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