Some schools are experimenting with before and after school programs to improve student’s grades. Angevine Middle School kids are arriving early to take classes that will give them extra support.
Some of the students are trying harder courses and some are doing extra enrichment classes like music and film studies.
The combination of before- and after-school offerings gives Angevine’s 600 students the option to spend eight hours at school, for an extended day that school leaders hope will lead to higher achievement and more student engagement.
Along with more time, the school is making changes to better use its regular class time.
“Schools have not changed significantly in the last 100 years,” said Angevine Principal Mike Medina.
“We have the same schedule, with three months off in the summer and everything packaged into a six-and-a-half-hour day. Kids go from one subject to the next, and it’s not connected.
The overall objective for us is to have less fragmentation in our school day and greater opportunities for kids to learn.”
Angevine redesigned its schedule with the help of the Time Collaborative, a pilot launched in 2012 to develop expanded learning time programs at schools in five states.
The initiative is led by the National Center on Time and Learning and supported in Colorado by the state Department of Education and the Legacy Foundation.
“We’ve seen again and again that more time can lead to better achievement and deeper engagement,” said Ben Lummis, the National Center on Time and Learning’s vice president.
“Our fundamental question is how to get more schools, more communities, more students and teachers to benefit from that.”
He said participating schools receive intensive support in redesigning their school day, including case studies of what’s worked in other schools across the country, and scheduling, budgeting and resource allocation help.
Ten Colorado schools, including four in Lafayette, initially were chosen to work with the Time Collaborative. They spent last school year exploring ideas and working with parents and community members to create an ideal school day.
Four of those schools, including Lafayette’s Angevine and Pioneer Elementary, were chosen to move forward this school year to test out their ideas.
Boulder’s University Hill Elementary also is participating in the planning stage this school year, while Broomfield’s Emerald Elementary has expressed interest in the pilot in future years.
The Boulder Valley schools’ agreement with the Time Collaborative was that the changes would need to be made without spending any money.