Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 6

day after school, quality after-school
programs are keeping kids safe; inspiring
them to learn; serving as a source of
support and comfort to working families;
and even helping working parents be more
productive at work and keep their jobs."
Effective education during a typical
school day tends to focus on three key
learning essentials: aptitude, perseverance,
and ability to comprehend. In the words
of the "Making Summer Count" study,
"aptitude is the amount of time a specific
student needs to master a learning objective. Students with high aptitude will learn
the objective more quickly than those with
low aptitude. Perseverance is the amount
of time a student is willing to invest in
mastering the objective. Some students,
through interest or through learned
discipline, spend more time learning. The
ability to comprehend the instruction is
generally related to language comprehension and the ability to understand the
learning task." In addition, students need to
understand what the specific learning goal
is, and they must have sufficient materials
for learning and the steps required for
learning need to be well-organized.
However, research suggests that the
best learning occurs when students also
are actively engaged with a subject. This
is where most after-school and summer
programs focus their attention: providing
a range of activities and experiences that

6

Principal * Special Supplement * 2018

encourage engagement and spark imagination. A growing number of schools
are also working with artists, experts, and
education-focused, community-based
organizations (CBOs) to regularly bring
such activities into the school day.

Where to Begin

There is no one "best" approach. Some
programs focus more on the arts. Some
strive to balance mental exercises with
athletic activities. Some highlight reading
and math retention, whereas others
emphasize hands-on projects. Some
districts develop their own curriculum
and provide their own instructors; others
rely on CBOs that specialize in delivering
after-school and summer learning. Some
schools charge students a fee for participation; others are funded by grants and
corporate sponsorships.
Each district and each school needs to
develop the program that best fits its students, community, staff, and budget. If you
are in an urban school district, for example,
research shows that more urban parents (40
percent) prefer after-school programs that
provide music, art, and culture than their
suburban and rural peers. If you are in a
rural district, after school may be your only
option; providing summer classes of any
kind may be prohibitively expensive.
Whatever the situation, an effective
program begins with the principal.

Robin Berlinsky, executive director of
Engaging Creative Minds, a Charleston,
South Carolina-based CBO, notes that,
before it accepts a school as a client,
the organization talks directly with the
principal. "Our approach has to be principal-driven," she says. "We want to make
sure they'll support something they may
not be comfortable with at first and that
they'll give teachers the freedom to explore
it in the classroom."
On the principal's side, Courtney
A. Howard, interim assistant dean of
the College of Charleston's School
of Education, Health, and Human
Performance, says, "Principals should be
able to articulate a clear vision for how
they want the program to serve students
and the type of experiences they want their
students to have while in the program.
"The principal also should consider to
what extent the program will align with
the school day, including how students
are grouped or organized, what they will
do, and who will staff the program. These
components will influence the type of
experience the students will have and, ultimately, their attendance and engagement."
No program must deliver all things
to all students. The key is to know your
resources, as well as your limitations, so
you can then make the most of what is
available. For example, Ethan Dschaak,
principal at Piedmont Valley Elementary



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018

Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 3
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 4
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 5
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 6
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 7
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 8
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 11
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 12
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 13
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 17
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 18
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 19
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 20
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 21
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 22
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 24
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 25
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 27
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 28
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 29
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 30
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 31
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 32
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover3
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover4
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