Comparing ‘Learn Everywhere’ to Existing Opportunities

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This morning the State Board of Education (SBOE) is hearing public comments related to the ‘Learn Everywhere’ Rules. These rules, which were presented at the December SBOE meeting, were a follow-up to Senate Bill 435 which passed in Spring 2018. SB 435 offered language adjustments to the alternative education statute. The corresponding Q & A Overview issued by the Department of Education contains information on how Learn Everywhere would function.

NH is known for its innovative approaches to allow students to pursue their interests and passions through rigorous outside-of-the-classroom learning experiences. Those approaches, which are lauded for their rigor both in NH and well beyond, include Extended Learning Opportunities, dual and concurrent enrollment, work-based learning, and remote learning through VLACS.

In some respects, Learn Everywhere is similar to opportunities currently available to students across NH. The differences are largely in process. While ELOs are developed and authorized locally, Learn Everywhere proposes using the SBOE as the authorizer.

We’ve gotten many questions about the differences between Learn Everywhere and ELOs. Using the NH DOE’s Q and A document, we’ve created a side-by-side table to compare the two.

Comparing Extended Learning Opportunities and Learn Everywhere

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Extended Learning Opportunities (Existing) Learn Everywhere (New)

Note: All content in this column is sourced from the “Learn Everywhere Q & A and Overview of Program,” issued by the NH Department of Education.

Question 1: What is it?
Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are personalized credit-bearing learning experiences that happen outside of the traditional classroom. Learn Everywhere (LE) is a new proposal for students to earn credits while learning outside of the classroom. LE grants the State Board of Education authority to grant credits towards graduation.
Question 2: How does it work?
Students interested in ELOs work with school staff coordinating out-of-school learning experiences to develop a personalized, robust ELO design. School staff includes ELO coordinators, teachers, administrators, counselors, among others.   Nonprofit and for-profit partners interested in offering learning opportunities complete an application to the State Board of Education (SBOE). The NH Department of Education reviews the application for completeness and then applicants present their program to the SBOE.  If the program meets the requirements, the SBOE will grant the program a one-year license to operate.
Question 3: Who determines high school graduation credits?
Local school boards set and approve graduation requirements as well as ELO experiences for high school credit.   The SBOE approves credits towards graduation. The home district must accept those credits.
Question 4: How is the program funded?
ELO programming expenses are included in school operating budgets to make ELOs accessible to all students. Expenses include supplies, technology, and transportation. LE does not impact school funding. However, LE invites applications from for-profit programs. For-profit programs will likely require program expenses to be covered by students and families.  
Question 5: What are the educator certification requirements?
All ELOS require that a certified educator at the student’s school take part in the ELO design plan development, progress monitoring, and assessment. LE does not require certified teachers.
Question 6: How do students with disabilities participate in this program?
Students with disabilities work with the ELO Coordinator, their family members, and special education staff to develop an ELO. The student’s school provides accommodations and services written into the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) plan and implements IDEA safeguards. Schools are monitored and report on these accommodations. Students with disabilities will have the same accommodations as those written into IEP plans. LE program participants will coordinate with the school to accommodate appropriate services in support of the student. The school remains responsible for providing these services.
Question 7: How does accountability work? How do we know that students are learning what they need to know?
The ELO Design plan is based on unique content area competencies which students explore through the common components of quality ELOs. Through these common components, students are assessed on the knowledge and skills they demonstrate through their particular ELO. LE applicants are required to submit details about their plan for assessing students. However, the proposed Learn Everywhere rules do not ask applicants to include competency level information in the program approval process.
Question 8: How does local control work in each proposal?
ELOs are developed locally by certified educators and are approved by local school boards.

 

LE is developed by for-profit and nonprofit outside entities and then approved by the State Board of Education.

Here you can find the full version of the comparison.  

Do you have additional questions about Learn Everywhere and other opportunities available to NH students to gain credit outside of the classroom? Email staff@reachinghighernh.org to let us know.