arts in schools monthHappy Friday! Here is a recap of the week’s expanding learning time (ELT) news:

March is “Arts in the Schools Month.” Under the leadership of national associations representing teachers of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts, a variety of activities unfold throughout the month — some that showcase the achievements of students and others that focus on the professional growth of arts educators committed to achieving the goal of arts-rich schools for all students.

Omaha public schools are thinking about adding more time to the school day. OPS has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in Nebraska, and standardized test scores persistently trail the state average. “We have students in need and we know we need longer days,” Wayne said. The average OPS school day currently spans about seven hours. In comparison, neighboring districts go for about seven hours and 15 minutes. Even adding five to 15 minutes per day would add up over the course of a year and allow OPS to catch up, Wayne said.

Generation Schools Network hosted its first Generating Momentum school tour and white paper presentation in New York last week with support from the Ford Foundation. The white paper demonstrated that cost-effective expanded learning time is achievable. Last month, more than 50 funders, policy makers, educators, union leaders, and community partners gathered to learn about Brooklyn Generation School, visit classrooms, and talk with teachers and students.

Education Week featured a commentary piece on why it’s important for students to have time to play in schools. The more movement children have throughout the day, the better they will be with attentional focus, behavioral issues, and academic performance.