands on Portland
Oregon Food Bank
Portland Rescue Mission
Ronald McDonald House
Developing the Whole Person
Engaging in sports or recreational activites, finding a like-minded group of fellow students or exploring a new activity or idea can help define the teenage years and lifelong interests. Extracurriculars keep school in perspective and students connected to the academic environment. For students with learning disabilities, activities can provide a much-needed outlet for physical activity, help reduce stress and showcase an area of strength and pride. Social and extracurricular opportunities help develop well-rounded individuals.
Teens with learning differences are still teens! Having fun and finding out who you are and what you like is an important part of high school. Edison High School offers opportunities for social interaction through on-campus activities; our students also have access to the full range of Jesuit High School's extracurricular activities.
Edison Clubs & Activities
- Edison Student Council
- Ultimate frisbee
- Teen CYO basketball team
All Jesuit teams are open to Edison High School students. We especially encourage our students to try cross country, football, swimming and track as these sports have a no-cut policy. All Jesuit coaches strive to make their specific sport a positive experience, regardless of the student's abilities.
Jesuit Clubs, Drama, Theater & Social Events
Because we are located on the Jesuit High School campus, Edison students are welcome to attend all Jesuit High School dances, plays and sporting events. Our students may participate in Jesuit's music and drama programs, as well as join the wide variety of Jesuit clubs and sports.
Access to Cafeteria and Library
All Edison students are welcome to use the Jesuit cafeteria, where they can purchase hot lunch and/or eat lunch with friends from either school, and the library facilities, which are open daily.
A Positive Community, A Sense of Belonging
The environment at Edison is welcoming—it is evident that Edison students feel at home here. Walk down the stairs into the hallway by the Community Room and feel the energy with which our students, a diverse and enthusiastic bunch, greet the day and their peers. Read the walls and bulletin boards and you will learn that inclusiveness is a core value of the school. Notice the warm conversations and connections between the staff and the teenagers; a sense of humor abounds. You know you've come to a special place!
Everything we do at Edison is possible because of the cooperative, supportive partnerships among parents, students and staff. More than a school community, our common purpose unites us into the "Edison Village." It is gratifying to see the changes that occur within families of students as a result of this intentional environment. As students accept responsibility for their own learning, parents are relieved to find that they can simply "be parents" again; able to enjoy their kids and focus on their special qualities. Students learn to not only cope with their learning difference, but also to truly thrive in school and in life.
Edison High School's environment is fostered by:
- A low student-teacher ratio (currently about nine students for each teacher)
- Positive relationships among the students, teachers and counselors
- Unique educational approaches specific to students with learning differences/disabilities
- Access to an extensive array of extracurricular activities, clubs and social events
- Community-building activities
Edison High School faculty and staff plan activities with purpose. These activities are intended to familiarize students with the school, engage them for ease of transition, create bonds among our teens and develop strong, supportive relationships with teachers and counselors. When students are familiar with an environment and feel connected, barriers to success are removed. When they know that the adults around them are available, approachable and willing to help, they are more likely to reach out when assistance or advice is needed.
Examples of Community-Building Activities
- "Transitions Tools" orientation class for all incoming freshman
- Takes place the week prior to school starting
- Teaches high school readiness topics geared to students with learning differences
- Introduces Edison technology tools
- Incorporates fun getting-to-know-you activities for the class
- New Student & Family Potluck Dessert
- Orientation Week for the whole school during the first week of school
- All-school activities, such as Field Day, take the place of electives for the first week
In addition to our efforts to intentionally build a tight-knit community, Edision High School engages in a variety of programs that help our students become academically successful, well-rounded individuals and responsible members of society.
If you are an alumni of Edison High School or The Tree of Learning, we'd love to hear from you. Please fill out the form below to update us on where you are and what you have been up to.