The news was likely met with expressions of joy in two languages.
Edison Language Academy was named a National Blue Ribbon School last week, an honor bestowed upon 279 public schools and 50 private institutions across the country this year.
Recognition for the local dual-immersion elementary school comes as the Santa Monica-Malibu school district attempts to close achievement gaps across the district, where officials believe demographic and socioeconomic factors are too predictive of scholastic success.
At Edison, where students learn to read, write and speak both English and Spanish, state test scores over the last decade point to progress on the push towards improved equity and access for students of all backgrounds.
“Edison is a great example of a school where the principal, teachers, staff and parents all work together toward student success and closing the achievement gap,” interim SMMUSD co-superintendent Sylvia Rousseau said in a press release. “We are proud that they have been recognized nationally as an exemplary school while serving as a great model within SMMUSD as we implement our Equity through Excellence plan across all schools.”
Edison was one of six schools in Los Angeles County to receive the honor, joining Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, Kipp Los Angeles College Preparatory, Wonderland Avenue Elementary, Point Vicente Elementary and San Jose Charter Academy. Twenty-nine schools in the state were recognized this year.
“This recognition for California is a testament to the hard work of our educators, administrators, and communities to prepare our students for both 21st century careers and college,” Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction, said in a press release. “We are making progress, but we must keep our momentum going because we have much work to do.”
Edison joins an elite group of fewer than 8,500 schools across the country with the Blue Ribbon distinction. The award coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Virginia Avenue school’s dual-immersion language program.
Edison, which completed a comprehensive application after being nominated by state education officials, will be recognized during a November ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“What we have accomplished at Edison takes artful, skillful teaching and a focused and collaborative effort by all teachers and staff,” school principal Lori Orum said in a press release. “While we work really hard at academic growth in two languages and all subjects, we also provide an enriched arts program, build awareness of and respect for the cultures of the Americas, intentionally teach students to be bridge builders, focus on social and emotional development, and offer parents meaningful opportunities for involvement. We are so fortunate to have a school district that has provided resources and steady support for our program for 30 years.”
Edison is now one of three Blue Ribbon schools in the district. Will Rogers Learning Community was recognized in 1996-97, and Lincoln Middle School earned the distinction in 1999-2000.