Extended Learning Time

Middle grades schools can provide students with opportunities to learn outside the school day. The best opportunities should be integrated with the regular school day by connecting with the academic program students already participate in.1, 2, 3, 4 School staff should align any program with what is going on in the school. This might include aligning with important deadlines (e.g., student project due dates) or extending other key academic activities. To ensure participation in extended learning time, programs should be geared toward meeting the needs of students and making sure that both parents and the community are aware of the programs. What follows are five research- and evidence-based principles to ensure the success of extended learning programs.