New Report: ExpandED Schools initiative
Posted by on April 29, 2013
A new brief from The After-School Corporation (TASC) examines its ExpandED Schools initiative, which it launched in 2011 in 11 elementary and middle schools in New York City, Baltimore, and New Orleans, each school partnering with a strong youth-serving community organization to add three hours to the conventional six-and-a-half hour school day. ExpandED Schools incorporate four core elements into their redesign: more time for a balanced curriculum; school-and-community partnerships; engaging, personalized instruction; and a sustainable cost model. External analysis shows that participating students increased their math proficiency, surpassing citywide gains in each city. Student attendance improved in ExpandED schools, and students, teachers, and parents ranked ExpandED schools higher than citywide averages on safety, communication, student engagement, and academic expectations. Schools varied in how successfully they communicated school change to families, in the proportion of teachers who worked expanded hours, and in teacher desire to work expanded hours. The brief concludes that a school’s culture, schedule, and approach to learning don’t change in one year. Real-time feedback loops must be established among partners, and schools must define and provide support for family engagement. Decisions about teachers working extended hours should be made at the school level, and not prescribed externally, and success is best achieved through whole-school implementation.
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