Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) provide students with the opportunity to have learning experiences at a business or community organization or with community experts in particular fields. 

Students work with professionals in our community who become “mentors” to them in their areas of expertise. The experiences can be short-term, such as a job shadow, community interview, or a guest speaker visit, or long-term, such as a semester or year-long study. 

The ELOs provide students with real-life experiences and help them learn about local businesses and organizations. Students get to learn non-traditionally through these experiences. The program started in 2011-2012 as a credit recovery program. Credit recovery students were the only ones allowed to use them, and they were all long-term, credit-bearing ELOs. 

ELOs are highly personalized and look very different from student to student. However, there are six basic categories that can be broken down into:

  • Job Shadows -This is ideal for a student that doesn’t have room in their schedule to accommodate an additional credit opportunity, but is looking to explore a career of interest.
  • Career Exploration ELOs -This works well for a student that wants to focus their study on determining a post high school career path.
  • Traditional ELOs -These are always credit bearing. They work well for the student that has either the flexibility in their schedule to accommodate an additional credit bearing course or is filling a credit need.

  • Physical Education ELOs -This functions in partnership with the Sanford-Springvale YMCA. Students complete a certain number of required hours and tasks while making trips to the YMCA, or other local gyms or workouts.

  • Independent Study Style ELOs - This functions similarly to traditional independent studies, but with a stronger connection. This is a great option for students that are interested in topics that traditional SHS classes don’t cover. In addition, it requires community connections that are outside of our immediate area.

  • Internship/Work Experience ELOs - These are generally utilized by SRTC students. They place students in real-world job settings to supplement the learning that is taking place in the CTE classroom. 

Additionally, we have over 120 partners across the state that work with our students. They are developed based on the individual interests and needs of each student. Our list of community partners continues to grow.

If you are interested in becoming a partner or learning more, contact Katie Schindler, Career Exploration Coordinator, kschindler@sanford.org.