Offering More Time for Play and Learning
College View Elementary School wanted to create a space to address students’ academic growth and character development. Principal Kyle Gamba and his team realized there was no way to get students where they needed to be without adding more time to the school day. As Denver’s fifth-neediest, the school’s families could not afford enrichment activities or attend experiences outside of school, like art classes, team sports, dance, and yoga. The school’s leadership reorganized the school day and made a handful of changes like extending schoolwide team meetings, daily extended, structured recess or physical activity, built in 15-minute brain breaks throughout the day, and 90-minute enrichment blocks for poetry, soccer, and music. With all of these changes, College View shifted away from the expectation that enriching experiences usually happen after school instead of during the school day.