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UMDI Evaluation of New Hampshire Extended Learning Opportunities Initiative Released

UMDI’s Applied Research and Evaluation Unit recently completed an 18-month evaluation of the New Hampshire Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Initiative. This study was conducted with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. ELOs are a central component of the NH Department of Education’s strategy to provide students with rigorous and engaging learning experiences beyond the boundaries of the traditional high school classroom. This UMDI study examined the three-year pilot phase of the NH ELO Initiative, which remains ongoing and is slated to be scaled up statewide.

In its prototypical form, an ELO project is developed in response to a specific student interest, and is a well-planned and robust educational experience occurring outside the traditional classroom with support from a community partner, with facilitation and oversight from a qualified teacher. ELO projects must respond to established district curriculum standards, and all required course competencies must be met before academic credit can be awarded.

Through the ELO Initiative, NH DOE and its implementing partners provided financial support and technical assistance to four pilot sites, with the goal of developing school-level systems required for school wide implementation of ELOs. The sites included Franklin, Laconia, Manchester Central, and Newfound Regional high schools. Each of the schools generated a substantial volume of ELO projects, engaging a diverse array of students, teachers, and community partners.

Study findings examine ELO
• Development and implementation
• Student participant characteristics
• Project characteristics
• Assessment practice
• Quality and rigor
• Impacts on students, teachers, partners, and schools

The report is available here.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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