Happy Friday! This week was National Library Week, a national observance to celebrate contributions of librarians and libraries and to promote literacy. You can follow the events and conversation on twitter: #NLW14.
Here is the recap of this week’s expanded learning time (ELT) news:
All Saints Academy, a small 100-student school, in St. Joseph, Minnesota, currently with a 7 hour- school day , is proposing to add more time to the day for the 2014-2015 school year. School administrators have proposed an additional 55 minutes each day, and teachers have agreed with no request for increased compensation. A large majority of families agree as well; of 52 families who responded to a school survey, 48 were in favor of adding time to the day.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, back from his trip to Hawaii, blogged about what he’s learned throughout his term as a Secretary, reflecting on a common theme he’s realized from visiting all 50 states. He writes, “I’ve come away with new insight and knowledge into the challenges local communities face, and the creative ways people are addressing them. I know, that in order to do this job well, it’s vital to never stop listening, especially to those in the classroom each day.” Check out the interactive map that shows all the schools Secretary Duncan has visited. See if you can find the ELT Schools.
Schools are still figuring out solutions to making up for lost learning time due to snow days, and while public schools in New Jersey are not permitted to hold virtual classes as official make-up days, private schools are. One private school, St. John Vianney High School in Asbury, is leading the way in the new online learning initiative, piloting this digital learning experience, where students can watch instruction, hand in homework, and engage in class discussion online with their teachers. They plan to make up their lost snow days over vacation in April.
A new federal charter bill was approved by House Education and the Workforce Committee on April 8. This bill proposes to consolidate the two main federal programs for charter schools funding , combining federal grants to help charter school developers open new schools, as well as help charters find and fix up facilities. Overall, it calls for $300 million a year in federal funding for charter schools, a little more than the roughly $250 million the current federal Charter School Grants program received for this fiscal year 2014. Many charter schools use expanded time as a key part of their model.