"The great thing in this world is not so much where we are but in which direction we are moving."
Foster the growth and development of student-centered exhibitions that link students to powerful and valuable resources beyond the classroom.
To produce confident, enthusiastic and self–regulating learners through carefully planned, student-centered team instruction.
- Encourage the development of problem-based or inquiry learning
- Promote higher order thinking skills
- Ensure skill mastery through meaningful projects
- Build positive character through accountability and responsibility
- Integrate technology that will facilitate and advance learning
- Enroll more Focus students in IB or challenging courses as 10th graders
- Sustain gains or success on all end of course SOL assessments
The Focus Program is a ninth grade team teaching academic skills-based program designed to help students make the successful transition from middle to high school. Two teams of teachers, one from each content area (English, Social Studies, Science, Math) plan and integrate project-based learning opportunities, content enhancement activities and reading initiatives with technology serving frequently as the major impetus.
Edison High School's now retired principal, Luke Fennell,
believed in seizing opportunities, accepting challenges, and
working hard to achieve results. As a result of this philosophy,
Edison launched the Focus 2000 program as a pilot for one
hundred rising ninth grade students during the 1999-2000 school
year. The McGettigan Foundation, founder Pat McGettigan, awarded
Edison an educational grant to provide state of the art wireless
mobile laptops, SmartBoard Technology, and other curricular
support materials for all the Focus classrooms and teachers.
One of the program's original goals was to focus on technology
as an enhancing and powerful learning tool to motivate students
to explore further learning.
The Focus 2000 pilot program proved very successful as measured
by positive gains on all ninth grade SOLs. Thus, as a result
of these sustained positive results, the Focus Program became
a permanent entity at Edison, enrolling approximately 200
ninth graders. Further, the name of the program changed from
Focus 2000 to Focus 2004, signifying the first graduating
class required to earn a specified number of verified units
of credit to graduate. Lastly, as the program's success and
enrollment increased, so did the aim of the program with the
motto, "A Greater Focus...Stronger Purpose...Higher Calling"
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a course designed to give all Focus students additional
time with content teachers. The emphasis is on reinforcing
SOL content objectives and advancing critical reading, writing
and thinking skills. The latter is necessary for success in
all IB courses offered at Edison. It is our hope that all
Focus students enroll in one or more IB courses in their high
school career. Success Prep equips the student with the necessary
skills to succeed in higher level courses.
Students are chosen to
be in the program based on counselor, parent or teacher recommendations.
They must demonstrate average aptitude or success and a willingness
to learn more advanced or critical skills needed to possibly
matriculate or enroll in challenging courses throughout high
Students take two academic
content classes per semester. For example, Student A would
enroll in Social Studies and English first semester and take
Science and Math second semester or vice versa. Electives
are Foreign Languages, Art, Physical Education/Health, ROTC,
Band, Chorus, etc. Electives alternate on an A/B or Day 1/Day
2 basis meaning Student A on Day 1 would have ROTC but on
Day 2, Success Prep.
Yes. Upon successful completion
of Success Prep, a student earns one elective credit.
Through the implementation of several
engaging, student-centered activities for all ability levels,
the Focus Program is committed to meeting students where they
are. Also, students have extensive exposure and practice with
SmartBoard and mobile wireless laptop technology using PowerPoint,
Excel, Inspiration, Publisher, BlackBoard and Word computer
with You (Character Development)
Your Mind (Reading for Power)
Exploration (Technology Integration)
Together (Project-Based Learning)
Adding to Your
Toolbox (Academic Skills Development)
Show Time (Student