Extended learning time is also referred to as expanded learning time, which refers to any educational programs or strategies intended to increase the amount of time students are learning, most especially for the purpose of improving academic achievement and test scores, reducing learning loss, learning gaps, and achievement gaps. The objective of extended learning time is applied, when needed, when students are not performing or achieving at expected levels. One exception is the optional learning-enrichment programs, which require increasing the amount of time for students to enhance or further their education, has a different objective from the extended learning time, and it’s viewed as elective or non-required opportunities for students. Another strategy is to extend school days and school weeks to increase the amount of time, where students can further do the following: engage in learning opportunities in areas, such as sports and arts; learn through non-traditional experiences such as apprenticeships or internships; or get academic support as part of their school days or years.
The extended learning time program varies from state to state or from school to school in the US, and with that, here are examples representing the list of widely used strategies for this program.
Added to the number of days students are required to attend school is the expanded school years strategy. Because states determine the minimum number of required attendance days, to validate the extended learning time program and increase the minimum school attendance requirements, state legislatures or department of education may pass legislation to that effect.
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With expanded school days and school weeks, students can receive instructions from teachers and other educators and have the following learning activities: participate in clubs, competitions, performances; learn through nontraditional learning pathways, such as internships and apprenticeships; or receive academic support from educators and specialists.
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Schools may also increase or supplement instructional time during the regular school day, in order to apply their extended learning time for students. Examples of this are: schools may eliminate study halls and replace them with academic courses, like tutoring sessions; schools may also increase course and credit requirements for graduation (math or science), which require students to spend more time learning these subjects.
Other strategies are the summer school, winter sessions, school-break programs, and summer-bridge programs, which extend learning time for the students who are performing poorly in their academics, so that they can have the opportunity to accelerate their learning progress.
Another strategy is through before-school programs and after-school programs, which are school-run or school-affiliated learning opportunities that are introduced before or after regular school hours, for the purpose of supplementing student learning.
New learning technologies, such as instructional interactions found online, are introduced and which is the applications from digital and online learning options, which is considered as an extended learning time, and which can be given when students have long completed their homework or project outside of regular school hours.