MERIDEN — Thomas Edison Middle School is one of 12 schools in the state and 142 in the U.S. to be named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.
The science, technology, engineering and math magnet school operated by Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) serves 6th through 8th grade students in 11 communities, including Meriden, Middletown, Wallingford, Middlefield and Waterbury.
Edison “students are provided with strategies and tools to innovatively problem-solve, so they can become productive citizens who enrich their communities,” Principal Karen Habegger said in an e-mail. “This award reflects all the wonderful programs and opportunities we offer students.”
Habegger explained the school’s challenging curriculum, full engineering program and robust technological supports have resulted in strong standardized test scores.
“We are very excited to celebrate our success with our students, families and staff in the coming weeks,” she said. “This is an award for our entire school.”
ACES Executive Director Thomas Danehy praised the dedication and staff at the school for their work to ensure Edison students receive an “innovative, challenging, engaging and rewarding STEM education.”
“Receiving the National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America is an incredible honor for the students and staff of Thomas Edison Magnet Middle School as well as for the entire ACES community,” Danehy said. “ACES Thomas Edison Magnet Middle School is committed to academic excellence, diversity and educational equity, and innovative curriculum and programming.”
Habegger will be recognized and receive the award on behalf of the school during a ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s 38th National Conference hosted by Clark County School District in Clark County, Nevada in April.
To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America submitted a detailed application that was scored by a panel of educators. The schools are judged and scored on their ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curriculums and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme, according to a statement announcing the award.
Edison offers five Project Lead The Way engineering courses, three mathematics courses, and three science courses supported through a one-to-one laptop program, according to school officials.
The distinction comes at time when Meriden Public Schools is considering whether to extend its five-year contract with ACES to operate the school. The city, which owns the building, is studying taking back the North Broad Street facility as a way to address an expected enrollment bubble in its middle schools. ACES officials recently met with Edison parents about the city’s study and promised to keep them apprised of any decision.
Although ACES hopes to extend its agreement to continue operating the school on North Broad Street, ACES officials told parents it will continue to operate a magnet school in a new location if necessary.
Edison will host a Day of Distinction breakfast at the school Feb. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Edison Community Advisory Council members, elected officials and parents are invited.