We believe that all students, particularly those with learning differences, deserve to feel safe and accepted. Edison High School encourages and expects students to practice kindness, respect and tolerance for themselves, as well as others.
Edison High School has three counselors on staff, including an art therapist, who are available to both students and parents. Two are Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and one is a Licensed School Counselor (LSC); all hold Master's degrees. They are highly trained individuals with a small number of students in their care and have significant experience working with the learning differenced population. As a result, our counselors are deeply familiar with the challenges and opportunities regularly faced by our students.
Our director, teachers and counselors have an open door policy, and welcome hearing from our parents and students at any time. As a school community, we engage in purposeful activities that allow students to get to know not only each other, but the staff as well. As a result, Edison students feel comfortable seeking out counselors and teachers for help and advice on a regular basis.
Every Edison student is a member of an Advisory Group that meets daily. The primary purpose of the group is to build a supportive atmosphere in which students can work on organizational, transitional and social issues. In addition, each student has the opportunity to develop strong and constructive relationships with her/his advisor and other students, and gain transitional skills for successful engagement in future academic or employment opportunities.
Advisory Groups consist of a faculty advisor and mixed age students, allowing older students to model behaviors and mentor younger ones. The younger teens learn from older ones that it is okay to talk about their learning differences/disabilities. In Advisory Group, many students begin to understand that they don't have to "hide," or feel shame about, their learning issues or medication; they learn how to accept themselves.
Each afternoon, students meet with their Advisor and other group members to review the day and homework assignments, organizing for the evening's school work and gathering the materials and information that they need. Each Edison student has a standard binder and planner that is used and checked daily. Over time, students develop solid planning and organizational skills that apply to many situations.
We work hard to help our students develop academic skills and increase knowledge in many subjects; social skills are a "subject" known to be a strong predictor of future success. On Fridays, each Advisory Group has curriculum that focuses on the development of social, transitional and self-advocacy skills and attributes that have been proven, through both our experience at Edison and academic research, to not only help students manage their learning difference, but also be successful throughout their lives, professionally and personally. These areas include goal-setting, self-awareness, perseverance, emotional coping strategies, support systems, and proactivity; past Advisory Group topics have also covered active listening, explaining a learning disability, and mindfulness.
On Fridays, the entire Edison community meets in our Community Room for Big Group. A student-led meeting, this gathering is a time when announcements are made about upcoming events, team and club activities, and areas of special interest to our teens. Our Student Council plans and orchestrates the agenda.
On a weekly basis, students who have achieved academically are recognized. On a monthly basis, all teachers award Student of the Month to an outstanding student in each discipline. In addition, school leaders and teachers also occasionally address issues of importance to the health and well-being of community members, such as specific disabilities, campus safety or even suicide awareness and prevention.
Big Group is an opportunity for the whole school to enthusiastically celebrate big accomplishments, recognize efforts and performances in extracurricular events and learn together, offering time for face-to-face contact with the entire Edison community.
By design, Edison's daily schedule has a unique feature built right in: eighth period. Available four times per week, eighth period is a chance for every student to visit teachers in their classrooms to get some extra help.
This support program allows a student who needs a question answered, or who just didn't understand part of a lesson or a homework assignment, to directly follow-up. It also provides another avenue for teens to build collaborative relationships with the adults at school. Eighth period fosters an environment where asking for help and checking in are expected and encouraged, not a reason to feel bad. While the program is voluntary for most students—and many take advantage of it—students with low grades may be required to attend. In addition, parents who are struggling with interactions around homework at home may also require their child to attend.
Edison High School's Counseling Department offers small groups, as well as individual counseling. Groups are built to fit the needs of the current student population. Current and past groups have included:
A hallmark of our school is the frequent communication among the students, staff, parents and other professionals working with our teenagers. At Edison, we:
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