The ELO Team

Each team member in an Extended Learning Opportunity plays an integral part of its success. The general roles of each in an ELO Team are:

Student – The student is at the center of every ELO. They initiate an ELO idea and, with the assistance of the ELO Coordinator and Cooperating Teacher(s), direct the development of their ELO plan which includes the indicators they wish to prove proficiency in, and the learning activities they intend to complete as evidence of their skill. The student takes part in finding a Community Mentor that best suits their ELO needs and is responsible for acquiring the necessary signatures on the ELO application. During an ELO, the student must exhibit professional behaviors and is expected to adhere to rules, procedures, and policies of both school and workplace. In addition to active learning while on site, students are expected to maintain a thorough reflection journal and share its contents with all members of their ELO Team. Students are required to complete the work outlined in their ELO plans, and any work assigned by the Community Mentor. If possible, this includes a product designed to be beneficial to the Community Mentor and/or the community location. At the conclusion of the ELO, students share their learning in a panel presentation where they are assessed by an ELO evaluation team. This team includes the Extended Learning Opportunity Coordinator, Cooperating Teacher(s), Special Education Case Manager (if applicable), and any other individuals who are key to the student’s ELO success

ELO Coordinator – This individual is responsible for all aspects of the ELO Program and all individual ELOs. They work with the ELO Team to develop and execute ELOs, develop working relationships, and act as the liaison between Community Mentors and the school, the student and Community Mentor, and parents/guardians and the ELO Team.

The responsibilities of the ELO Coordinator are:

  • Facilitate the ELO application with input and feedback from the student, Cooperating Teacher(s), and Community Partner/Mentor.
  • Contract with appropriate certified teachers as needed for assistance in planning and assessment of ELOs.
  • Be available to provide guidance, support, academic assistance, and answer questions for all ELO students.
  • Keep track of student and ELO Team meetings and student work submitted.
  • Provide ELO forms, orientation, training, and expectations to the Community Mentor and site as necessary. Forms will include district insurance binders, copies of proficiencies, and any required supporting ELO documents.
  • Serve as a liaison to the site with the Cooperating Teacher(s) and be available to address concerns as they arise.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with Community Mentor and student to ensure ELO is going as planned.
  • Notify Community Mentor of any concerns or unforeseen events that may affect the scheduling and/or completion of ELO (snow days).
  • Host public presentations of ELOs as part of the final assessment process.
  • Evaluate student’s ELO specific work, provide guidance on evidence development, attend the final presentation, and sign of on the achieved proficiency. 
  • In the event that the ELO is not completed, organize exit interviews with Community Mentor, Cooperating Teacher(s), and, if applicable, the Special Education Case Manager.

Cooperating Teacher(s) – The Cooperating Teacher(s) may work with the student to determine the indicators for the ELO experience. The may also help the student develop a plan for how learning will be recorded and demonstrated. At minimum, the Cooperating Teacher decides what level of proficiency has been demonstrated. The Cooperating Teacher(s) may have a mentoring role also, checking in with the student to review formative assessment activities such as research and reflection, encouraging and praising success, and/or benchmarking what has been accomplished and what has yet to be learned. In some cases, the Cooperating Teacher(s) may share the mentoring role with another educator, a Community Mentor, or an ELO Coordinator.

The responsibilities of the Cooperating Teacher(s) are:

  • If  necessary, collaborate with student and ELO Coordinator to identify indicators as well as brainstorm potential opportunities for the student to develop evidence;
  • Be available to students during the ELO to provide guidance, support, academic assistance, and answer questions pertaining to the ELO;
  • Meet with students regularly (approximately bi-weekly) throughout the ELO to assess student progress;
  • If necessary, collaborate with parents/guardians as partners in the ELO process;
  • Keep track of meetings and student work submitted;
  • Notify the ELO Coordinator in the event that the student is not completing or submitting learning activities;
  • Notify the ELO Coordinator and parent/guardian of concerns, so that any issues may be resolved in a timely manner.

Special Education Case Manager – The Special Education Case Manager is the school personnel who is most familiar with a student identified as in need of an individual education plan (IEP), compliance requirements, and best practices in special education. They should also be more knowledgeable about the student’s unique needs. The Case Manager can contribute important information about how the student learns best, supports that might be provided, physical and learning accommodations, behavior supports, and other suggestions that will benefit all involved. The Case Manager may bring a long-standing relationship with the student and parent/family and be a key player in the ELO Team due to their insight and background knowledge. Having this assistance, input, and support will promote the student’s success in the ELO. Specific information about the student’s aptitude is confidential and requires student and parent approval before it can be disclosed.

