I would like to respond to the reviewer who mentions/questions the use of PTA funds for SmartBoards. I am the current Edison PTA president, and have been on the Edison PTA board and involved in the budgeting for years. Most classrooms currently do have SmartBoards through the generosity of parent/community monetary donations. Since SmartBoards are expensive, the cost has been spread out over three years, so Edison PTA can support a variety of beneficial programs simultaneously. The details of that plan and pace have been extensively communicated to the Edison community, via meetings, school email, and the budget feedback and approval process. Nine boards have been purchased and installed to date, in classrooms where the teachers are ready and excited for them. The remaining five or six boards are slated to be purchased and installed in Fall 2014. It's surprising to me that, with the ongoing communication among PTA, parents, teachers and staff, that this reviewer would post a comment on this site, but not inquire with myself or the Edison's principal directly. Glad I at least saw and was able to respond to the comment here! All the best, Jennifer Hastings, Edison PTA president
Unfortunately the principal is lying to everyone and making excuses about funds that the PTA raises. Money was raised for smart boards for every classroom last year. Where are the smart boards? There is either theft or serious misappropriation.
My first and fourth grade daughters are new to Edison this year after transferring from a local charter school. I am so impressed by the school! I We had 100% parent participation at back to school night and the PTA is well-funded and well-run. Both of my daughters have excellent teachers - and both teachers fall on the more traditional side of the teaching spectrum. I thought that this would be difficult for the girls, because the charter school was "project-based", but what I discovered is that the rigor of the program keeps both girls engaged and happy. I really like the new principal - and that is despite the fact that we have been called in to meet with her to deal with a behavioral problem or two. She really has the children's welfare at heart. I really have no complaints.
Having sent two children to Edison I feel like I feel confiednt in speaking to its strengths and weaknesses. Edison is a very good school with some very dedicated teachers. My child had one teacher in particular who was sooo great. Ms. Boese, a third grade teacher, took what felt like a personal interest in making sure our son succeeded. The school also has a very dedicated group of parents and an active and well funded PTA that contributes significant financial and human resources to the school. Less great is the relatively new principal there. She is now in her 2nd year and many find her to be aloof, condescending and inflexible. The previous principal was more available, more interested in listening to parents and much faster to get things done. Some of the teachers also need to go. I'm sure this isn't specific to Edison, but there are some long-tenured teachers there who appear to be coasting and much less interested in adapting to help the students. They basically have a "sink or swim" attitude toward kids who don't respond to the teach methods they've used for the past 100 years.
We are new to the school this year so I can't give it a real rating but I have to say, no matter what, people will have complaints as they do below and some folks will be super excited. Really, it is about your involvement in the school and your childs life. Previously, our child was in the most diverse situation possible and we were of the minority (only white child) and we had a fantastic teacher. We supplemented supplies where needed and made the best of it. We chose to move to a more community and family based area. Edison seems to have it all and there are still complaining parents. Make the best of your situation for your family and especially your child. If you want tons of diversity, then do your research and fine a school with it- if you find too much diversity gives lower test scores, then deal with it. I am horrified that people are constantly complaining about the teachers- they are doing our world a service and we are constantly ridiculing them for what they aren't doing. Start getting involved and enjoy your kids journey. Make it a happy place and embrace the community! So far I see involved parents and excited teachers and faculty!
Teachers don't have the heart to teach, like the old days. They teach the children the rights well before they make sure the children undersatnd their duty toward their families, themselves and the community. That makes it really difficult to teach the children later on. It is a white school and there are 3 male teachers only.
One thing I loved about Edison was that it was walking or biking distance. The neighborhood is wonderful and many families who live in the area also send their kids to Edison. The school consistently earns great test scores, but I believe this has more to do with the neighborhood's socioeconomics than with any particular teaching or school site leadership magic. The school is woefully lacking in diversity in student population, among the teacher ranks and even in school celebrations. The PTA is very active -- which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's great that it raises so much money to supplement the curriculum and classroom activities. But, on the other hand, the September 2010 poster was right on with the "Stepford Wife" comment. I was active in the PTA, but it felt very much like a cabal -- very, very closed to new families.
