Expanding School Year in New Ways May Be One Outcome of Pandemic in California

Expanded summer school for K-12 students may be one positive outcome of the pandemic that has contributed to varying levels of learning loss among students across the state.

Without providing details, Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated that he will be including funds in the budget he will present to the Legislature in January that might allow schools to effectively extend the school year into the summer, as a crucial way to help make up for the learning loss that many students have suffered during the pandemic.

“We’re going to be creative to look more broadly outside the previous constructs, this mantra or mindset that goes back to an agrarian society that no longer exists, that has the presumption that 99% of us will be toiling the fields come this summer,” he said during his briefing on his plan to encourage more schools to offer in-person instruction.

He said he didn’t want to “get too far ahead in terms of the budget that we will be submitting,” but that “we will be looking at extending the day, looking at extending into the summer, looking at the opportunity to get tutors and additional supports to comprehensively address learning loss.”

His remarks were reinforced by those of State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond, who is also currently heading up the education transition team for President-elect Joe Biden.

[Darling-Hammond said] California shouldn’t be thinking about the instructional calendar as consisting of “what we can we cram in only by May. We should think about this as the continuous process of solving for learning and taking advantage of the many other innovations that are going on in this state.”

These could include everything from outdoor classrooms, expedition schools and project-based learning to interactive online materials that have become regular additions to teacher’s toolboxes.

Neither Darling-Hammond nor Newsom provided details about what they will be proposing in his January budget. But Newsom stressed that the issue of how to ensure that children catch up and succeed is a major concern of his — like it is of most parents, he said. “I can assure you it is not only top of mind, it’s foundational in terms of the budget that we’ll be submitting for consideration to the legislature.”

Excerpted from “Expanding School Year in New Ways May Be One Outcome of Pandemic in California” in EdSource. Read the full article online.

Source: EdSource | Expanding School Year in New Ways May Be One Outcome of Pandemic in California, https://edsource.org/2020/expanding-school-year-in-new-ways-may-be-one-outcome-of-pandemic-in-california/646028 | © 2020 EdSource Published December 30, 2020.

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