Thoughts on Edison?

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    • #11888 Reply

      I can’t find a lot of information on how people like the school. I’ve inquired about an open house, but never heard back. The reviews on various sites are mixed. I have had heard something about issues with administration. But it’s hard to know what to believe. Does anyone here have experience with the school? What are you impressions? Are there better options and why?

    • #11889 Reply

      We didn’t put Edison on our list. But the schools we did put all had virtual tours before the application period ended. I believe in years past, some schools have open houses when results are released. So hoping that you get the opportunity for that in the next few months!

      • #11890 Reply

        Thank you. What qualities did the schools you did put on your must have that Edison did not?

        • #11892 Reply

          I added the four schools that made the most sense proximity wise. Which also happen to be good ones as well.

    • #11914 Reply

      The Edison principal, Dr. Karen Valentine, is very approachable and responsive but I have encountered issues with the contact form on the website. You can email her directly at

      I can only comment on Edison as the parent of a Kindergartener who went through this unusual pandemic school year. The K teacher, Daneal Silvers, is absolutely phenomenal (google “Daneal Silvers Golden Apple Award”). Parents raved about her before we joined, and this year we could see why. She is super prepared, super kind and at the same time really challenges the kids to be their best. The kids and parents adore her. Math and Literacy are taught in small groups based on the kid’s current level and the level they should achieve (e.g., some of the kids are doing 2nd grade math). So if you feel like your child is the type that may not be challenged enough in a regular classroom, Edison would be a great fit.

      I should mention that Edison was our first choice. Even though we have a good neighborhood school, I wanted my child to be appropriately challenged. I had toured many schools and was very impressed by the students who give the Edison tours: the right mix of confident, humble, interesting and smart.

      We are happy we joined Edison. Let me know if I can answer any other specific questions.

      • #11917 Reply

        Hi RobinInTheRain,

        Thanks for the insights on Edison. It was also our top choice for our incoming kindergartener. Of course, we are still pending SEES scores, but I’d love to hear a bit more about your experience and get answers to some specific questions, given that we have not had an opportunity to tour the school due to Covid.

        Specifically, what are the pros and cons of the small school size? We ranked Edison and Decatur as top 2 choices, based in part on test scores and proximity, but also because I prefer the smaller school size versus RGC/Classicals hosted in bigger neighborhood schools. However, I’ve read that the bigger schools have been better able to/more likely to accommodate in-person learning (i.e. some classes going in-person more than 2 days per week if numbers allow). Has this been your experience? Are there other pros and cons of the small school size?

        What is the level or parent involvement and do kids frequently connect outside of school (say, on weekends?)? I realize this response will be heavily influence by the weird pandemic year. A huge selling point on neighborhood schools is that there is a built-in neighborhood network for both the kids and parents. I’m curious if kids and parents still find ways to connect outside of school when folks are coming from all over the city.

        Does the differentiation for math and literacy continue through 8th grade?

        How do you generally feel this school has done with handling the past year with remote learning and uncertainties with reopening?

        Did you seriously consider/research other RGCs/Classicals, and if so, what did you like more about Edison than others? What did Edison lack that other schools had?

        Thanks in advance!

      • #12454 Reply

        @LSQMom    Sorry for dropping the ball on this. I am just seeing your message since I do not actively check this forum…

        The pros and cons of the small school size were mentioned in later posts, so I will not repeat them here. I will add that when I toured RGCs hosted by other schools, it felt a bit weird how students are being singled out when they are in a gifted class. In fact, the gifted classes are called “options” classes at Bell, not gifted classes, to make them look less different. It didn’t feel fair neither to the gifted center kids, nor to the neighborhood kids, to be considered “different” in their daily interactions outside class. Not sure if that makes any sense. On the positive side, Bell has a theater and many more extracurricular activities that come with a larger school (and I like how the school felt during the tour!). If we weren’t accepted at Edison but were accepted at Bell, we would have been happy to go to Bell. It was our second RGC choice.

        As far as in-person learning, Edison did do 2 days/week starting in the 3rd quarter. I am not familiar with how other schools handled it. Remote learning was excellent because of the exceptional K teacher, and I think my child advanced and learned a lot this year.

        Edison K parents did find ways to connect during the pandemic and to make sure that the kids met and played together on weekends, usually in some neighborhood park. All kids were invited to these get-togethers, and by now, we all know each other. In fact, I think that the parent network is one of the perks of being at Edison (interesting kids, interesting parents). I know what you mean about the pluses of a neighborhood school but we can’t have it all. If it helps at all, I have not had a single moment of regret for choosing Edison and my child still has friends in the neighborhood.

        I don’t know whether the differentiation for math and literacy continues through 8th grade. I know that there is a Math club. Perhaps MomAP can chime in on this.

        “Did you seriously consider/research other RGCs/Classicals, and if so, what did you like more about Edison than others? What did Edison lack that other schools had?” Yes, and I have a bunch of old posts discussing school comparisons based on the many tours I did that I will not repeat here. I will just reiterate that at Edison students gave the tours and how these students behaved was mostly what sold the school for me and my husband (and I know other parents were convinced by the same). They were very impressive in a way that I have not seen at other schools: confident, spirited, humble, quirky and smart. I said to myself that I want my child to grow up to be like them. What Edison is lacking… It’s somewhat harder to think about that now that we’re committed to it. Maybe I should mention that Edison’s new playground project has been going on for longer than initially anticipated but it looks like some progress has been made in the last few months. When I was in your shoes, my deliberations were mostly related to the fact that our neighborhood school is so much more convenient for us 🙂

        Hope that helps some. Best of luck with all the decisions!

