Imagine Kenosha Learning Center
Out of school time homework & learning programs offered after school and over the summer, such as those offered by Imagine Kenosha Learning Center, that are aligned with the school day curriculum, can support student learning and attack student achievement gaps by offering additional supports to struggling students that complement and reinforce learning that takes place in the classroom. Imagine Kenosha Learning Center is working to create mechanisms for ongoing communication, data sharing, and collaboration with both Bristol and Salem Grade Schools. These efforts are designed to help us complement school-day instruction and support our students in academic achievement. Our goal is to complement, support, and expand (but not replicate) the core work of the school. In this relationship with regular school time, out of school time learning can provide a host of unique opportunities for students to succeed and remain engaged in school-day learning.
Bristol and Salem Grade Schools have now formally adapted the Common Core Standards. The Common Core is the result of a two-year process, facilitated by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), to develop a set of common standards for math and English Language Arts (ELA). The Common Core represents what students in grades K-12 should master in order to be college and career ready, and the hope is that the standards will increase the rigor and coherence of curriculum and assessment as well as increase alignment across states.
There is an important yet under-conceptualized thread in the weave of efforts needed to ensure that all students enter high school prepared to succeed and eventually graduate high school prepared for college and/or career training: enhanced student supports. Communities need to provide direct, evidence-based supports that help students attend school regularly, act in a productive manner, overcome any external obstacles to getting a solid education, and put forth the effort required to meet academic expectations. This includes completing work outside the classroom - there are students that pass key exams but receive low or failing grades because they have accumulated multiple zeros for not completing homework assignments and independent projects.
Education is now the primary pathway to adult success and as a result, all students must be prepared for post-secondary achievement. In short, a high school diploma is no longer an end point in the educational system (and success in high school must begin well before the student enters high school). This may seem on the surface to be a prosaic statement, but it is in fact quite revolutionary. Preparing all students for post-secondary success will have a profound impact on the nation's economy and social future. The Common Core Standards provide a good framework for how to do this, but we must ensure that there are no barriers to success to every student. Our current era is shaping up to be a revolutionary time in American education.