Extended Learning Opportunities: Student Driven Learning

What is an Extended Learning Opportunity? Watch this: ELO’s @BHS

ELOs align with BHS 21st Century Guiding Principles or course competencies to ensure academic content through experiential learning. An Extended Learning Opportunity is the epitome of student driven learning and a powerful addition to traditional schooling. They provide authentic opportunities for students to follow their interests, expand the curriculum to the real world, and work individually with a teacher and expert. ELOs offer numerous benefits to students as they develop self-confidence and independence.

ELOs can be designed for individuals or small groups, and may be a way of gaining elective credit for activities in which a student is already engaged. After formalizing a contract to meet ELO standards and expectations, students pursue learning opportunities that are meaningful to them. Students must adhere to the four ELO principles: Research, Reflection, Product and Presentation.


ELOs involve the whole community. Students receive guidance and support from the ELO coordinator (or teacher) who will help design the learning experience and monitor its progress. When appropriate, the student will also be mentored by a community partner who will provide the real-world connection. Parents will be included from the outset and provide needed support and encouragement.

Recent article articulating the promise of ELO’s


For Teachers Interested In ELO Support


Intended to be an easy way for students to achieve credit. About academic achievements based on standards and competencies.
To remove a student from a classroom. An extension of the classroom.
Intended to replace local teachers. A way for teachers to individualize instruction and share their passions.
Based on amount of time spent on task. About demonstrating growth and achievement.
Always school-based. An expansion beyond the school building and into the community.
Always between the opening and closing school bells. Before, during, and after school, on weekends, during vacations, and during the summer.
Memorizing facts.  Applying knowledge