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Supporting Student Success Through Extended Learning Opportunities


During this project, four schools: Franklin High School, Laconia High School, Manchester Central High School, and Newfound Regional High School will establish or expand formal relationships with a number of community partners and businesses to develop and implement Extended Learning Opportunities in which students will earn credit towards high school completion. This project builds on the successful use of after school, and out of school time programming for enriching and expanding academic achievement.

Extended Learning Opportunities allow for the primary acquisition of knowledge and skills through instruction or study outside of the traditional classroom including, but not limited to: Independent study, Private instruction, Performing groups, Internships, Community service, Apprenticeships, and Online courses. ELO's validate the learning that takes place out side of school that is youth centered and focuses both on the acquisition of skills and knowledge and on youth development. Examples of possible community partners are: New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College, Currier Museum of Art, New Hampshire National Park Service, Junior Achievement of New Hampshire, and United Way Youth Ventures.

Currently, each school has an ELO team that is working on completing competency-based assessment to assess learning and grant credit for the ELOs. These assessments are rigorous and align with state standards. Each school will develop an implementation plan for student recruitment. Students, their advisors, a highly qualified teacher (HQT), and their community partner will design the ELO. Student learning may be assessed by a team and credit will be granted by the student's advisor (HQT). This summer all four schools will pilot these ELOs and in September 2008, approximately 400 students will start earning credit towards high school completion in ELOs.

An example of an ELO

  • An internship project is negotiated between the mentor, the student, and the student's advisor (a highly qualified teacher), and must demonstrate new learning on the part of the student while adding value to the work site.
  • Andy had an internship with the Infection Control Nurse at Cheshire Medical Center.
  • He wanted to study an aspect of how infection is spread within the hospital, ultimately focusing on hand washing practices as a primary vector.
  • The study consisted of observations of healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, aides, housekeeping, food care, etc.) and an original benchmarking system for alcohol hand sanitizing use on the units. In addition, cultures swabs were taken and analyzed from different places in various patient rooms.
  • With guidance from his school science teacher and his mentor, Andy designed and implemented a study of hand washing practices throughout different units of the hospital. He then analyzed his data, combined his data with research from sources such as the Communicable Disease Control, (CDC) Center, which has a published set of Standards for Hand Washing, and presented his findings, along with recommendations, to the Cheshire Medical Center Infection Control Board.
  • In Andy's words, "I think this was a very powerful learning experience. I practiced a lot of working skills … including my presentation skills, … self-direction and critical thinking … [and] graphing and map skills … I would like to see the statistics for hand washing improve because of my presentation and my presence at CMC … This internship really brought some of my learning together."

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711