Learning Policy Institute – Restarting and Reinventing Schools: Priority 7 Provide Expanded Learning Time

Since schools closed nationwide last March, students have had uneven access to distance learning. A June 2020 survey of nearly 500 nationally representative districts found that, while 85% delivered some kind of materials to students, only one third required teachers to provide remote instruction in which they engaged and interacted with all of their students around the curriculum content (e.g., through online lessons, recorded lectures, or one-on-one support via phone or computer). These expectations were greatly disparate between affluent and lower-wealth communities, as well as between urban and rural districts. Some districts in which students lacked consistent internet access simply sent packets of worksheets home.

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The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.