Professional Development

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Aligning the Learning Day

Thursday, 19 September 2013 03:42

There simply isn't enough time in a typical school day for children and youth to learn everything they must know and be able to do for future success in their world of work. We also know that kids learn every minute of the day. So it makes sense, now more than ever before, that all educators—particularly principals and afterschool program leaders—work together to structure students' varied and diverse learning times and experiences in and out of school for maximum effect.

Shrinking budgets are requiring Americans everywhere to use resources more efficiently. The economic recession is also a good time to look at what already exists with an eye toward innovation. The National AfterSchool Association believes that the time and places kids learn out of school are more vital to their success than ever before. We recognize that our work with children and youth must be seamlessly aligned with the efforts of educators during the regular school day.

The boards of directors of both the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have released a joint statement designed to lead the development of a new learning day not bound by place, time, or conventional ways of acquiring knowledge and skills. NAESP and NAA are committed to offering support and assistance to our members as they work collaboratively, side-by-side, to help all children by increasing their opportunities and access to enriching learning experiences. We challenge our members to think of leading a new learning day as a means to achieving innovative reform for both school and afterschool—not just another responsibility added to their workloads. Together we can achieve our mutual goals for children. We believe this visionary statement will guide principals and afterschool directors—those who are most directly involved and responsible for children's day-to-day learning experiences—as they move the vision from concept to reality across the nation.

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NAA and NAESP have worked together to develop a professional development workshop entitled "Aligning the Learning Day, Collaborating Strategies for Principals and AfterSchool Program Leaders." To learn more, click here.

Related Downloadable Resources:

Responsibility Checklist for Principals and Afterschool Program Leaders

The Twenty Minute Meeting Agenda

Leading a New Day for Learning, 2009 Joint Statement of the Board of Directors of NAESP and NAA

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Collaborating to Build a New Day for Learning is an outcome of a report released by the Time, Learning, and Afterschool Task Force in January, 2007, and funded by the C. S. Mott Foundation. To learn more, visit To learn more about the National Association of Elementary School Principals, visit

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