Extended Learning: Framework to Success
When you think of after school programs, do you see students learning, making connections, and discovering their passion? Or do you see endless email chains attempting to coordinate the program, hours spent setting up classrooms, and poor uptake?
Would you believe us if we told you we can deliver on the good parts of after school learning (actual benefit to students) and make all the other parts (the admin and attendance) easy?
We can see your eyes rolling from here. You’ve heard it all before, right? The private sector shows up for a semester and promises to shake things up, walking away with positive PR even though you did all the work and have no return on investment to show for it.
Well, we’re as frustrated as you are with the limits of K-12 education. Even the government knows there’s a problem, throwing ever more funding at schools and hoping for change.
While the funding is welcome, it’s not a solution in itself. Educators and administrators (i.e., you) still have to do all the work of sourcing, setup, coordination and admin required to run a program—and find a way to get students to show up.
That’s why we’ve come up with the WorkED framework: 4 steps that identify where the gaps often are in after school program awareness:
The WorkED Framework
1. Demand generation: How will you identify the right students who can truly benefit?
2. Discovery: Ensuring students and parents know about the program
3. Value proposition: Will students and parents understand why this program is important?
4. Belonging: Will students feel this is a place they will want to, and deserve to, be?
To reach students, after school opportunities have to be discovered by school districts. The districts have to tell the school administrators. School administrators have to tell teachers, and teachers have to remember to tell their students. That’s a lot of forwarded emails!
What if those teachers only tell select students who they think are interested? It’s a recipe for (well intentioned) selection bias.
We can help you skip all that with Facebook and Instagram campaigns that target the students and parents directly. This could help kids who may not be as vocal in their ambition as their classmates discover new opportunities. No more poor uptake (and no more email chains to track).
We hear the same issues from administrators again and again: They are already spread too thin, and running coordinated programs becomes too complex.
Admins have to work with different schools, sourcing and coordinating locations, communicating with different school leaders, and holding vendors accountable (on top of all the day-to-day jobs, too).
We handle all of that for you. We even make it easy for ourselves: Our technology lets us run all of this in one end-to-end platform.
The most common thing we hear from students is “I thought this was gonna suck”. Students are conditioned for low expectations with community and after school programs. Why? Because they often do suck.
Students (or anyone for that matter) don’t want to sit around being told stuff for an hour.
That’s why we implement an 80/20 rule: Students should spend 80% of the time “doing”: Group projects, problem-based learning, presentations.
This gives students the opportunity to feel what work is. They form bonds with their peers and make meaningful connections with professionals who can offer valuable mentorship opportunities.
At the end of it all they can walk away with proof that they gained critical skills in an area they could become passionate about. And that does not “suck”.
Have you ever, during the course of an after school program, spent time searching through your emails, files, contacts just to find one crucial document or date? It’s a common problem. There’s no one system to track it all: To keep everyone accountable and on time.
That’s why we spent 10 years developing one tool to be an end-to-end solution for afterschool programming. It’s organization, project management, enrollment and learning management software all in one platform.
We’re different because we aren’t here to tell you how to run after school programs. We’re here because we’ve been listening and we’re here to help you run a program without putting in all the unrecognized labor. A program that ultimately leads to better student experiences and outcomes.
We’d love to hear how we can help you run effective after school programs, reach out!