Award Year: 2016

Edison Elementary School

2402 Virginia Avenue
Santa Monica, CA, 90404-5105

(310) 828-0335

Ms. Lori S. Orum, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School, Choice School

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

School Website


To prepare all students to be bilingual, biliterate and multicultural learners with high levels of academic achievement in all areas.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 3%
  • White: 17%
  • Hispanic: 75%
  • Asian: 3%
  • ELL: 29%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Edison Principal and Mr. Morales' 5th graders near Together Through Two Languages mural. Painted by Martha Ramirez Oropeza.

Edison Principal and Mr. Morales' 5th graders near "Together Through Two Languages" mural. Painted by Martha Ramirez Oropeza.

Thirty years ago, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and community activists partnered to transform a neighborhood school with an overwhelmingly low-income and English learner population from a low-performing, racially-isolated school with seriously declining enrollment to one where children could learn together through two languages. Edison Elementary was converted to Edison Language Academy -- a modified magnet school with all students participating in a 90-10 dual immersion program -- and the transformation began. Today, Edison is enrolled to capacity with long waiting lists for admission and all students learn together in two languages in a rigorous and vibrant curriculum. Through music, art, theater, dance, and cultural events we explore and celebrate the cultures of the Americas. Our curriculum focuses heavily on language development in both English and Spanish and on braiding language instruction with other content ares. Teachers are experts in using language development and second language acquisition instructional strategies, and supporting academic language development in both languages. Social and emotional learning emphasizes building a strong cultural identity, respecting the cultures of others, and developing leadership. Nearly 300 parents have been trained as volunteers and are qualified to help in classrooms and with the school's very active PTA and English Learner Advisory Council. Edison has won multiple California Department of Education Title I Awards for Academic Achievement and recognitions from the Campaign for Business and Educational Excellence. We meet throughout the year in Professional Learning Communities to examine student work and achievement data and fine tune instruction and support services so that we can better meet the needs of ALL learners. Today, the dual immersion program that was launched 30 years ago at Edison, spans three schools and allows students to study in two languages from preschool through 12th grade.