North Carolina's schools may see some restructuring in their academic calendars this school year if new legislation passed by the General Assembly is signed into law by the governor. The new legislation would give districts the latitude to decide whether to meet minimum day requirements for the year or minimum hour requirements in the day, rather than both, as mandated before. This means, North Carolina schools could keep students in school for longer days but shorter years, if they so desired. There are also provisions to provide the state's 115 districts with more flexibility on when they start and end ...


Sixteen members have been named to lead an Iowa task force established to examine how more time and a restructuring of the traditional school calendar could be used to improve student outcomes. Created by the state legislature, the task force, which includes school officials and administrators, members of nonprofit organizations, and teachers, will consider whether a longer school year/days and increased after-school and other out-of-school-time offerings will benefit students. State representatives and department of education officials are nonvoting members of the group. Last month,the state hosted its first after-school and expanded learning forum that discussed some of these ...


Intermediary organizations are valuable in increasing the quality, capacity, and structure of out-of-school programs, says a new report from the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, a network of intermediary OST organizations. "Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of OST Intermediary Organizations" is based on survey data of intermediary organizations that looked at the landscape of such organizations, how they've provided the most significant impacts to the out-of-school field, and their best success strategies that can be replicated, specifically with improving systems for after-school. While there are variety of intermediary organizations in the OST field, they do ...


Around 47,000 spots in New York City after-school and child-care programs that were at risk of being cut next year will be saved, according to an article in The New York Times. New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg agreed to a budget for next year on Monday, which surprisingly, according to The Times, saved services and avoided tax increases and substantial layoffs. And not only have the seats in local programs been saved, but $75 million more in total has been budgeted for the city agencies that support after-school and child-care programs, the Department of Youth & Community Development ...


Recognizing the important role parents play in their children's education, a new initiative just starting in Los Angeles promotes family engagement as a strategy to reduce summer learning loss. Passport to Success, spearheaded by Families in Schools, an L.A.-based nonprofit, and supported with a grant from Target, aims to reach at least 20,000 families this summer by providing resources, tools, and guidance for parents on how to provide educationally enriching experiences for their children when they aren't in school. Low-income families, in particular, are targeted. Through the initiative, families receive a resource guide and information (English and ...


National Summer Learning Day events are taking place around the country today in recognition of the impact summertime has on children's education. This year, the Walmart Foundation is the official sponsor. As I wrote last week, Walmart has been actively contributing and supporting summer learning; this year, it has donated $20 million in total to support summer initiatives that include enrichment programs, meals, and jobs, $4 million of which is going to five school districts for their summer programs. A growing body of research has shown that the summer months away from school can have negative impacts on students, particularly ...


Five districts will each receive $360,000 for their summer programs, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The districts, Houston; Oakland, Calif.; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; and Duval County, Fla., which were selected because of their commitment to summer learning, will use the money to serve 720 middle school students each. You may remember last summer, I wrote about some of the Oakland district's summer learning initiatives in this story. The new initiative is part of a $4 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to improve summer learning opportunities for middle school students. (The samelevel of funding will be ...


Summer programs that use multimedia may improve student literacy, numeracy, phonics skills, and math vocabulary, according to a study released by WestEd, a nonprofit education research organization. The report examines the Electric Company's Summer Learning Program, which is sponsored by the Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit organization that produces "Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company," television series that air on PBS KIDS. Children in 12 different, five- to six-week-long summer programs around the U.S. were assessed last summer using the curriculum and found to have a 41 percent gain in math vocabulary, 20 percent gain in numeracy, and 17 percent ...


An award-winning, six-week summer-enrichment program for disadvantaged K-8 students is expanding this summer.


A set of tip sheets released this week by the Wallace Foundation could offer guidance on how to use data to evaluate and improve after-school programs.


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