George Lucas Educational Foundation
6-8 Middle School

Resources and Downloads for Expanded Learning Time

Educators from Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, Massachusetts have provided a sample school schedule, lesson plans, professional-development resources, and more for expanded learning time.

Credit: Alyssa Fedele
Edwards Middle School in Boston added three hours to the school day and use the longer school day for both focused academic attention and a wide array of extracurriular enrichment activities.

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Resources from Edwards Middle School

Below are documents provided by Edwards Middle School.

Edwards Middle School Daily Schedule - See how Edwards schedules their extended school day. Regular school hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with expanded learning time happening Monday through Thursday from 1:40 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.

Edwards Middle School Assessment Calendar - The assessment calendar for the 2012-2013 school year includes district predictive tests as well as state and national tests. Once students complete predictives, they are placed in their respective academic blocks, then Edwards staff can begin to prepare students for state and national tests. These include Massachusetts Comprehensive Asessment (MCAS) and National Assessment Education Progress (NAEP).

Curriculum Team Long Term Plan - This document helps to show how Edwards teachers and staff lay out their curriculum schedule for the entire school year. Each week, teacher leaders from content area teams, or "families," as they call it, turn in a Curriculum Team Alignment Plan to the Director of Instruction. The Director of Instruction makes sure that Edwards is keeping up with all standards for both Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the Common Core.

Teacher Collaboration - This document is used to plan the Edwards professional development schedule. Edwards has 80 minutes of planning time each week, twice as much as the standard for BPS schools. Edwards prefers having 80 minutes of professional development time for creating and fine tuning their master schedule and working with the curriculum long term plan.

Curriculum Team Alignment Plan - The curriculum team alignment plans are turned in by teacher leaders to the Director of Instruction every week. These sheets display objectives and expectations for BPS curriculum, Common Core in math and science, the mastery learning objective for the week, and the language objective. The document has flexibility with pacing plans for weeks when classrooms require high levels of differentiated instruction, language readiness, and learning profiles of students.

Edwards Lesson Plan Expectations - This document lays out a list of lesson plan expectations, including thinking objectives, mastery learning objectives, skill coverage, engagement, activities, assessment, and homework. The document also includes Edwards's five-step approach to planning and pacing 60 and 80-minute class periods. The five-step approach includes warm-up, mini-lessons, exploration (group or independent work period), reflection, and closing procedure.

English Language Arts (ELA) Lesson Plan - Completed lesson plan from ELA teacher Hassan Mansaray

Edwards Lesson Plan Template - Blank lesson plan template

ELT Electives Schedule - Schedule of electives offered at Edwards in winter 2012 and spring 2013

ELT Elective Descriptions - Document provided to parents with detailed descriptions of electives offered at Edwards

ELT Elective Descriptions - Another document for parents with more descriptions of electives at Edwards

Academic League Schedule - Schedule of the focused academic intervention session at Edwards calle Academic Leagues

Below are documents from a poetry unit provided by English Language Arts teacher Hassan Mansaray.

Poetry Vocabulary Terms - Vocabulary and key terms used in poetry

Poetry Example - Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken

Reading and Interpreting Poetry - Worksheet on which students must answer four questions based on a poetry example from class -- two questions are discussed in class and two are answered in notebooks that students hand in

Reading and Interpreting Poetry - Another poetry worksheet

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Learn More About Edwards Middle School: Website, Articles, Videos, and Blogs

Below are links to information as well as articles and other media coverage featuring Edwards Middle School from media outlest including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and National Public Radio.

Edwards Middle School - Homepage for Edwards Middle School

Boston Public School District - District homepage for the Boston Public Schools

Clarence Edwards Middle School: Success Through Transformation - Case study conducted by National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) on how ELT started at Edwards Middle School and its results

Academic Leagues at Edwards Middle School - Excerpt provided by NCTL from the Time Well Spent Report, explaining how Edwards has closed the achievement gap within Massachusetts in math, English language arts, and science with their Academic Leagues

Shortchanged by the Bell - New York Times Op-Ed piece citing Edwards as proof for ELT

Why We Need a Longer School Day - Huffington Post article on why schools need a longer day; cites Edwards as a thriving Boston school after implementing ELT

For Teachers Contract Talks, Extended School Days Is an Issue - NPR article and audio clip on ELT featuring Amrita Sahni, Director of Instruction at Edwards

Math Leagues: Making Middle School Math Matter - Video from Mass 2020 video on middle school math; filmed at Edwards

Arts in Education in a New School Day - Video from Mass 2020 on on arts in education; filmed at Edwards

Websites for Expanded Learning Time

National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) - Nonprofit dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement and enable a well-rounded education

Mass 2020 - Affiliate of the NCTL, committed to expanding educational and economic opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts

Mass 2020 overview of ELT - Overview page on ELT, includes examples and case studies in language arts, mathematics, and science

Citizen Schools - Nonprofit that partners with middle schools with ELT across the United States

The Wallace Foundation - ELT resources from The Wallace Foundation including books and research findings

More Edutopia Resources on Expanded Learning Time:

Video: An After-School Network Expands Learning Time

Article: A Campus-Community Approach to Enriching the After-School Hours

Video: A Week in the Life of PASA's After-School AfterZone

Video: A New Day for Learning: Expanding the Educational Experience

Edutopia Package: A New Day for Learning, Part One

Edutopia Package: A New Day for Learning, Part Two

School Snapshot

Edwards Middle School

Grades 6-8 | Charlestown, MA
534 | Public, Urban
Per Pupil Expenditures
$7,651 School$17,283 District$13,658 State
Free / Reduced Lunch
61% Hispanic
16% Black
14% Asian
8% White
38% English-language learners 24% special needs
Data is from the 2011-12 academic year.