The Expanded Learning Day
- Apprenticeships turn students into young scientists, architects, lawyers, business owners, cooks experiencing success through access to successful adults.
- Academic Support comes in the form of one to two hours of academic support to drive improvement in students’ grades and test scores. This academic block includes:
- AIM: Aspire Invest Make the Grade: structured homework time that includes one-on-one goal-setting and coaching
- Academic League: classes in math or literacy.
- Explore is designed to get students working as a team through team-building exercises and expose them to the world of work and higher education through visits to local colleges and businesses. All of these learning blocks are tied together with the goal of establishing College to Career Connections.
The Second Shift
Who runs this expanded learning day? A second shift of educators—the team mobilized by Citizen Schools.
Team Leaders: Each class of students, which we call a team, is led by a team leader, who facilitates homework completion, teaches Academic League, supports and co-teaches with volunteer Citizen Teachers, and communicates regularly with families. Team leaders are:
Teaching Fellows: Teaching Fellows commit two years to Citizen Schools through the AmeriCorps service program. Teaching Fellows play additional roles at the school or with Citizen Schools in the morning hours.
Teaching Associates: These passionate educators work with Citizen Schools during the afternoon hours exploring a different way to teach outside of the traditional school day.
Citizen Teachers: These volunteers are a diverse group of adults who come from every corner of the community, with varying levels of experience and varying subjects they want to teach. They all share a dedication to making a difference that pushes them from their routines to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Campus Directors: Campus Directors are the principals of our program. These instructional leaders, all of whom are veteran classroom teachers, manage and develop our teaching staff, build deep relationships with schools, and connect to the larger community. Large partnerships also have one to two deputy Campus Directors, who are like assistant principals.
We believe all students can graduate from high school prepared for success in college, and that the last best chance to get them on this trajectory is to do three things for them in middle school:
- Build skills (academic & 21st Century)
- Provide access (to community members, experiences and future possibilities)
- Inform beliefs (the connection between hard work, education and future success)
We measure progress and evaluate our impact, both short-term and long-term.
We inspire more kids every year—but no matter how ambitious our growth, Citizen Schools will never serve all kids directly. Our strategy aims to prove what works, and what can be replicated, so that a movement builds to transform education and rethink the learning day for all children.
When all citizens play a role in teaching children, every child will graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and career—and the American Dream will fulfill its promise.