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News Release - Workshop On Cost-Effective Strategies For Expanding School Day And Year

Feb. 23, 2011

News Release

Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission And Colorado Legacy Foundation To Host Workshop On Cost-Effective Strategies For Expanding School Day And Year

The Colorado Legacy Foundation, in partnership with the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Commission and with support from Rose Community Foundation, is hosting a full-day “Building a Better School Day and Year: Creating Cost-Effective Solutions for Expanding Learning Time” work session on Monday, Feb. 28, at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education.

The work session will engage four metro-area school districts that have demonstrated a commitment to innovation in their schools. The work session will introduce frameworks and strategies for expanding learning time in low-cost or no-cost sustainable ways and generate new ideas and specific action plans for districts and schools to expand learning time beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.

The National Center on Time & Learning and Generation Schools will share research and exemplars on nationally recognized best practices, including how time can be used to increase individualized student supports, effective collaboration and creativity in learning environments.

“Colorado’s ELO Commission and the Colorado Legacy Foundation are committed to a vision of student-centered learning that transcends the traditional school day and encourages education systems to use time, partners and technology in new ways to achieve greater long-term outcomes for students,” said Elaine Gantz Berman, chairwoman of the ELO Commission.

In addition to learning about local efforts to maximize learning time, the day’s activities will also inform the statewide ELO report and the launch of ELO-related systems development, including recommended state- and district-level policies that support ELO efforts tied to increased academic growth, closed achievement gaps, decreased drop-out rates and increased postsecondary and workforce readiness among students. The ELO Commission will deliver recommendations to legislators and the state board of education in spring 2011.

“Colorado is well-positioned to lead the nation in becoming the first state to launch both a vision and a statewide system for Expanded Learning Opportunities,” said Helayne Jones, president and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation. “This work session is an important step toward achieving that goal.”

The Colorado Legacy Foundation and ELO Commission are also exploring rural-specific strategies and structures for ELO to develop recommendations that address the unique characteristics inherent to rural schools and districts and which encompass solutions relevant to multi-district collaborations, boards of cooperative education services and regional service areas.

About Colorado’s ELO Commission

Former Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones appointed the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Commission in May 2010. The 17-member commission is charged with identifying measurable and sustainable state- and district-level policies that most effectively use the school day in ways unrestricted by walls (blended and online learning), clocks (flexible school days), calendars (expanded school week and year) or tradition (school schedules and competency-based movement through education).

ELO work has been supported through funding from the Ford Foundation and will inform the design and implementation of comprehensive ELO pilots in districts across the state and a plan to translate policy recommendations into an active statewide system.

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