Who We Are
WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL? A charter school is a public school whose operation is based on a contract with an authorizer (such as the USOE), and is publicly funded. Charter school laws allow differing degrees of autonomy. The purpose of charter schools is to find new and innovative ways of educating students and to give parents an alternative to the traditional district school setting. Being publicly funded, charter schools do not charge tuition.
WHAT GRADES LEVELS ARE SERVICED? TECS services kindergarten through fifth grade in the traditional elementary setting of a self-contained classroom. For Edison North, grades six through eight comprise the middle school, being serviced on a seven period per day schedule. Edison South’s middle school also includes ninth grade.
HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE SERVICED? Enrollment has steadily grown over the years of the school’s existence, and yet we still enjoy the closeness of a relatively small school. Edison North’s max capacity is sixty students per grade level, equaling a total of 540 openings. Edison South’s max capacity is ninety students per grade level, equaling a total of 900 openings.
WHAT ARE THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STUDENT BODY? Being a school of choice with a reputation of high standards and rigorous curriculum, we tend to attract families dedicated to their children’s education.
History of Thomas Edison Charter Schools
Founded in 2002, Thomas Edison Charter Schools were originally established and patterned after the highly successful Benjamin Franklin Elementary Schools in Mesa, Arizona. The first Ben Franklin Elementary School began in 1978 as part of the Mesa Public School District as a “school of choice.”
The original Thomas Edison Charter School (Edison North in North Logan) first opened its doors in August of 2002, serving just over 200 elementary students. Over the years the school has grown much, adding grade levels, staff, students, and facilities. Having nearly tripled student enrollment, Edison North’s remarkable growth continues to be a testament to its enduring success.
Thomas Edison Charter School South first opened in September of 2005, serving just under 300 students. The Edison South campus started its formation as a result of the Governing Board of Edison North voting to support parents who wished to offer the same choice in quality education at the south end of Cache County. Thereafter the two schools merged to have a single charter and governing board. Now servicing well over 800 K-9 students, Edison South’s growth and influence are enjoyed by all south Cache County communities.
The two Thomas Edison sister schools were among the pioneers of the charter movement in the state of Utah. Using time-tested, proven methods of quality instruction, the program’s reputation is known throughout both the local community and the charter community at large. Click the link below for a more comprehensive review of the history of Thomas Edison Charter Schools.
TECS HISTORY DOCUMENT WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.
Mission, Philosophy and Purpose, Belief Statements, and Goals
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Thomas Edison Charter Schools is to provide all students the fundamental knowledge, tools, and discipline to become successful, reputable citizens in our country and to become high achievers in our ever evolving, demanding, and complex society.
The mission is carried out through a stimulating academic curriculum, focused on elemental skills development, in a structured classroom environment, with strong parental involvement.
STATEMENTS OF BELIEF
- The mission statement drives all teaching and learning.
- Commitment to the mission statement and beliefs directly influences student achievement.
- High expectations for students, teachers and parents guide all facets of the school, from student learning and curriculum, to teaching and learning activities.
- Class work and homework completion enhances academic success and personal development.
- Student achievement rises to meet high expectations.
- Students learn best in a positive, consistent, structured environment.
- The school and parents are partners in education.
PHILOSOPHY AND PURPOSE: The school’s philosophy is to emphasize the teaching of basic skills and knowledge. Its purpose is to:
- Train and discipline the intellect
- Teach skills
- Instill a sense of pride in and respect for self, others, and country
- Equip students with the necessary skills to become decision makers, problem solvers, and lifetime learners
- Prepare students for the outside world by challenging them to compete for achievement of standards in the classroom
- Develop an atmosphere of respect and acceptance
- Coordinate home and school effort in providing a solid education foundation for students
THOMAS EDISON CHARTER SCHOOLS' GOALS ARE TO:
- Ensure the success of all students through implementation of a well-rounded challenging academic program
- Enhance each student’s knowledge and skills in math through concept development, drill, and practice
- Ensure student reading, writing and spelling skills acquisition and mastery through Spalding phonics- based language arts curriculum
- Implement and enhance a traditional history/geography curriculum that emphasizes patriotism and fundamental concepts regarding community, state, and country
- Provide a balanced experience in the areas of music, art, and physical education
- Maintain an in-house Spalding qualified trainer to mentor teaching staff and classroom aides
We encourage parents to get involved and help, whether in the classroom or organizing activities or providing school leadership. Parental involvement is a key to the success of Thomas Edison Charter Schools. All parents or guardians are encouraged to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours per month per family for the school. Parental involvement will:
- Allow teachers to focus more on their teaching instruction by relieving them of some of the everyday secondary tasks required in the classroom,
- Provide parents a feeling of ownership in the school and their children’s education,
- Develop strong parent – teacher relationships that will be effective in enhancing and maximizing the learning experience of every child.
Dr. Glenn Latham, a renowned researcher and former professor at Utah State University, developed philosophies and practices relating to creating an environment in which students will most likely succeed, as outlined in his books Keys to Classroom Management and Behind the Schoohouse Door. Revolving around the five principles of human behavior, Latham purports that students are most likely to succeed in a positive, safe, and structured environment. Thomas Edison teachers receive regular training and consistent feedback on Latham’s theories and practices, ensuring that this culture spreads to all aspects of the program.
