Support System for

Children and Families

Pilot Program: EL Education

EL Education

EL (Expeditionary Learning) Education is a whole-school design model that combines challenging, project-focused academics with a strong focus on character and building habits of scholarship. EL Education schools create environments that promote deep engagement in learning and high levels of student achievement. Students in EL schools take active roles in their classrooms and communities, fostering subject-area mastery and 21st-Century skills critical to college readiness and lifelong success.

The Challenge

Models of experiential learning and project-based learning are replacing traditional educational models because they prepare students more effectively to thrive in today’s world. Experiential learning models engage students in real-world, authentic learning contexts and provide opportunities to develop high-level skills such as critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.

HEA Experiential Learning Pilot Program

Two Elkhart County schools, Chamberlain Elementary School in Goshen Community Schools and York Elementary School in Middlebury Community Schools, are implementing the EL Education model of whole-school experiential learning re-design.

Indicators of Success

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In 2014-2015, two Elkhart County schools, Chamberlain Elementary School in Goshen and York Elementary School in Middlebury, went through a rigorous process with EL Education to become EL schools. Chamberlain became an EL school in January 2015, and York became an EL school in May 2015.

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Both elementary schools have exceeded implementation targets each year and are on-track for full implementation within four years of launching the program.

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Chamberlain Elementary school is already showing “exemplary practice” among some indicators. Other EL schools invited Chamberlain to present about their implementation practices.

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York Elementary school implemented a community service project this year highlighted by the national EL Network and in local media. The project engaged students in designing, building, and placing fifteen lending libraries around the community. All aspects of the project involved students, including contacting community agencies to identify locations for the libraries and working with local businesses to design and build the libraries.

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One important indicator of school culture and teacher growth is in teacher turnover. Chamberlain Elementary had 0% teacher turnover last year, and York had 4% teacher turnover. These numbers are lower than national and local rates of teacher turnover.

The Solution

The EL Education core practices create school environments that promote deep engagement in learning and high levels of student achievement.

The EL Education model challenges students to take active roles in their classrooms and communities. The model fosters subject-area mastery and 21st-Century skills critical to college readiness and lifelong success; literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, persistence toward excellence, and active citizenship.

Students in EL Education schools show learning through producing authentic, high-quality work products.

EL Education students around the country are outperforming their state and district peers on standardized tests. Research shows teachers in EL Education schools are closing critical achievement gaps for English language learners and for Hispanic, African-American, special education, and low-income students.

EL Education

How You Can Help

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History with HEA

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