What Could You Do With an Extra 300 Hours of Instruction?

March 31st, 2011

Category: News

That was a question posed by the National Center on Time and Learning to Delaware educators last week at the “Increased Learning Time Leadership & Design Workshops” as part of the Department’s LEA Support Program.

The workshops brought educators together from around the state to learn best practices around time management – both within and outside the traditional school day.  The goal of the workshops was to provide concrete examples about how extended learning opportunities can dramatically increase student learning – and spur thinking on ways to incorporate these practices into Delaware schools.  Workshop facilitators pushed educators to think outside the box in various areas, including staffing, scheduling, and community partnerships (among others).

In Delaware, there are already numerous examples of extended learning opportunities that schools could learn from, including:

  • Maple Lane Elementary’s balanced calendar -which has shown to decrease summer learning loss and increase parental involvement; and
  • William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School’s Saturday Academy – which provides targeted support to struggling students from January through June.

In addition to relevant examples in Delaware, there are numerous examples from around the country that we’ve seen or were highlighted at the workshop, including:

  • E.L. Haynes Charter School – which offers a year-round program for its students and was highlighted as part of the LEA Support Program site visits; and
  • Brooklyn Generation High School – which increased the time students spend in class to 200 days, without increasing the time teachers spend or using any additional funds.

Moving forward, we hope districts take these best practices and effective time strategies back to their schools and challenge stakeholders to think past the traditional school structure.  The end goal of increased student learning will be achieved through designing and implementing these additional learning opportunities for all students.

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Brett Turner




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