Edison is a wonderful school and a center for activity in the neighborhood. There is a sizable amount of parent participation in supplementing the curriculum, from PTA sponsored events and activities (fall carnival, multicultural potluck...) to the art docent and garden docent programs to extra monitors at recess. I have trouble understanding the 9/20/10 reviewer's interpretation of the school... I have two kids there and our teachers have been hard working and devoted to the students. As for the parents, the majority of those I know balance work and some degree of volunteering (moms included... I am really baffled by the "stepford wives" remark...?) I should add, some parents may not be able to volunteer at all and that is ok too. There is definitely a feeling about the school and surrounding neighborhood that we all watch out for each other's children... everyone has the kids' education and well-being as a top priority and it just doesn't get any better than that. Edison is a true neighborhood school and the glue that binds our community together.
My family sure has had a different experience than the 9/20/10 reviewer. Edison has been a terrific place for our kids, with outstanding teachers, a dedicated principal, a welcoming environment as a new family, an accepting student culture and lots of parent involvement. Hard to ask for more than that.
Great school for stepford wives. Not great for regular people. I know of two families in the neighborhood who pulled their kids from Edison because of bullying. The PTA is a gaggle of stuck-up stay-at-home moms. The teachers were just okay. The principal should be fired and the office lady is a tyrant. When we moved to a less "excellent" school across town, we were pleasantly surprised at the excellent teachers we found. Our kids were so much happier. Sure, they're not all white, like Edison, and there's a lot of esl bringing the test scores down, but my kids are getting exposed to more multiculturalism and less materialism. Edison has a lot to learn.
My child has been at Edison 4 years and I think it's important for parents to be aware of some 'lacking' areas. The test scores are stressed to the point where teaching isn't always the focus. I have to supplement a lot of teaching at home to catch my son up to speed. Maybe my philosophy on education is just different compared to today's world but I think children should enjoy school. If a child get's benched for running at recess then I think we have missed the point of kids being kids. There is a point where things can be too PC. More hands on learning should be encouraged as well. Anyways, I write my review not to discourage you from Edison but in hope that you will consider other aspects of your child's needs. Having the highest test scores does not imply your child has truly learned the material.
My 8 yo twins started at Edison this fall in 3rd grade. They were at a great school in Oakland and I was really worried that their new school would not measure up, but I had nothing to fear. Edison welcomed us immediately and my kids had a seamless transition. One of my daughters is in speech and they got her going right away and even made up for time that had been lost during her transition. The principal is really involved and actually called my house to give me some positive feedback that she had heard from my daughter's teacher about how well my daughter was adjusting to the new school! My girls say that 3rd grade is the best year ever.
Excellent Neighborhood School. High quality education. Students are encouraged to be respectful of faculty and each other. Good PTA involvement. Homogeneous school, lacking diversity.
Where else can you get kids who like to go to school, parents who actually walk their kids to school and volunteer every week and teachers who actually like their jobs? It's just a feel good place all around. Getting a '10' rating on test scores is icing on the cake!
Great school. Parents a very involved, academics are overalll quite good. Music program is OK. PTA runs a fabulous art docent program. Lots of afterschool enrichment classes are offered through the PTA and Alameda Education Foundation.
Academically this school was very good, but I didn't agree with full days for kindergarteners and haven't seen it in any other districts I've dealt with.
In my opinion, Edison is the best elementary school in Alameda and not just because it has some of the best test scores. It has a unique combination of involved parents (who are not obsessed with their child's level of achievement), warm and caring teachers, community involvement all in a fantastic neighborhood. Of course, if you don't live w/in the Edison boundries it is near impossible to get your kid in.
We have been incredibly pleased with the quality of education provided by Edison's teachers. With one child now in middle school and one currently at Edison, we have personal experience with quite a few of the teachers. The only less-than-optimal teachers we've had are no longer at Edison. Our older child was very well prepared by Edison for middle school. But the best thing about Edison's teachers is that even while holding the students to high standards, they are generally warm and caring people. Ms. Whitman (3rd grade) even attended my daughter's Girl Scout bridging ceremony on a Saturday!
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