Expanded Learning Time
Changes to Cohort 2 of Schedule A ELT Announced
Over the past five months, 16 schools began implementing a longer and redesigned school day through our Schedule A Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative. We have been learning from these schools as we also planned for a second cohort of schools to begin implementation of ELT in the 2016-2017 academic year. Some of the challenges that have emerged from our early ELT work -- most particularly concerns that parents and staff have raised about appropriate start and end time options for elementary students and the significant impact that changing start or end times has had and is projected to continue to have on transportation costs -- have led to a decision to postpone implementation of Cohort 2.
As we move forward in our planning work, we will re-focus our attention on gathering local and national research on best practices for expanded learning time so that we can create conditions for successful implementation in BPS over the coming years. In particular, we want to understand what has been working well in our 16 Cohort 1 schools that implemented Schedule A ELT this past fall. Additionally, we will collaborate with the existing schools to identify other potential supports to strengthen their implementation of ELT practices and will work to address the system wide challenges that have emerged during this first year of implementation. All Cohort 1 Schedule A schools will keep their expanded day.
We thank everyone who has invested time and effort in planning with Cohort 2 and we look forward to continuing this work next year.
The following school start times will remain in effect during the 2016-2017 school year:
Planning for Cohort 2 and Supporting Cohort 1
Earlier this fall, schools reported if they prefer to implement ELT in school-year 2016-17 as part of Cohort 2 or school-year 2017-18 as part of Cohort 3. Using these responses, the Office of Expanded Learning Time has been working with the Office of Transportation and principal leaders to develop a plan that minimizes the fiscal impact of changing schools' end times. We anticipate reaching out to schools to confirm their ELT cohort in late October and making a public announcement in early November.
During October, the ELT Joint Task Force reached out to parents, teachers, and principals in Cohort 1 schools to get feedback on their first year of ELT. From these conversations, we will design supports for Cohort 1 schools to help make their first year of ELT a success.
Cohort 1 has started their expanded day!
September 8th marked the first day of ELT for our Cohort 1 schools! After months of planning and two amazing facilitator training sessions over the summer, Cohort 1 has now officially implemented ELT. We plan to check-in with schools during September and October to see how things are going and to provide any support schools need to make their new school day a success. We are also preparing to select Cohort 2 so that they can start their planning.
School's out for summer, but ELT work isn't over!
On June 29th, Cohort 1 of ELT schools submitted their final implementation plans. Each school has a unique focus based on the needs of its students, ranging from world languages to project-based learning. All draft plans were reviewed by the ELT Joint Task Force, and final plans incorporated the feedback given by the Joint Task Force.
Over the summer, Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union will host teacher-led trainings for the new teacher facilitators in each school. The facilitators will guide the use of the new 40-minute block of teacher-led collaborative planning time that all ELT schools have incorporated into their schedules. Planning teams will continue to refine their schedules and the Central Office will work to ensure that operations (such as transportation and payroll) are ready to support ELT schools.
Where in the process is the first cohort of schools?
After months of hard work by the planning teams, our first 16 schools are finishing up draft schedules! Boston Public Schools earmarked an additional $700,000 to provide ELT schools with additional specialists in order to facilitate the new planning and development time included in ELT. These specialists will enable schools to implement their goals for ELT. After schools submit draft schedules and implementation plans on June 3rd, the ELT Joint Task Force will review their plans and provide feedback. Final schedules and implementation plans are due on June 29th.
The Boston School Committee voted in January overwhelmingly to extend the school day by 40 minutes in 60 Boston public schools. The vote is the final step in approving the agreement forged by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the Boston Teachers Union. The additional time, which will be phased in over three years, will begin this fall in 16 schools.
The list of "Schedule A Schools" includes:
1. McCormack Middle
2. Irving Middle
3. Umana K-8
4. Warren/Prescott K-8
5. Guild Elementary
6. Perkins Elementary
7. Otis Elementary
8. Chittick Elementary
9. Jackson/Mann K-8
10. Harvard/Kent Elementary
11. Mather Elementary
12. P.A. Shaw
13. Manning Elementary
14. Tobin K-8
15. Higginson/Lewis K-8
16. Lee K-8 School