Just last month, the Forum For Youth Investment published a commentary entitled “The Common Core Standards: What Do They Mean For Out-Of-School Time?” This article best describes the great work happening nationally to connect the Common Core with expanded learning movements. While it will take years until the Common Core is fully integrated into all schools and districts (currently adopted in 46 states), the potential in this project to connect with the expanded learning world (afterschool, out-of-school-time, summer programming, vacation camps, extended learning days, expanded learning opportunities in the form of credit-recovery, badges, etc) is huge. Many high-quality programs have already started this work, training staff in the seemless connections between inquiry-based experiential learning opportunities and “habits of the mind.”
At Highlander Charter School (our lab school in Providence, RI), the Common Core has been an important part of afterschool and AmeriCorps staff training for over a year. Staff members, often hired with limited skill sets, are able to grasp the Common Core ideals and how they can focus lesson planning and implementation efforts accordingly. In order to best connect to the school-day learning, staff connect with classroom teachers around which standards should be reinforced through exciting learning opportunities each afternoon until 5pm. This work has led to academic gains, better learning habits, and a passion for learning in participating students.
Check out the FYI full commentary here: