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The Research Team Goes to Washington

ExpandED Schools

Two ExpandED Schools research team members, Shannon Stagman and Erika Samuels, recently attended the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Washington, DC, to promote and discuss promising practices for developing Out-of-School Time programs that produce positive outcomes for students. 

Shannon Stagman

Shannon Stagman

Senior Program Director of Evaluation Services

In collaboration with Rachel Chase, Jennifer Samson and Brian Collins of Hunter College, I participated in a session titled Leveraging Partnerships to Improve Outcomes for ELLs (English Language Learners): Designing, Implementing, & Evaluating Effective Out-of-School Time Programs

L-R: Sara Hines (session Chair); Shannon Stagman of ExpandED Schools; Hunter College's Rachel Chase, Brian Collins and Jennifer Samson; Christine Rosalia (session discussant). 

ExpandED Schools has collaborated for the last three years with these wonderful partners on a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant known as Hunter CASE (Collaboration, Alignment, STEM & Equity). The presentation shared Hunter CASE’s project goals and objectives and discussed how the intervention uses data to target resources for further need, including:

  1. Designing Out-of-School Time (OST) Programs to Meet the Needs of English Learners 
  2. Capitalizing on Funds of Knowledge: Increasing Teacher Knowledge and Skills to Support Emergent Bilinguals 
  3. Increased Collaboration and Alignment in OST Programs: Strategies for Evaluation

The presentation led to a lively discussion of best practices for meeting the needs of English Language Learners in different localities, such as translanguaging and building literacy supports in the student home language. It also shared strategies for more deeply assessing student learning and leveraging our project’s shared resources to move forward with strengthening the intervention.

Erika Samuels

Erika Samuels

Research Associate

I served as a discussant for the paper session titled Supporting and Strengthening After-School Programs. I offered relevant commentary on the significance of the presentations and asked questions to facilitate a discussion about shared challenges and lessons learned.

The featured papers addressed a range of important topics related to literacy, dropout interventions, data use for programmatic improvement and staff professional development. Some themes that were discussed included: creating a balanced after-school curriculum, meeting attendance and enrollment requirements and using data as a means to motivate and empower program staff. Panelists also commented on actionable next steps based on their findings and directions for future research. For example, a case study of after-school intermediaries may result in the creation of a tool to help organizations gauge their use of data and translate this into programmatic changes. Another study piloted an innovative professional development model that involves video-recording your own staff to celebrate and maximize strengths – and as a result, project directors are now offering workshops.

The session was a great opportunity to bring together a national group of researchers and line staff to discuss trends and empower change in the after-school world!



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