The Expanded Learning Time (ELT)
Planning and Exploration Process
Nothing has been finalized. The Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Exploration Committee is leading a process that will allow teachers, parents, and community members to consider whether or not a new school day or year fits for our school and community. We have not made any decision to expand the school day at this time. No decisions have been made on exactly what a new schedule would be like if we selected an expanding learning option. At this point, the ELT Exploration Committee is gathering data and reviewing ideas from other schools and communities on what a new school day could be like. There is an ELT Committee at O’Connell School that includes the building principal and assistant principal, classroom teachers, parents and other community members who are exploring the idea of expanded time to see what opportunities this change could provide our students as well as whether additional funding could be brought to our district as a result of an expansion.
We are exploring redesigning and expanding learning time at O’Connell School for the purpose of providing the possibility of both enrichment and intervention dependent on student need and interest. ELT is about creating a new school day for all students that will allow the school to prepare and support students academically and offer additional engaging academic and enrichment classes.
Changing the school schedule requires thinking beyond what is done now. ELT can add to the school through more time for supporting students in core academics, expanding opportunities for enrichment activities, and providing additional professional development and collaboration time for teachers seeking to meet the diverse needs and interests of students. As O’Connell School takes on the added responsibilities of becoming an International Baccalaureate Program for the elementary level, rethinking better ways to “do school” is essential to the planning and implementation process.
Parent and staff feedback is welcome and valuable in this process. Please feel free to contact the school at (860) 622-5460 with questions or comments. We will also be conducting surveys of parents and teachers to ensure an inclusive process.
Thinking about changing the school day is a very emotional topic for many people. Some people may have strong feelings for and against an expanded school day. We are committed to exploring the options. Please reserve judgment until we have time to talk in depth and review information together.