Managing a Learning Extension Center

  • Mission: To provide educational and social-emotional support to Columbus City Schools students in a safe environment during our period of virtual learning

    The concept of a Learning Extension Centers (LEC) was realized through the Engagement Reopening Task Force in May 2020. The intent was to address internet access for students to interface with their teachers and virtual assignments while also creating educationally-conducive environments for students whose families may not have the resources at home. It is a true community engagement model that address the educational and social-emotional needs of our students and families. Though the LEC provides a “spot” for students to learn, the LEC does NOT replace the teacher or school. Instead, LECs provide reliable virtual access to schools, teachers and supplemental services.

    LECs are not licensed or a part of Columbus City Schools. We are grateful to the faith-based, non-profit, business, public, and community-based partners who stepped up and demonstrated what productive school-family-community partnerships look like for all of our students and beyond. LECs are open to serve not only CCS students but students throughout the Columbus community.

    What is a Learning Extension Center?
    Learning Extension Centers (LEC) are community, faith based, and other public sites that provide physical space within the facility to allow workstations for students. The purpose of the LECs is to provide educational and social-emotional support to Columbus City Schools students in a safe environment and welcoming environment during our prolonged period of virtual learning.

    What will the hours be for the Learning Extension Centers?
    Hours and days of the week vary by LEC. The actual days and hours will depend on the virtual school schedules of the students signed up for each center. Columbus City Schools encourages LECs to be open during the same hours as the regular school day to provide students with a full day of access to the internet and acadmiec supports.

    Are Learning Extention Centers provided for free?
    Columbus City Schools will only promote and coordinate with LECs who offer thier services at no charge to CCS families.

    What other supports should a LEC offer students of the LECs?
    Thanks to the generosity of the business community, nonprofit community and our government funding communities, our students will have the following supports and resources available to them:

    • A safe supervised educationally conducive environment that has broadband for students to be able to virtually interface with their teachers or participate in the CCS Digital Academy.
    • Volunteers to be able to assist students when needed
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for every students
    • Volunteers to assist with tutoring and lunch at many of the sites
    • Additional Chromebooks and Hotspots at the sites
    • Health and wellness checks via nationwide Children’s Hospital
    • College and Career guidance via our higher education access partners from IKIC

    Supportive Partners Include:
    Many of these supports and resources are possible through a galvanized effort by CCS and a consortium of community and District partners and funders: I Know I Can, City Year, Community in Schools, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), The Ohio State University, Children’s Hunger Alliance, Columbus Urban League, Franklin County Commissioners and Franklin County Job and Family Services, City of Columbus/Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, Columbus Metropolitan Library, ADAMH Board, ETSS, the Columbus Foundation, and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and members of Columbus City Council.

    Proper Health and Safety Protocols
    LECs have participated in the Columbus City Schools health and safety training protocols. LEC directors and staff have completed background checks. Some centers were also required to obtain temporary pandemic child care licenses through the State of Ohio.

    Click here to view the latest Health Protocol training (as provided to CCS staff)

    Creating a Plan for your LEC
    One of our current LECs has shared a sample of a plan for operating a LEC. Organizers can use it as a template for creating their own plans. The LEC Sample Plan can be found by clicking here.

    How do I register my Learning Extension Center?
    There are roughly 150 Learning Extension Centers spread across the city of Columbus, each operating with different parameters and services. Organizations who would like to register as an LEC with Columbus City Schools should contact the Department of Engagement at 614.365.8868 or email fsinkler@columbus.k12.oh.us.

    For any new LECs, please click here to begin your registration.