One of our fundamental philosophies is that we teach to the top student. Where other programs often teach to the middle or lower achieving students in an effort to not leave them behind, the effect is that top tier students aren’t sufficiently challenged. As we set our standards well above state proficiency guidelines, our students consistently rise to our expectations. We then offer many support services for the select students who aren’t able to keep up. In effect, we teach to the high then accommodate the low, where common practice in the nation’s public schools is to teach to the low and accommodate the high. This application of core philosophy ensures we meet the needs of every student.
Advanced Curriculum and Consistent Instructional Design
Thomas Edison students receive instruction in all state required subject areas. Though we adhere to all state curriculum standards, we view them as minimums. Our teachers are trained and commissioned to hold students to high standards of academic achievement and personal accountability. The Spalding Method is our primary source of English and reading instruction. Saxon is our primary source of mathematics instruction, taught a grade level in advance. The Utah State Core / Common Core are our primary resources of science and history instruction.
If one were to observe a class and then walk to the other side of the school and observe another, they would see near identical instructional environments. They would see direct instruction with all students facing forward, actively engaged in the lesson. They would see students being challenged to apply concepts taught by the teacher, while the teacher and classroom aides scaffold their learning in a supportive role. They would see only applicable classroom decorations, so as to not distract the students in their learning environment. They would see positive, happy teachers encouraging and motivating students to succeed. This consistent application of instructional methods permeates every single class.
The Spalding Method
Romalda Spalding developed her method in the 1940's and 1950's for use in public and private schools by expanding and enhancing the work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, an eminent neurologist and brain specialist in New York. Dr. Orton had developed a way to teach dyslexic children how to read and write.
The Spalding Method is a called “a total language arts” approach to reading because it provides explicit, sequential, multi-sensory instruction in spelling (including phonics and penmanship), composition, and listening/reading comprehension. The program begins in kindergarten by teaching students early phoneme awareness, as well as proper penmanship, writing posture, and early reading. The sequential aspect of the program provides a continuity of language arts improvement and mastery through elementary school and into the secondary grades.
It has been observed that The Spalding Method teaches the analytical skills to children that can be applied to mathematics, science, and music, thereby enhancing their achievement in those areas as well. Teachers in schools throughout the United States and many other countries use The Spalding Method with great success. Click the link below for additional information, supportive research, and testimonials regarding The Spalding Method.
At Thomas Edison we believe in helping children reach their full potential creatively as well as academically. We are pleased to offer an exemplary curriculum in both visual art and music education. All students receive instruction from certified personnel in the areas of music, physical education, art, computers and media library. Students in grades four through nine also have the option of receiving instruction in band and orchestra. Secondary students also participate in various other elective courses such as keyboarding, CTE, and foreign language. In addition, students regularly memorize and recite poetry.
Directors of Instruction & Frequent Professional Development
Thomas Edison’s professional development program is second to none; it is the key to making all these theories and practices a success. We have two administrators, called Directors of Instruction, whose sole job is to help teachers. Educational experts themselves, these two individuals provide regular, consistent, and high quality support to every teacher. Aside from planning and delivering teacher trainings (45 hour Spalding classes, week long new teacher summer training, week long all teacher summer training, in-service training days, faculty meeting trainings, etc.), the Directors of Instruction visit and provide feedback to every teacher on a regular basis. Depending upon the needs and experience of teachers, the Directors of Instruction observe a teacher upwards of once per week. Such regular feedback and being available daily for questions gives teachers the tools for success. This professional development plan along with our unique, rigorous hiring practices leads us to say with confidence that we can guarantee every teacher.
Performance Based Compensation Plan and At-Will Employment
The founders of the Edison program developed a business model compensation plan based on free market principles and personal accountability. Basically, as teachers perform well, they are compensated well. As our hiring practices and professional support are so strong, our superb teachers consistently perform well and are therefore generally compensated better than the traditional setting. This system, fairly unique to public education, is another tool to ensure the quality education of children.
About Thomas Edison
He is probably the most influential man of the modern age. Indeed, some argue that Thomas Edison’s inventions have shaped modern society more than any other. From electricity and light in our homes, to recorded music and movies, much of the technology we use every day originated with Edison. Edison epitomized the American Dream of rags to riches. His ingenuity and hard work took him from humble beginnings to fame and affluence. In all, he earned 1,093 U.S. Patents -- a number still unmatched by anyone. His greatest achievement was bringing us into the age of electricity. Not only did he invent the electric light bulb, but he also developed the power systems to deliver electricity to homes and businesses. His phonograph was the first machine to record and play back sound. And although the telephone wasn’t his invention, Edison made numerous, practical improvements to it. His patents also included the mimeograph, motion-picture cameras and projectors, batteries, X-rays, and methods for making cement. The world’s first industrial research lab was his and became a model for modern industrial innovation. He had many successes. He also had failures. Pianos, phonograph cabinets, and houses built out of cement never caught on. His attempts at iron ore extraction didn’t work out. Yet, he persisted in inventing. “I have not failed,” he said, “I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." That indomitable spirit and love for inventing kept him working into his 80s. At 83, he earned his last patent. And at the time of his death, at 84, he was trying to create a less-expensive rubber made from the goldenrod plant. A few days after his death, Americans paid tribute by simultaneously turning off their lights for one minute in honor of “one of the greatest benefactors of humanity.”