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News Release - Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission Learning Tour Continues

Nov. 1, 2010

News Release

Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission Learning Tour Continues To Limon, Loveland, Sheridan, Pueblo And Salida

The newly-formed Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Commission continues its listening tour with three stops next week in Limon (Nov. 8), Loveland (Nov. 10) and Sheridan (Nov. 11).

The tour will continue the following week with stops in Pueblo (Nov. 15) and Salida (Nov. 16). Precise meeting locations and times are below.

The commission, launched by Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones, is working to expand the vision for the entire learning experience in ways that transcend the traditional school day and traditional classroom models.

“The idea is for the commission to look at every way possible for schools to maximize the learning experience for students through creative and innovative community partnerships and through increased use of technology,” said Commissioner Jones. “The commission will examine the best means of leveraging opportunities beyond the time-honored and very necessary classroom instruction in a way that fully engages and enriches all students.”

The goal is to create a vision for student learning that incorporates a blend of traditional and online learning, expands the school day and standard yearly calendar and re-thinks the traditional school experience, added Commissioner Jones.

“This new approach to learning can only be accomplished through collaboration and partnership with community-based organizations, the business community and higher education,” said Commissioner Jones, “and that’s where the ELO commission comes in, to create a vision for a new approach outside the traditional boundaries of classroom space and school time.”

To garner public input and support, the statewide tour is designed to listen to educators, program providers, parents and others about the challenges and successes of expanded learning time and to discuss ideas for improving programs and strengthening community partnerships.

“We encourage anyone with interest in expanding the learning experience for students to attend these meetings and provide input on expanded learning opportunities and partnerships,” said Commissioner Jones. “We want to hear about the extended-day and after-school programs and services presently available to students, what efforts are working, and what needs to be done in order to improve and expand services to engage more students in meaningful ways.”

Citizens and community members who plan to attend the meetings in person are asked to RSVP to Vanessa Roman at the Colorado Department of Education,

Those who cannot attend the meetings may provide feedback via an online survey at Written comments may also be sent to Vanessa Roman at the e-mail address above.

Meeting Locations and Times

  • November 8, Monday
    East Central BOCES office, 820 Second Street, Limon
    Time: 4—6 p.m.
  • November 10, Wednesday
    The Ranch, 5280 Arena Circle, Suite 100, Loveland
    Time: 4—6 p.m.
  • November 11, Thursday
    Sheridan School District, 3201 West Oxford Avenue (high school), Sheridan
    Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • November 15, Monday
    Colorado State University—Pueblo
    Occhiato University Center, Cottonwood Room, 2200 Bonforte Blvd., Pueblo
    Time: 4—6 p.m.
  • November 16, Tuesday
    Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 County Road 120, Salida
    Time: 4—6 p.m.

Purpose and Overview

Expanded Learning Opportunities seek to transform the educational experience to fully engage students in their learning, their passions and their interests. ELOs foster collaboration and partnerships among teachers, schools and community partners to effectively use the school day so that it is unrestricted by walls (blended and online learning), clocks (flexible school days), calendars (expanded school week and year) or tradition. By supporting ELOs, communities are providing more time and new ways for their students to engage in their learning, make connections within and across their community and to develop an active, successful citizenry.

The Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission grew out of work initiated through the Supporting Student Success joint initiative of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Council of State Legislators.


The commission is comprised of state legislators, practitioners, teacher union representatives, ELO practitioners and members of the Colorado Department of Education.

Current membership includes:

  • Greg Anderson, Dean, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver

  • Amy Anderson, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Donnell-Kay Foundation
  • Linda Barker, Director, Teaching and Learning, Colorado Education Association
  • Elaine Gantz Berman (Chair), Member, Colorado State Board of Education, District 1
  • Jill Brake, Director, Thatcher Learning Center (Pueblo), Colorado Commission on Higher Education
  • Shirley Farnsworth, Director of Extended Learning, Denver Public Schools
  • Helayne Jones, Executive Director, Colorado Legacy Foundation
  • Alyssa Lasseter, Director, Tony Grampsas Youth Services, Department of Public Health and Environment
  • The Honorable Tom Massey, State Representative (R), District 60
  • Linda Preston, Board Member, Colorado Alliance for Quality School-Age Programs
  • The Honorable Gail Schwartz, State Senator (D), District 5
  • Diana Sirko, Deputy Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education
  • The Honorable Judy Solano, State Representative (D), District 31
  • The Honorable Nancy Spence, State Senator (R), District 27
  • Jennifer Stedron, Executive Director, Early Childhood Leadership Commission


The charge of the Commission is to ensure that statewide policies support expanded learning opportunities within the ongoing education reform initiatives throughout the state.

The commission will gather input from around the state on ELO opportunities and challenges. The findings from this input will be used as the basis for the commission’s report on supporting new and expanded learning opportunities into education reform efforts in effective, measurable and sustainable ways.

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