The 21st CCLC language in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is largely based on the Afterschool for America’s Children Act amendment that was developed by Senators Boxer and Murkowski with input from the afterschool field over the past several years.

The new language:

To strengthen school-community partnerships to include sharing of data and resources, the ability to better leverage relationships within the community and provide an intentional alignment with the school day.

To encourage innovative new ways to engage students in learning that looks different from a traditional school day, with an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); financial literacy, workforce development, environmental literacy; and physical activity and nutrition education. Supports approaches that focus on individualized learning that provide a variety of ways for students to master core skills and knowledge.

To provide accountability measures that are connected to college- and career-readiness goals and shows student progress over time towards meeting indicators of student success including school attendance, grades and on-time grade level advancement.

To increase quality and accountability through parent engagement, better alignment with state learning objectives and coordination between federal, state and local agencies.

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