Extended learning time, also known as ELT, is an opportunity for students to make up work and get help from teachers. It started off as a time that SOL remediation students could get help for an hour once a week, but it eventually evolved into a school wide activity.
Now we have ELT paired with Leadership, a time where students get to talk about “school-wide problems.” Students are put into groups with random students across all grade levels.
In concept, it may seem like a good idea, but it is really just a waste of time. Rather than doing work, or getting the help we need, we are stuck in a classroom talking about how we feel about school policies and social lives. Although some classes are interactive and have good discussions, the majority of Leadership classes don’t even participate. It becomes a time where no one can get anything done.
Junior Evan Jost has been placed in a non-engaging leadership class. Since he can not catch up on work, he usually catches up on sleep.
“I really think it’s a waste of time because nobody really cares about it. Nobody is engaged so we would be better off having regular ELT… During ELT I catch up on work. I have five AP’s so I catch up on work to keep my head above the water. In leadership I usually take a nap or stare at my desk,” Jost said.
There are many students who are on the brink of passing their SOL exams, but need the opportunity to work with their teachers. With leadership, students only get two hours with their teachers every month. Two hours a month is not nearly enough time for a student to learn anything.
Not only is this time important to SOL remediation students, many students use this time to catch up on work. Junior Liam McGehee takes this time to improve his grades.
“I’ve got a lot of extra things to do after school. Homework is a struggle to get done, but ELT really helps that. Leadership really takes that freedom away from me,” McGehee said.