Find out how Pennington Elementary expanded the school day to tackle the exhausting realities of poverty — staying within the bounds of educators’ contracts. This next generation learning approach has led to a boost in student learning, excitement, and school culture.
In just one year, third- and fourth-grade student achievement is up in language arts and math; out-of-school suspensions are down by 80 percent; and nearly all parents attend family-teacher conferences, compared to only half the previous year.
The Expanded Learning Time model provides the structure to improve student achievement, close the opportunity gap, and meet the needs of the whole child, says Principal Sandy Craig. “Now we have enough time to flexibly group our kids,” she says. “We have enough time to give solid core instruction. We have enough time to collaborate.”
Pennington moved from a seven-hour school day to an eight-and-a-half-hour day. It now offers over 90 enrichment choices and is a full-service community school with an in-house food, clothing and hygiene bank; adult learning classes; and budget resources.
With the support of The Colorado Education Initiative, Pennington became a pilot school with the National Center on Time & Learning’s (NCTL) TIME Collaborative sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
Next Generation Learning Environments: Spotlight on Pennington Elementary
See all five next generation learning environments together.
A Full-Service Community School
Having a school that provides all the services a child needs to be successful is one of Pennington’s main missions.
A Safe and Healthy Space
Cultivating a safe and healthy space for learning to occur is a priority for everyone on the Pennington team. If children don’t feel safe, if they are coming to school hungry or after a stressful evening, learning is not possible.
A Look Inside Enrichments
Sixth-grade student Yahari shares how expanded learning time and enrichments have impacted her experience at school.
Meeting Children Where They Are
Pennington groups children according to academic ability rather than age, giving teachers the flexibility to move students between classes based on skill levels.
What the Families Have to Say
Parent and family voices were instrumental in the design of Pennington’s model.
Hear how one parent thinks about the school’s evolution and how her children have responded.
In its second year of implementation, the Expanded Learning Time model has already had a great deal of impact.