The Edison School of Innovation is another recipient of the A for Arizona Expansion and Innovation Fund Small Learning Communities (SLC) grant and we can’t wait to tell you more! At Love Your School, we’re all about celebrating the unique and innovative options available to families, including these new communities.
Edison School of Innovation is a K-8 STEM-focused charter school in Glendale that serves students and families in the Phoenix valley of Maricopa County.
What inspired this school to launch an SLC? Here’s the story.
Like most schools, the Edison School of Innovation (ESI) found that providing safe, in-person learning experiences with COVID-19 cases on the rise was a challenge that needed to be overcome. Unlike many larger schools, ESI is greatly impacted by a staff shortage when they have to quarantine, which impacts students and families.
Many ESI students either live in poverty, are children of essential workers, Exceptional Student Learners, and English Language Learners (ELL) who have struggled to adjust and keep up with virtual learning. This challenge is only amplified by the lack of in-person learning opportunities for students whose parents work in essential roles and lack the flexibility to adapt to a new educational schedule.
The ESI student population is incredibly diverse, with a majority of ESI students having a Hispanic or African-American background. ESI is also a Title I school that is home to many underserved students, like homeless and Foster youth. ESI recognized that these students are in need of reliable internet access, additional academic support, meals, and a place to learn and grow and sought to create a Small Learning Community that would fill these gaps.
Facing these unique challenges, the Edison School of Innovation was understandably thrilled to learn about an opportunity to address these issues through the Governor’s Educational Emergency Relief fund and A for Arizona.
ESI worked with parents and students in real time to develop SLC that aims to increase the level of learning engagement, improve student behavior, and expand socio-emotional skills. This SLC was based on student needs, parental feedback, and communication from caregivers that stressed the importance of in-person learning options.
Edison School of Innovation’s SLC model will focus on providing interactive learning opportunities away from the screen that will improve the focus, physical, and mental health of students. ESI will also provide increased counseling services for students suffering from trauma due to the lack of learning options for underserved students.
Leveraging research and an inclusive student body, ESI’s main focus will be building a Small Learning Community that will become a meaningful hub for in-person engagement that supports students of all backgrounds.
We continue to be delighted by the innovative and creative spirit of Arizona’s education leaders. Families in Arizona have access to some of the best options and opportunities which are especially needed during these challenging times. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Ducey and A for Arizona to promote these unique and exciting educational opportunities.
Stay tuned for our next school – Vail Unified School District!