Who Does Edison Serve?
Edison High School is dedicated to meeting the unique educational needs of teens with learning disabilities/differences. Edison High School serves academically-capable students who have learning differences or learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, inattentive and combined types), SLD Reading (including dyslexia), SLD Writing (including dysgraphia), SLD Math (including dyscalculia), executive functioning challenges, and language, auditory, visual and nonverbal learning disorders.
A significant number of our students have ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive, or combined), which may impair their ability to learn. A majority of our students struggle with executive functioning skills (organizing, prioritizing, sequencing, processing, task initiation/completion). Many of our students have some form of dyslexia, which can also affect math (dyscalculia), handwriting (dysgraphia), listening (receptive language problem) and the processing of verbal instructions or information (central auditory processing problem). In addition to these learning differences, some of our students also experience anxiety disorders and syndromes, such as Tourette’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
All of our students have difficulty with learning, and many have not been successful in a regular school environment; we receive referrals from parents, schools, counselors, tutors, and medical professionals.
The IQs of our students range from low average to high average, and we select those individuals who best fit our admission profile. Students who fit our profile are willing to follow school rules and engage in classwork and homework assignments. Each student and family are interviewed prior to admission and evaluated by staff to ensure a good match.
Edison High School is unable to serve students whose primary difficulty is emotional, behavioral or psychological.
Learning Requirements Understood, Edison Students Thrive
Too often, students with learning differences (LD) are perceived as lazy, undisciplined or unintelligent, when the truth is that they simply have different learning requirements. The self-esteem and motivation of these teens can suffer as teachers, classmates or even family members focus on their failures, rather than on their efforts to deal with their learning differences.
With our small classroom size and a teaching team that focuses on each individual, Edison High School students do more than simply learn to cope with their learning differences. They learn the academic skills, social skills, and self-advocacy necessary to thrive in school and in adulthood. At Edison, we:
- Educate the student about their learning style
- Use positive reinforcement as an effective tool
- Invest students with responsibility and encourage self-advocacy
- Teach basic relationship skills and classroom deportment
- Provide students with frequent feedback
- Offer physical outlets for students through elective courses
- Regulate medication to be taken at school
- Actively solicit student input on activities and methods
An important, twenty-year longitudinal study identified six key factors* that differentiate successful LD students from unsuccessful LD students. They are: goal setting, self-awareness, perseverance, emotional coping strategies, support systems and proactivity. The study determined that these characteristics "may have a greater influence on success than even such factors as academic achievement, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and even intelligence quotient (IQ)."
We actively work on all of these areas throughout the four years that students attend Edison. Our students—and their parents—have experienced firsthand the difference that Edison makes. We are proud that the vast majority of our students receive their diplomas, and most choose to continue their education at a community college, trade school or a four-year college.
We are even prouder of the fact that these young men and women come to see themselves as successful, worthwhile people, fully capable of accomplishing their goals despite their learning differences.
Students & Parents: In Their Own Words
We've included a few, of what are many, quotes from students and parents about their Edison experience.
"It's probably been said so many times before, but I am compelled to say it again. Thank God for you and the [Edison] staff! Life just keeps getting better for S. and our family as whole! S. is finally feeling successful. She is maturing socially and academically. She loves her school, her teachers and her new friends. You said that you have no magic key, but you were wrong. Your magic key is commitment to the success of all the kids. You've found a way to help all the kids feel successful and, consequently, they will keep trying. Please let your staff know how much we appreciate their dedication, commitment and hard work. They are an awesome group of people. Blessings to you all."
"Enrolling my son at Edison gave me permission to appreciate and enjoy him. He is so much more than a boy with learning disabilities. He is kind, caring, sensitive and fun. I was so focused on his learning problems and failure at school before he entered Edison, I wasn't able to see all the neat things about him. He is a wonderful kid."
"After they tested J. in public school, the psychologist for the school district told us he would be a D student. "Well, Ms. R., someone has to be the D student." I told her that this was unacceptable. Well, I wish they could see him now. He has a 3.6 GPA, he loves school and he knows he is smart and capable. If I have to get on my hands and knees and scrub floors to keep him at Edison, I will. His counselor sees what a difference this has made in J. He is no longer constantly frustrated. Edison makes a difference for J., but also for everyone in J.'s life who cares about him."
"They told us that our son would never achieve in school, that he wouldn't amount to anything. He is a straight-A student at Edison, accomplished his Eagle Scout Award (the highest award in Scouting), holds a job and is an honest hard-working teenager. We are so proud of him."