Planning for Extended Learning

Planning for Extended Learning

During his Feb. 9, 2021, press conference, Governor DeWine asked schools and districts to work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. He requested that schools and districts design plans to meet the needs of students that could include, but are not limited to, ending the school year later than scheduled, beginning the new year early or extending the school day. Summer programs, tutoring or remote options also could be considered. The governor asked schools and districts to provide their plans to the public and General Assembly no later than April 1.

To submit an Extended Learning Plan, post the plan to the school or district website and then email that link (URL) to: ExtendedLearning@education.ohio.gov.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide additional information about the governor’s request.


Frequently Asked Questions Part One

Frequently Asked Questions Part Two


Frequently Asked Questions Part One

    Is the plan mandatory?

    The governor made his statement in the form of a request. He believes it is beneficial for schools and districts to give deliberate and public attention to addressing students who have been impacted by disruptions caused by the pandemic. Currently, it is simply a request. However, it is likely this requirement will appear in upcoming proposed legislation.

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    To whom is the governor’s request directed?
    The governor’s request is specifically directed to traditional public school districts, community schools, career-technical education centers and STEM schools. Other schools, such as nonpublic entities, certainly are welcome to engage in similar planning work and publicly share the plans if they so choose.

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    What should a plan include?

    The Department is developing an optional template for these plans that schools and districts can use. However, using the template is not a requirement. Key components of the template will include:

    • Impacted Students: How will schools and districts identify which students have been most impacted by the pandemic in terms of their learning progress (with a focus on the most vulnerable student populations)?
    • Needs: How will schools and districts identify the needs of those students?
    • Resources and Budget: What resources are available to address those needs? Generally, what is the budget for the plan?
    • Approaches: What approaches can best be deployed to address those needs? (This may include approaches such as ending the school year later than scheduled, beginning the new year early, extending the school day, summer programs, tutoring and remote options.)
    • Partnerships: Which local and regional partners (such as educational service centers, Information Technology Centers, libraries, museums, after-school programs or civic organizations) can schools and districts engage in supporting student needs?
    • Alignment: How can this plan reinforce and align to other district or school plans, including plans for Student Wellness and Success Funds, improvement plans or graduation plans?

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    Is this a statewide plan or can each district prepare a plan appropriate to its circumstances?
    This is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. Each district or school should consider its unique needs and issues and prepare its plan in a way that responds appropriately and leverages the assets of its unique partners. Some schools and districts may choose to have similar plans to facilitate effective implementation. Educational service centers may provide coordination for such collaborative approaches.

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    What resources are available?
    The federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds are an ideal choice for funding these plans. Since these funds are intended to be one time in nature, using these funds for short-term activities is appropriate. There also is a likelihood that additional temporary federal funds may be forthcoming in legislation currently being debated in Congress.

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    How do districts submit their plans?

    The Department plans to update these FAQs with additional information next week—and periodically thereafter—to provide more information and clarification, including information on when and how to submit plans.

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Frequently Asked Questions Part Two

    What does “Extended Learning” and “Extended Learning Plan” mean?
    It is important to be clear that the definition of “extended learning” does not relate to a specific subgroup of students (gifted/special needs/credit deficit). In the context of this effort, extended learning applies to any students and the efforts of local districts and schools to meet their individual needs. When planning for extended learning opportunities, districts and schools can engage students in a variety of ways. For example, lengthening the school day, instituting a summer reading program or an early summer start program to name a few. It is entirely up to districts and schools to design and deliver extended learning for their students.
     

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    How well developed do the plans have to be? We may not have enough time to fully assess each child’s needs by April 1.
    The process recognizes that plans may not be able to be informed by complete or definitive information. Schools should develop plans based on what they know at present. Plans could include a description of additional work that needs to be done to understand student needs and further define and refine strategies and approaches. Staff should be able to make informed decisions about how to best meet student needs.
     

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    What if our district already has an extended learning plan?
    There is no intent to require districts to create additional plans if they have something already in place. Already existing plans can be submitted as the extended learning plan. It should be well-defined from the plan that the extended learning components are clearly developed and align to what are understood to be student needs.
     

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    Can a plan be modified after April 1?
    Yes. Plans typically evolve as more information is known. The April 1 plan should be based on the best information available, but as more information becomes available, and student needs are better understood, plans should be modified. When updated, plans should be shared with the public and posted to the district or school website.
     

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    Should plans be developed collaboratively?
    Yes. In particular, plans should be developed working closely with teachers and their representatives and should respect collective bargaining agreements and provisions. The more stakeholders are involved in plan development, the more likely the plan can be successfully implemented. Other collaborators should include other district partners such as libraries, parks and recreation departments, before- and after-school program operators, cultural institutions (such as museums and arts organizations) and social service and health agencies (examples include county mental health and addiction services boards, job and family service offices and business community members).

     

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    What if our district or school doesn’t believe students here need additional supports?
    All schools, districts and student populations have been impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions of the last year. Although assessment data shows a disproportionate impact on Black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students, it is important to know that students from all subgroups demonstrate a need for additional supports. Schools should consider their most vulnerable student populations prior to making extended learning plans.
     

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    Our district already has a summer school every year. Is that enough?
    Schools and districts should feel free to include activities they already provide on a routine basis as part of their plan. The plan should be driven by student needs; therefore, consideration should be given to doing more than the status quo in cases where the needs of students are beyond what is typical.
     

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    Should the community be involved in the creation of the extended learning plan?
    Schools and districts should engage in meaningful dialogue with their communities. Existing partnerships and venues should be utilized, including business advisory councils, Parent Teacher Associations and parent advisory councils.

     

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    What if we don’t receive the federal funds?
    Schools and districts that do not receive federal funds should explore other options that may be available (this could include Student Success and Wellness funds or rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation).
     

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    Is there a required template for the plan?
    There is no required template for the plan. However, in collaboration with the Educational Service Center Association, an optional template has been developed for districts and schools to use should they choose. The template is available here
     

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    How are plans to be shared with the General Assembly?
    The Ohio Department of Education will serve as a conduit to the General Assembly for access to the plans. The Department does not need to receive a copy of each plan, but rather a live link to the plan on the school or district website. This allows for any changes to the plan without the added burden of submitting a new document each time a change is made.
     

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To submit an Extended Learning Plan, post the plan to the school or district website and then email that link (URL) to: ExtendedLearning@education.ohio.gov.

Last Modified: 2/19/2021 4:33:03 PM