        P.S. I agree with what MomAP said.

    • #12173 Reply

      Anyone know if Edison will have an open house before the offer acceptance deadline?

      • #12289 Reply

        My oldest child is at Edison and I have an incoming Kindergartener as well.  The principal said she will be sending an email out to all prospective/accepted students with more info including details on some sort of tour/open house in the next day or so. Hope that helps!

        • #12290 Reply

          Good to hear! Thanks!

    • #12182 Reply

      My daughter received an offer from Edison and happily accepted it. I would also love to find about open house details!

      • #12183 Reply

        My daughter was offered a spot there as well. Will post if I hear anything about an open house.

    • #12257 Reply

      Sounds great. Thank you! 🙂

    • #12291 Reply

      I’m so happy to see some kiddos on here got in!  Obviously, it would be helpful to see what scores and tiers made the cut this year. Thank you!

      • #12299 Reply

        I’m happy to share:

        RGC score: 149

        Tier 4

        Edison was our first choice school.

    • #12303 Reply

      I toured Edison twice. There are pros and cons:


      – The teachers and principal are very caring and passionate (got the same vibe from other CPS schools too).

      – High test scores, on par with Skinner North and Decatur, probably Bell gifted class too (but we can’t clearly see since Bell gifted class scores are averaged with its neighborhood classes).

      – Only one class per grade, probably makes the students more tight knit than other schools with more students per grade.



      – Smaller staff size due to low budget. Since CPS gives funding to school proportional to the number of students, Edison receives the least amount of money since it only has one class per grade, which means the school has fewer staff compared to other schools. When I toured in 2018 and 2019 there were no vice principal and no librarian. When I toured in 2019 the wonderful science teacher left for a new job and was not replaced. To compensate, science was integrated into other classes.

      – Shared school building. The building is shared with a neighborhood middle school with lots of minorities. Only the gym and cafeteria are shared, so the classes and classrooms are not shared. I think the students do mingle in some other school activities such as sports but I’m not sure.

      – Only one class per grade, probably makes the students more tight knit than other schools with more students per grade, but hypothetically if kids don’t get along, they are stuck together. (I haven’t heard this from the parents I talked to at the school, so it’s just a hypothetical situation.) Also, since there are few students, if you want to start a club there might be harder to get people to come. This is again, pure speculation.

      • #12304 Reply

        Just to add to my previous comment, I hear from the parents the principal does a wonderful job doing two people’s job (principal and vice principal). And they also work around the fact that there is no librarian. So they do manage and the kids are happy.

        Ultimately what made me choose Skinner North over Edison is location and school starting time. SN starts at 8:30, and Edison at 7:45 and it’s much further away from my house. But if my child didn’t get into SN I would definitely have chosen Edison.

    • #12330 Reply

      Just received an email from the principal about two virtual open houses – 6/4 and 6/10. So be sure to check your email!

      Would anyone be interested in getting the kids together for a meet up before school starts?

      • #12355 Reply

        I’d love to get my kiddo together with other kids before the start of school. I talked to the Kindergarten teacher and they are going to send the contact list after the  6/11 deadline. I also started a Facebook page for incoming parents. Can’t wait to meet all the new families!

    • #12450 Reply

      There are positives and negatives – I had a kid at Edison.  The teachers are caring and kind, for the most part, and classes are engaging and fast-paced. The building has great staff, and a number of great amenities (the science lab is especially impressive). There’s academic support, as the teachers are motivated to ensure the kids do well. There’s also emotional and social support, with a full time school counselor and a social worker that’s shared with APMA (the neighborhood junior high that shares the building). The kids end up very tightly knit, and work out their differences.  The science teacher is FANTASTIC, and I’m told that the second math teacher (for junior high, I think?) is amazing.  There’s a strong fine arts component to the school, which surprised me, but my kid really loved it. Edison wants your child to succeed. They are going to be very prepared for high school and other academic challenges.

      Most of the issues are the same you’d have in any SEES school. If your child enters in a “non-entry” year, they’re going into a group that’s been together since kindergarten and may find it hard to break into established groups. There’s very little in the way of extracurriculars.    Not a lot of “community” feel, since the kids come from all over the city.   The school has lost a lot of staff, even for CPS – the librarian, the vice principal, the STEM lab teacher, there’s resources that just aren’t used because there’s no staff to run them.  I know the principal does everything she can, but the school just doesn’t get the funding.  Finally, there’s a lot of homework, which may seem like not that big of a deal, but when your kid has been in school all day and comes home with three hours of homework, that’s a LOT of work.  My kid had less homework in her SEHS than she did in 8th grade.

      SEES are high pressure environments.  If your child thrives on structure, clear expectations, engaging and fast-paced instruction, and being held to a very high standard, they’ll thrive there.

    • #12455 Reply

      We declined a 4th grade spot. Good luck to those awaiting a 2nd round offer.

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