• Dothan City Schools (DCS) recognizes the importance of Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) and the benefit of skills obtained in the classroom and applied in the work environment.

Section 1 

  • DCS will allow students to apply for ELOs offered for credit by outside entities using the following guidelines. 

    • The ELOs shall involve partnerships between the local education agencies, parents or guardians, students, and outside entities who will provide or assist with high-quality instruction. 
      • Such partnerships shall delineate the responsibilities of each partner and provide structures to guide the ELO.
    • Major components of the application shall include DCS’ assurances, school, student, and emergency contact information, type of ELO experience, partner organization information, ELO proposal standards, content, and timeline, conditions of the agreement, and partner signatures. 
      • Instructions for completing the application process are embedded throughout this guidance. 

Section 2 

  • By Alabama Code, Section 16-46C-5, entities eligible to submit applications for offering Extended Learning Opportunities are as follows: 

    • Nonprofit organizations
    • Businesses with established locations in the state
    • Trade associations
    • Any of the Armed Forces of the United States, subject to applicable age requirements.

    Partnership agreements with eligible entities shall comply with all federal and state labor laws and must include provisions for ensuring that students are supervised by approved individuals who meet and agree to guidelines outlined in local school district policy. 

    Partnerships with outside entities are crucial to providing high-quality ELOs. In many instances, students may already participate in service or leadership organizations that benefit the communities in which they live. By writing intentional, specific, and rigorous standards to accompany these group activities, students can be encouraged to broaden their participation in and learn from involvement in community service. To promote student access to ELOs, partnerships should provide instruction on relevant and customized topics for students’ individual learning needs and interests. Activities and designs should be respectful of all student subpopulations and student-driven. 

Section 3

  • The process for students to follow for requesting credit is as follows: 

    • The ELO application is to be completed by the student, a certified educator, parent/guardian, ELO partner, superintendent, and other leadership team members designated in the local district policy. 
    • At the time of application, the responsible entities will select the amount of credit to be awarded and set the guidelines for awarding such credit. 
    • No student shall receive more than one (1) credit for any ELO. 
      • Per this policy, the superintendent or superintendent’s designee will set guidelines for grading. 
      • The calculation of GPA and inclusion of ELO credit on the student transcript shall be consistent with all other offerings. 
    • The student and the certified educator will research the competencies/skills that can be met through the ELO to establish general expectations and goals for the project. 
    • The student and the certified educator work together to develop an overview of the project.
    • Some guiding questions that may assist with the development of the ELO are as follows:
      • What is your area of interest or curiosity?
      • What do you want to learn?
      • What will you create to show what has been learned?
      • With whom will you work?
      • How will your work be assessed? By whom?
    • The student, certified school personnel, family member/adult advocate, and community member/non-school-based mentor, will work as a team to provide a detailed plan that includes standards and assessment strategies and clearly defined grading criteria.
    • The plan should be student-driven and include providing students with the opportunity to do the following:
      • Construct meaning through disciplined inquiry and produce knowledge.
      • Apply, document, and defend their learning (via higher order thinking).
      • Apply skills and strategies to investigate the world through the lens of the academic discipline being studied.
      • Produce discourse, products, or performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school.
    • Matriculation through the ELO requires benchmarks that may include but are not limited to small projects, rehearsals, practices, drafts, artifacts, or other work that allows the student to move towards competency mastery.
    • Students with IEPs and 504 Plans shall be given the appropriate accommodations to construct meaning from their ELO experience. 

Section 4 

  • The superintendent or superintendent’s designee shall determine whether a proposed Extended Learning Opportunity shall be approved to count toward credit. 

Section 5

  • DCS shall award a student a certificate of completion and credit for completing an approved Extended Learning Opportunity. 

    • Assessments of ELOs shall be based upon the process and work product described in the application and learning plan. 
    • Once the student completes the ELO, a signed copy of the ELO application shall be placed in the student cumulative record to document the standards by which the credit was awarded and transcripted. 
    • A sample rubric for evaluation will be provided by the Superintendent or designee. The supervising teacher should be tasked with ensuring that the credit is documented and transcripted, and all members of the supervision team should participate in the assessment of the learning goals.

Extended Learning Opportunities Application

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Extended Learning Opportunities Rubric

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