Anaheim Elementary School District extends school day for expanded learning opportunities

The Anaheim Elementary School District announced this week that it’s extended the school day to nine hours at each of its 24 campuses to boost student support and enrichment.

Augmented counseling, music and other new offerings have been made possible by California’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, which was signed into law from Assembly Bill 130. The program allocates a total of $1.75 billion to school districts for after-school and summer enrichment from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade, with the goal of increasing social-emotional support and lowering pandemic-related stress.

“There’s no doubt that online learning during lockdown and the continued pandemic worries have created a need to accelerate learning like never before for our students and their families,” Anaheim Elementary Superintendent Dr. Christopher Downing said. “This initiative hopes to support our young people achieve their full academic potential, while fostering their social, emotional and physical wellness.”

AESD officials say they’ve expanded their hours of operation by 30 minutes to an hour before school and about 90 minutes after school. During this time, students will have access to tutoring mentors, counselors, music programs, sports and other activities, along with multicultural enrichment, including monthly school-wide assemblies.

This district’s summer academic program will also be extended an additional 30 days.

Superintendent Downing spoke about the initiative to CBS2 News This Morning on Monday. Fox 11 Los Angeles also filmed a segment on AESD’s expanded learning efforts.

The Anaheim Elementary School District serves nearly 16,000 students at two dozen campuses in the city of Anaheim, making it the largest elementary school district in Orange County — and the second largest in California.