Expanded Learning Time

The AFT Innovation Fund is investing in expanded learning time for students—and for their teachers as well. Rethinking the use of time in schools is essential if students are to receive a well-rounded education and the enrichment opportunities to develop their talents. But it’s just as important to redesign school time for teachers, so that they can collaborate and problem-solve as professionals as they do in most high-performing nations.

Meriden Federation of Teachers (CT), 2012

Summary: The union and Meriden, Conn., school district are collaborating to expand learning time at Casimir Pulaski Elementary School by offering before-school academic and health programs. In addition, they will form a labor-management planning team and work to create a flexible schedule that will allow a cost-effective way to expand learning time for students—and for teachers—at additional district schools in subsequent years.

Intended Outcomes:

  1. To create a public school model for expanding learning time using staggered schedules.
  2. To show the benefits of expanded learning time for both students and teachers.
  3. To work with community partners and parents to build support and involvement in the model.

Providence Teachers Union (RI), 2012

Summary: United Providence! is a unique organization created by the union and school district that is serving as a “lead partner” overseeing turnaround efforts in three Providence schools. Expanding learning time is one key facet of this work. Through this grant, UP! will work closely with national organizations and the faculties of the schools to design innovative schedules that extend learning time for students and provide ample time for teachers to work together.

Intended Outcomes:

  1. Conduct "time audits" in the schools to understand the use of time and re-imagine it.
  2. To create innovative schedules that allow for expanded learning time for students and collaboration time for teachers.
  3. To demonstrate that respectful labor-management partnerships are an effective way to address the challenges of low-performing schools.