Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities: New Directions for Youth Development

The Fall 2011 issue of New Directions for Youth Development, Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities, features a chapter co-written by Citizen Schools' President, Emily McCann, and CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Schwarz. The chapter, "Citizen Schools' Partner-Dependent Expanded Learning Model," focuses on successful tactics that have helped Citizen Schools establish and sustain effective partnerships with middle schools across the country to expand the learning day. Below, you will find an excerpt from the chapter. The full journal can be purchased either as an electronic version or a hard-copy.

Some of the most successful charter and traditional schools across the country have named longer school days as a critical component of their success with students.  In fact, in a 2009 survey administered by the National Center on Time & Learning, a vast majority of expanded time schools (90 percent) ranked expanded time as very important to meeting their educational goals.


Expanded learning is becoming a central strategy of education reformers.  As the concept gains momentum, the country has an opportunity that might come along once in a generation – an opportunity to change the way we structure the learning day dramatically. 


Still, questions remain.  Under what conditions is expanded learning most successful?  What are the most effective staffing models of expanded learning that can support teachers and prevent teacher burnout?  What are schools doing to ensure that the additional time is differentiated from but aligned with the traditional school day and yields results with students?  How do we make expanded learning cost-effective and scalable, and what policy changes can help make that a reality?