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Utah 2010 Validation Grant Abstract


Utah State University

PR Award Number:


Project Title:

New Mexico Extended School Year K-3 Validation Study

Project Director:

Cyndi Rowland

Amount of Award:


Length of Award:

5 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

School District
Albuquerque Public Schools (NM)
Gadsden Public Schools (NM)
Gallup-McKinley Public Schools (NM)
Las Cruces Public Schools (NM)

New Mexico State University (NM)

Project Website:


Description of Project:

Evidence suggests that U.S. students benefit from a longer school calendar, but more research is needed to determine those benefits. New Mexico is uniquely positioned to elevate the research base by providing its state-legislated K-3 Plus Program for study. This program (1) extends the school year by 25 days prior to kindergarten, first, second and third grades; (2) creates smaller class sizes with instruction focused on literacy, math and social skills; (3) is delivered by highly qualified teachers who are also given professional development opportunities in literacy; (4) includes services such as school breakfast, lunch and transportation; and (5) includes a parent involvement component.

Over 5 years, the New Mexico Extended School Year K-3 Study (New K-3) will evaluate the effects of New Mexico's extended school year model across four New Mexico school districts. Student outcomes in literacy, numeracy and social skills will be determined. Moreover, the program's cost benefits will also be determined. The intervention will be implemented, consistent with K-3 Plus legislative intervention requirements, with 570 students enrolled in persistently low-performing schools in Gallup-McKinley (a rural, low-income school), Albuquerque, Gadsden and Las Cruces school districts in Years 1 and 5 (1,140 students in years 2, 3, and 4). A comparable number of students will be enrolled each year in the control group. K-3 Plus learning opportunities will be provided to all students, including students categorized as English language learners and students with disabilities.

The New K-3 study will help to create (1) knowledge of the impact of the extended school year (i.e., New Mexico's K-3 Plus Program) on students' academic and social outcomes; (2) cost-effectiveness data on New Mexico's K-3 Plus Program that will be valuable for state school reform efforts nationwide; (3) an extended school year model that is cost-effective in state school reform efforts and that can be replicated and scaled up nationally to meet the needs of diverse students and schools.

Disseminating research outcomes will assist scale-up activities at a national level. Clearly the outcomes of this research will provide an important addition to the national debate on extended school year services and effects. This is the intended outcome for the project.

Description of Evaluation:

The New K-3 evaluation design is a multisite randomized experiment. Random assignment to treatment or control group ensures that differences between the treatment and control groups are not attributable to nonintervention-related factors. New K-3 includes a cost-effectiveness analysis of an extended school year intervention, the K-3 Plus Program, currently being piloted with about 7,000 high-needs students (those in schools where at least 85 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals) each year in New Mexico. Service costs and student outcomes will be compared for students in and out of the program to evaluate the efficacy, efficiency and feasibility of replication and scale-up.

Project Evaluator:

Linda Goetz
435-797- 3125


Center for Persons with Disabilities Utah State University

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Last Modified: 03/22/2011