Extending Learning Time for Disadvantaged Students - Volume 2 Profiles of Promising Practices - 1995

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Using Time in New and Better Ways

School consumes only a small part of any student's time. For many, the remainder of their waking hours offers few paths to academic, social, and emotional growth. But schools and communities can work together to provide every child with more time to learn--and more time to develop the abilities that lead to successful citizenship.

In coordination with appropriately challenging curricula, thoughtful instruction, and sensible management, extended-time programs can improve student achievement. And for students most in need of supplemental assistance, extended-time programs can offer much more: the best of these programs establish safe, stimulating environments that inspire and guide learning far beyond the traditional school day, week, or year. These programs involve children, families, and communities in a concerted effort to prevent student failure and nurture success.

This idea book is intended as a resource for practitioners interested in implementing extended learning opportunities for students. It includes detailed profiles of 14 programs1 that extend learning time for disadvantaged students in diverse settings, using volunteers and community-based professionals as well as classroom teachers. The approaches described here rely on a broad definition of learning time that includes traditional classroom instruction, community service, and extracurricular and cultural activities. While the programs included here are just a few of many successful efforts to extend learning opportunities, together they provide a snapshot of the range of options available in rural, suburban, and inner-city areas serving students of diverse racial and ethnic heritage.

In addition to profiles of these programs, appendices provide (1) contact information on program planners who are willing to share their experiences; (2) other planning resources including recent case studies of extended-time programs, national organizations that offer extended learning opportunities for youth, and relevant national associations and resource centers; and (3) a checklist of important considerations for those planning or implementing extended-time programs. A companion volume for policymakers provides the research-based rationale for extending learning time for disadvantaged students, as well as a detailed analysis of promising practices for extended-time programs.

The success of extended-time programs for disadvantaged students depends on the decisions that educators and planners make in designing and implementing programs. Program success evolves from goals that specifically address students' needs. These goals promote high academic and behavioral standards and cultivate productive links between the student and the world beyond the classroom. Particularly promising practices include:

Successful extended-time programs can motivate disadvantaged students and give them the knowledge they need to succeed in school and beyond. Often, such programs build links with students' regular school experiences, reinforcing particular skills needed in the classroom. To take advantage of this opportunity, Title I staff can:

1 On October 20, 1994, the President signed into law the Pub. L. 103-382, the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA) of 1994, amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. The IASA reauthorized--for a five-year period--programs under Chapter 1 of Title I of the ESEA. We refer to these programs as Title I in the idea books in order to reflect the new legislation.
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