Here is the recap of this week’s expanded learning time (ELT) news:
The Elk Grove District 59, a suburban Illinois school district, currently has one expanded-time school, and now is restructuring the whole district calendar to add more time to all the schools within the district. With this transformation, the Ridge Family Center for Learning, currently the district’s only expanded-time school, will end up losing time in order to facilitate this district initiative. Twelve schools will add 30 more minutes to their school days in 2015. As we would expect, Ridge parents are not pleased with the cuts to their children’s school day.
Christopher Caruso, TASC’s Senior Vice President for ExpandED Schools, wrote a thoughtful piece in the Hechinger Report about what it means to expand the school day for all students and the great opportunity New York City has to explore many options for after-school and ELT with the new deBlasio Administration $131 million initiative for high-quality after school. Caruso urges New York City educators to take a step back and think about reinventing and expanding school the school day for all students in order to create transformative change. .
New Mexico’s Carlsbad Municipal Schools will be offering a new Smart Start K-3 Plus program, a state program which expands the school year by 25 days, at five elementary schools in the district this year through an application process. Each school will accept 60 students, 20 per grade level. The program is open to students of all skill levels free of charge, and offers free breakfast, lunch and transportation. “It is a good opportunity for kids to get 25 additional days and explore reading and math.” said Director of Elementary Education LaVern Shan. “The program will run as a regular school day: music, PE, library,” Shan said.