ELO Program Design
First steps for planning an ELO program
If you are the person trying to get ELOs started in your school, start with questions like these:
- Who are your allies in starting ELOs?
- Where does your school already have “almost ELOs?”
- What’s going to get in your way? What are the barriers?
- What are you worried about?
- What is your school/district policy about ELOs?
- Who needs to be on board?
- Who is already on board?
- How will you explain and promote your ELO to students and faculty?
The Almost ELO chart (PDF) helps you see where you are already providing learning opportunities that are almost high-quality ELOs.
ELO webinars from Next Steps NH
Next Steps NH has developed three two-hour workshops for our New Hampshire project schools on various aspects of ELOs. Materials include how-to-use instructions and PowerPoint with presenter notes. Workshop overviews
Program design examples and tools
ELOs can be available to students for varying amounts of credit – from a multi-disciplinary, multi-credit opportunity to a focused one targeting specific competencies as part of a traditional classroom course. Different schools in NH have varying policies around ELOs and are also at different points of implementation within those policies.
Examples of how schools set up their programs:
- Lebanon High School ELO website
- Winnacunnet High School ELO Program in Hampton, NH. Winnacunnet’s program was featured by the New England Secondary School Consortium.
- Newmarket Jr/Sr High School ELO Program website
Tools available to help you develop your program:
- The New Hampshire Extended Learning Opportunity Handbook (PDF, 311 pages, 2016) is a comprehensive manual by Sheila Ward, Bonnie Robinson and Doug Cullen. It covers all aspects of ELO program development and implementation – a rich resource!
- The ELO Program Development Process Chart (PDF, 5 pages) is a planning tool shared by Sheila Ward and Pittsfield High School. It leads you through the important questions and decisions.
- The NH DOE Extended Learning Opportunities webpage contains New Hampshire Department of Education guidelines and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
- You can partner with VLACS to expand your ELO offerings and gain access to a wider range of certified educators. School Partners: Partnering With VLACS For ELOs
Download an ELO brochure for parents that your school can use to introduce ELOs. It’s a PDF with an editable space on the front to add your school’s information.
Promotional image for your use (PNG, 2022) from ELON.
BeyondClassroom website flyer (PDF, 1 page, 2018) to introduce this site to others.
Reaching Higher NH, a non-partisan public education policy resource, has promotional videos, articles and brochures on ELOs.
Role of an ELO coordinator
- is a leader for the ELO initiative in the school
- acts as a liaison between the school and the larger community
- develops and maintains the quality of the specific ELOs in the school
- coordinates the “moving parts” of an ELO
- maintains records and data for the purpose of continually assessing and improving the ELO process
Eligibility: ELOs are for ALL students
A key principle of ELOs is that all students have access to them, including students who:
- don’t attend school
- are on the honor roll
- have failed classes
- have diverse learning needs
- are gifted learners
- are non-responsive to traditional teaching methods
- are home-schooled
- have IEPs or Section 504 plans
When schools decide to pilot ELOs, it is important to include diverse populations from the beginning.
Learn from studies of ELO programs in NH
- Final Report of Evaluation Findings (PDF, 2011, 7 pages) is the final formative and summative feedback from the original 2011 ELO study in New Hampshire. It guided the continuing implementation of Extended Learning Opportunities in New Hampshire.
Research for Action (RFA) conducted a two-year study on ELOs (PDF, 34 slides, 2016) in New Hampshire. Final Report: Results from a Two-Year Study of the Effects of Extended Learning Opportunities on Student Outcomes in New Hampshire (PDF, 72 pages, 2016).