All Hands on Deck!

This morning, Jennifer Davis, NCTL’s co-founder & president, is moderating a discussion about the ways in which community partnerships can effectively support schools that want to expand their learning day. The event is being hosted by Center for American Progress and Citizen Schools and you can watch the webcast and find more information here. Virtually all of the schools NCTL supports across the U.S. partner with community organizations to enhance the learning opportunities and support available to children. These partnerships range from youth-serving organizations like Citizen Schools, the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs to arts and cultural organizations, health and mental health organizations and higher education institutions, just to mention a few.   These partnerships furnish robust learning opportunities for students and often serve students while teachers participate in important collaboration and professional development opportunities. To add to this morning’s discussion, we wanted to give more examples of effective and strong partnerships between expanded-time schools and community partners.

At today’s event, Eric Schwarz and Megan Bird will discuss Citizen Schools’ role and specifically at Boston’s Orchard Gardens School – a remarkable turnaound success story. As the school significantly expanded learning time for its students, Citizen Schools became an integral part of the  expanded school day giving the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students the opportunity to participate in apprenticeships. You can learn more about Orchard Gardens, its expanded day and its partnerships from NCTL’s  case study.

The event will also feature Kerri Ayn Snow, a third grade teacher at the Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School (TMALS). Working through The After-School Corporation’s (TASC) ExpandED Schools Initiative, TMALS has a school day that runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Expanding science time and time for the arts were primary goals of TMALS and its community partner, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, in deciding to lengthen the school day in 2008. You can learn more about this and other strong community partnerships around science in NCTL’s report, Strengthening Science Education.

Another strong partnership between an expanded-time school and community organization has been cultivated between the Guilmette Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence in Massachusetts. This video provides an inspiring overview of their work together.

We are excited to participate in this discussion. Follow us as we continue the discussion online at @expanding_time.