SIG Midwest Meeting: Increased Learning Time in High School, Part 3

Achievable Dream Academies: A Grade K-12 Partnership with Newport News Public Schools This is one in a series of blog posts about the recent Midwest High School SIG Conference, held May 18-19, in Chicago. During the session Organizing for High School Change: Increased Learning Time, Lee Vreeland, Director of Education and Student Services at the Achievable Dream Academies, described how she and her colleagues have used time as a resource to implement their vision of social, academic, and moral education. At Achievable Dream, they focus on two key questions:
  • What do children need to succeed?
  • What do schools need to create an environment in which children learn and succeed?
Answers to these questions have led them to increase learning time—extended day (8.5 hours versus 6.5 hours), a summer intersession to jumpstart the school year, and Saturday school—and they use this time creatively and flexibly to tailor instruction and activities to meet students’ individual needs. To view Lee’s presentation, go to To read more about Achievable Dream and other extended time practices, see the National Center on Time and Learning’s case profiles. Guest Author:  Becky Smerdon is founder and Managing Director at Quill Research Associates, LLC and a member of the National High School Center’s Editorial Team. Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.  

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