SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Extended Learning Opportunities Program Allows ORHS Students to Explore Business World
DURHAM — Following expansion to the Extended Learning Opportunities program this year, Oyster River High School students are excited about the impact its had on developing skills needed for college and future careers.
The ELO program, which welcomed coordinator Sean Peschel to begin the current school year, provides ORHS students with an avenue to seek out a more customized and individually-focused high school experience.
ELOs consist of four key components — reflection, research, product and presentation — and several categories, including independent coursework, advanced studies, career exploration, internships, teaching assistance and peer instruction. Students may also use materials from Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, which offers high school courses online that are not otherwise available at ORHS, to fulfill an ELO.
At the beginning of the process, students develop a proposal and plan that identifies which form their ELO experience will take.
“This program is a fantastic way to empower students to experience different career pathways based on their own interests,” ELO Coordinator Sean Peschel said. “ELOs are academically competency based and are completely aligned with the district’s mission to ‘work together to engage every learner.'”
ELOs took on a more formalized role within the ORHS curriculum at the beginning of the current school year. This year, there were 28 students who participated in the program and designed their own ELOs.
For ORHS senior Ethan Kesler, the ELO program helped him bridge a gap between the traditional high school curriculum and the business-oriented lessons he wanted to learn during his time in high school.
“My ELO experience was awesome,” he added. “Through this experience I was able to gain expertise in the area of business and gain connections with different advisers along the way. This was a great experience for me and definitely better prepared me for college.”
The program also enables students to assess college courses while still enrolled in high school, as well as build a relationship with a mentor teacher or community or industry partner to collaborate with throughout their experience.
“All of these skills have left him well prepared and even more excited about college,” said Ethan’s mother, Lisa Keslar. “ELOs are a wonderful way to really engage learners because they’re so personal and give students a chance to explore topics in more depth and develop skills they’ll need in college and the real world.”