Expanded Learning Opportunities: summer learning, after-school, extended day and year programs
"Expanded Learning Opportunities" (ELOs) is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of initiatives to provide students structured opportunities for academic support and enrichment; extra-curricular activities; mentoring; recreation; character education; and other developmental activities. Ideally, ELOs ensure access to a diverse array of content-rich, high-quality opportunities and expand the time that students are engaged in learning.
ELOs include before-and after-school programs; Saturday, weekend, and summer programs; and extended day/year initiatives.
- Before- and after-school programs: School or community-based programs that occur before the school day begins and from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. on weekday afternoons. They may offer a range of diverse programming including academic support, homework help, mentoring, field trips, physical education, and arts and cultural enrichment.
- Saturday and weekend programs: These programs offer the potential to engage students and families whose work-related commitments constrain their ability to participate in programs during the school week. Weekend programming may include service learning projects, internships, ESL courses, parent literacy programs, and family-oriented activities.
- Summer programs fall into two major categories:
- School-based remediation and credit-recovery programs that provide supplemental instruction and supports for students not performing at grade level. In some instances, participation in these programs is mandatory and tied to matriculation to the next grade level or to graduation.
- Extracurricular, recreational, and enrichment programs (which may also offer an academic component) offered by schools, community-based providers, youth-serving organizations, and for-profit companies. Participation in these programs is typically voluntary and often fee-based.
- Extended day/year initiatives: Such initiatives explicitly modify the traditional school calendar by adding time to the school day, lengthening the school year, or otherwise modifying the school schedule. Extended day/year calendars have been adopted to alleviate overcrowding but, more recently, these initiatives have been designed as part of an overall approach to meeting student academic needs. These initiatives may provide more time for core academic instruction, community-based enrichment activities, and teacher professional development.
This site contains background information and state policy activities on all of the above areas.
NCSL's Supporting Student Success Project:
The goal of the Supporting Student Success initiative is to help state leadership teams support student success by ensuring that expanded learning opportunities (ELOs), such as afterschool, summer learning, and extended day programs, are an integral and effective part of state education systems. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) provided six state leadership teams of state legislators, education chiefs, and governors’ policy advisors with grants and in-depth technical assistance through the 18-month grant period (June 2007 - November 2008). The six grantee states are Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Rhode Island. An independent selection committee is currently reviewing proposals to fund a second round of state leadership teams from June 2009-November 2010. NCSL is the granting organization for this initiative, which is sponsored by the C. S. Mott Foundation.
NCSL's Membership in the After-school Technical Assistance Collaborative:
The National League of Cities, Council of Chief State School Officers, Finance Project, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors’ Association, the After-school Alliance and Terry Peterson of the College of Charleston, with the help of Learning Point Associates and Collaborative Communications Group provide technical assistance to the states around comprehensive state-wide policies on afterschool programs. Funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation, these organizations work together collaboratively with statewide after-school networks to provide the necessary technical assistance to help states create comprehensive policies that support quality Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) for children.
- Alternatives to the Traditional School-Year Calendar: Education Policy Brief from the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.
- Focus on the School Calendar: The Four-Day School Week. Southern Regional Report Education Board.
- Report fuels four-day week debate: The trend of the four-day school week is growing in Louisiana and nationwide
- Instructional Days/Hours in the School Year: State requirements for the number of instructional days and hours in the year.
- Expanded Time Gaining Momentum: A handful of states, cities and charter schools are seeking to squeeze more hours, days even weeks into the academic calendar.
- Sen. Kennedy:Expanded Learning Time Expands Curriculum: Education Week 11/02/2007: "One way to stop marrowing of the curriculum is to expand learning time in schools, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., says. In the next version of NCLB, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee wants to include grants to increase the number of days in the school year or to extend the school day. That would curtail schools' focus on improving reading and mathematics scores at the expense of other subjects, he told an audience yesterday. Kennedy said his bill also would require states to track the amount of time.
- Click here to view the Time and Learning session from Annual Meeting in Boston!
- BOSTON GLOBE: "Longer School Day Appears to Boost MCAS Scores": Last fall, 10 Massachusetts schools embarked on an experiment: Lengthen the school day by at least 25%, give students extra doses of reading, writing and math and let teachers come up with creative ways to reinforce their lessons. As a whole, schools with longer days boosted students'MCAS scores and outpaced the state in increasing the percentage of students scoring in the two highest MCAS categories, according to recent test results.
- OKLAHOMAN: "17 School Days May Be Added for 2010-2011":Oklahoma's school year will be at least 17 days longer by 2010-2011 if the Time Reform Task Force's recommendations go into effect. Oklahoma requires scholls to be open 180 days per year. But five of those days can be used for parent-teacher conferences and professional development. The task force's goal is to require 190 instructional days, plus five days for professional development and two for parent-teacher conferences.
- After-School Alert: ELOs
It takes more than time - This issue brief on expanded learning opportunities, highlights best practices from the afterschool field involving meaningful programming that builds on students' school-day experiences.
- Voices in Urban Education:"Extended Learning"- Ensuring that all young people
graduate from public high schools with the knowledge and skills they need to
succeed as adults will require integrating high-quality, equitable
educational opportunities in school with extended learning beyond the school
- "The Daily Schedule" - A Look at the Relationship Between Time and Academic Achievement.
- Choosing More time for Students: The what, why and how of expanded learning from the Center for American Progress.