The Special Education Case Manager will:

  •  Invite the ELO Coordinator to attend IEP meetings where transition is discussed;
  • Engage in conversations with the ELO Coordinator prior to the development of the ELO Application/plan to provide background knowledge of student’s strengths, abilities, aptitudes, and/or limitations;
  • Assist in the creation of the ELO application ensuring the student’s voice, goal(s), and needs are met;
  • Collaborate with student and Overseeing Educator to create the competencies, learning activities, and required assessments for the ELO;
  • Collaborate with parents/guardians as partners in the ELO and IEP process;
  • If applicable, assist the ELO Coordinator in developing ELO to be used as a transition plan or as part of the IEP Transition Plan;
  • Ensure the student’s IEP modification and/or accommodations are integrated into the ELO process and expectations;
  • Communicate student disabilities and “need to know” information (based on approval from parents/guardians) to the Community Partner/Mentor during initial meeting;
  • Create avenues of support as needed for the ELO either at school or in the community;
  • If applicable, work collaboratively with the ELO Coordinator to monitor support staff’s roles and responsibilities for the student’s plan in school and in the community;
  • Collaborate with the special education coordinator or director if special arrangements, such as transportation,must be arranged;
  • Be available to the student during the ELO to provide guidance, support, and academic/social/emotional assistance;
  • Assist the student in preparing for Community Partner/Mentor meetings, especially if his/her disability may impede communication;
  • Notify the ELO Coordinator and parent/guardian of concerns, so that any issues may be resolved in a timely manner and the Overseeing Educator and Community Partner is notified;
  • Notify the ELO Coordinator and Community Partner, as applicable, if the student will be absent and miss appointments;
  • Evaluate student work, provide guidance on portfolio development, attend the final presentation, and contribute to the final grade;
  • Organize supports for students to complete competency work, learning activities, portfolio development, documentation of learning, and assessments;
  • Engage in an exit interview, as needed. 

English Language Learners’ (ELL) Educator – As with the Special Education Case Manager, the ELL Educator is the school representative who is most familiar with compliance requirements and best practices in teaching English Language Learners. They are knowledgeable of the ELL student’s skills, abilities, and needs. The ELL Educator is best able to provide insight into the student’s cultural background and how this might need to be addressed as well as considerations that may need to be made. In addition, they are able to make suggestions on how to best support the student’s language needs through recommended modification and/or accommodations to ensure language barriers are not a hindrance to the success of the ELO.

The ELL Educator will:

  •  Serve as the communication link between the students and their families regarding the entire ELO from beginning to end;
  • Clarify information to students to ensure they understand the information;
  • Interpret the expectations of the ELO in the native language whenever possible
  • Hire an interpreter for students and/or parents as needed to ensure understanding of ELO Program and program documents or work collaboratively with the ELO Coordinator to create informational materials and program forms in students’ native languages;
  • Highlight the areas of importance on the ELO where parents/guardians need to sign and give consent. 

Community Mentor – The Community Mentor is the overseeing on-site adult who supervises and provides mentoring to students engaged in ELOs. This individual takes responsibility for monitoring the student’s activities and learning at the site as well as maintaining their safety. The Community Mentor works with the student to help them achieve the outlined academic and personal learning goals in the student’s ELO plan. Through regular contact, the Community Mentor answers student’s questions, encourages student’s learning through the inquiry process and guided exploration, shares in the student’s reflection of their learning, and assists the student in the development of their ELO project. The Community Mentor will be asked to assist in the evaluation of student engagement and professional skill development while on site. This evaluation will be done informally through written and oral communication with the ELO Coordinator as well as a formal evaluation to occur twice during the duration of the ELO. Community Mentors are encouraged to attend students’ final ELO panel presentations.

The responsibilities of the Community Partner/Mentor are:

  • Provide and maintain a safe environment for the student.
  • Keep and be able to locate location a copy of district insurance binder, DOL approval form, made available from ELO Coordinator.
  • Provide orientation to their site policies and procedures related to the ELO plan.
  • Provide supervision and training as appropriate to ELO plan.
  • Engage in regular dialogue with student’s ELO supervising teacher and/or ELO Coordinator regarding progress.
  • Review student’s reflections as appropriate and offer comments, ask questions, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Communicate any issues and/or concerns (student, site, or program) in a timely manner to ELO Coordinator.
  • Report absence and tardiness in a timely manner to ELO Coordinator.
  • Provide guidance and direction to the student in creating his/her product/project.
  • Participate in midpoint and final assessment of student work.
  • Attend final ELO presentation.
  • Complete midpoint and final evaluation forms and survey upon completion of ELO.
  • Participate in exit interview as needed.