Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Foundation grant to enhance learning opportunities

Manchester School District has received a grant from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation to support expansion of extended learning opportunities for high school students. The funding, which totals $12,472, will be used in the form of stipends for teachers who go above and beyond their contracted school day to work with students participating in ELOs for academic credit.

ELOs connect students with members of the community in an area of interest they can learn about outside the traditional classroom. Because an ELO must be aligned with the school district’s educational objectives, students are required to demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills that are clearly defined when designing individual ELO experiences.

High school teachers play an important role in extended learning opportunities, from helping students to develop a project plan, talking to students about the connection between in-school academics and out-of-school work experiences, and assessing successful completion of the ELO. Teachers grant academic credit based on students’ competencies in the chosen subject area.

“We know that engaging students and challenging them in new ways prepares them to be bright, confident leaders,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “ELOs do just that, and involving our high school teachers in the process strengthens the learning experience.”

Dr. Livingston has made expanding ELOs a priority for Manchester. She hopes that supporting teacher participation will increase the number of students who can take advantage of the opportunities available.

Financial support from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation will pay for 400 hours of faculty ELO support. A maximum of $250 plus benefits will be paid to any one teacher, whether he or she is working with an individual student or several who are doing a group ELO.

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