About Local Education Agencies, School Boards & Principals
Principals, superintendents and local education agencies can aid afterschool and expanded learning programs by helping to leverage local resources, assist in alignment with school standards, offer access to student records and grades and enable school personnel to work as afterschool staff.
School board members are in a unique position to build and sustain the momentum around afterschool program initiatives in their communities. Collaborating with the superintendent, staff members and community leaders, the board can initiate a package of policies, networks, funding adjustments, incentives, quality standards, training, technical assistance and convening strategies to help transform schools into community learning centers that offer a rich array of learning opportunities beyond regular school hours.
The following are ways that federal, state and local leaders can support the extension of learning beyond the school day:
- Integrate afterschool into the overall policy on education, youth and family.
- Steer state principal associations toward becoming part of statewide efforts to further afterschool and expanded learning.
- Advocate at all levels for adequate funding for afterschool.
- Continue to increase funding of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
- Provide principals with high-quality, ongoing professional development on afterschool and expanded learning issues.
- Use supplemental services as an opportunity to provide a continuum of supports for students.
- Link afterschool and expanded learning programs to other social service programs in the community.
- Recognize wellness and nutrition as important components in children’s overall ability to learn.
Strategies to Support Local Education Agencies, School Boards and Principals
- Set policies that encourage and prepare key people to collaborate and work in partnership with others in the school and community.
- Create incentives and eliminate regulatory barriers to make it easier for schools to develop partnerships with groups that can help provide afterschool and expanded learning opportunities for students and families.
- Provide financial support for a full-time coordinator for afterschool and community-school programs.
- Take advantage of the Title I Supplemental Service provision by offering engaging academic help in your own afterschool programs.
- Provide transportation for students participating in afterschool and expanded learning programs.
- Encourage schools to sponsor community-wide showcases of best practices in afterschool, summer and weekend programs for educators, parents, students and the community to gain their interest and involvement.
- Support the development of capacity-building statewide afterschool networks to link powerful afterschool and community-school programming across the school district.
- Create more obvious pathways and connections for secondary school students to postsecondary education, career opportunities and successfully finishing high school.
Rally volunteer support for tutoring and mentoring.