As part of Fort Logan Elementary School’s turnaround plan, students spend additional hours at school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, participating in art, music, dance, martial arts, leadership, and science classes. The time also allows for additional reading instruction, to ensure that even students who are falling behind are able to catch up and read at grade level. According to Fort Logan’s Principal, Barb Johnson, “When our students leave for the day you can be assured that they have participated in a well-rounded and rigorous education that will afford them every opportunity to succeed.”
The education Johnson has in mind for each Fort Logan student includes more than just academics – it also includes lessons in things like discipline and patience, as evidenced by the school’s popular tae kwon do classes. Fort Logan student Gael says tae kwon do taught him to express himself, and now he thinks more creatively about his future. Other schools may not focus on the well-rounded education, like Gael’s school. There, he says, “we get science and tae kwon do, so now we know more – a little bit more about what we’re going to be when we grow up.”
So with expanded learning time, doing fun things like science and drumming, that’s going to make you want to learn more. That’s going to make you want to go to school more. The opportunity to take tae kwon do and other electives while knowing they won’t fall behind in reading or math allows students like Gael to foster natural curiosity and enthusiasm for school. “I feel like the extra time they have in expanded learning time is going to help them have deeper and broader experiences so they can know that there’s more out there,” said fourth grade teacher Ken White.
Gael feels the same way, saying that the opportunity to try new things is what makes school enjoyable. “If I didn’t have expanded learning time, we would just go home, and that wouldn’t be any fun,” Gael said. “So with expanded learning time, doing fun things like science and drumming, that’s going to make you want to learn more. That’s going to make you want to go to school more.”