Year-Round Learning: Continuity in Education Across Settings and Time Through Expanded Learning Opportunities

Brief No. 3, December 2012

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Children in classroomExpanded learning opportunities (ELOs) offer structured learning environments outside the traditional school day, through before- and after-school; summer; and extended-day, -week, -year programs. With help from the C.S. Mott Foundation, NCSL is collaborating with Harvard Family Research Project on a series of briefs called ELO Research, Policy and Practice. The briefs address topics in expanded learning opportunities by highlighting research evidence on ELO best practices and effects on youth and discuss the policy implications.

"Year-Round Learning: Continuity in Education Across Settings and Time Through Expanded Learning Opportunities" is the third brief in this series. This brief covers the year-round learning approach to ELOs, in which school, after-school and summer learning can all be connected and used to provide quality educational opportunities. These year-round ELO opportunities align with and complement the regular school day and year learning, helping to fill educational gaps and provide students with a more well-rounded education. Creating continuous education systems that connect school, after-school and summer settings allows for the sharing of resources among educational partners, deep and sustained family and youth engagement in learning, prevention of summer learning loss, and the creation of coordinated systems to track and use data on youth progress.