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Expanded Learning

Students wearing masks and doing schoolwork outdoors

Expanded Learning

Many students do not have regular access to enrichment activities that may positively contribute to their academic success, social and emotional competency, and overall growth toward being college, career, and community ready. For many populations of students, the pandemic has widened this lack of access, which is often referred to as the “opportunity gap.”

Expanded learning opportunities provide a key avenue to improve equity for all by helping to develop a student’s confidence, connection to community, and skills. The summer months, in particular, may provide enrichment experiences that go beyond an academic focus to address the needs of the whole child, including building and fostering school-community and community-student relationships, and allowing students access to experiences that facilitate engagement and promote a sense of belonging.

District summer learning teams should utilize community partnerships that can assist with these elements of the summer program. Agencies such as local libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, nature centers, summer camps, community recreation agencies, and Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) may be able to assist with planning, staffing, and implementation of expanded learning activities.

Guiding Questions

  • What are the needs of working families and how can the program schedule be designed to address them?

  • What existing expanded learning opportunities are available to students during the summer months, and who is providing them?

  • What role(s) will community partners play in the planning and delivery of services?

  • What resources are needed to support expanded learning opportunities in the summer program?

  • How much time will be needed to integrate expanded learning opportunities into the program?

  • What student populations would be targeted for expanded learning opportunities?

  • What are the barriers that may impact student participation in expanded learning opportunities?

  • Will staff have access to appropriate training and resources to provide expanded learning activities?

icon of toolsResources and Contacts

For questions about this information, contact Tamara Mouw (608) 266-2364