North Atlanta’s Next Strategy to Grow Test Scores: ELT


New Year, New Things: The recent implementation of Extended Learning Time every Wednesday has left many Dubs, like Sophomore Shira Preis, wondering of its intentions.

Although the start of the COVID-19 outbreak can now be considered years ago, the pandemic continues to leave an impact on students’ lives, especially academically. While we may be maskless this year, the impact left behind is visible in every face. North Atlanta has seen the impact it’s had on test scores and thus implemented Extended Learning Time (ELT). ELT occurs every Wednesday during third period where the Dubs spend 20 minutes doing the test practice posted by teachers. The excess work and the class disruption has left the Dubs confused on what really is the point of ELT. 

ELT’s goal is to boost test scores. The whole endeavor is designed work given to courses corresponding with an EOC (end of course exam), like Biology, Algebra, American Literature, and U.S. History. Sophomores especially are getting work pointed at SAT preparations. Freshman Allision Walker finds the new implementation of ELT to be a wise decision on the school’s part. “Extra practice and applying what I know helps me learn,” said Walker. 

Generally speaking, the concept of ELT is useful for the future, but in action it’s not the greatest. Dubs that are in fast track math or not taking their typical grade-level courses, are not assigned any ELT. While this may be considered good news for the warriors ahead of the game, it’s bad news for the teachers. It creates an environment where students can easily get distracted by their phone or distract other students. Sophomore Grace Neff participated in fast track and is now in higher level math. She doesn’t have anything to do every other Wednesday. “It almost feels like twenty minutes of free time,” Neff said. 

Whether or not ELT is helpful to students is debatable, but one thing that’s clear is it takes away from the class the students are actually in. Teachers are required to give up 20 minutes of their precious class time to give their students time to do their ELT work. It takes away from instruction time, classwork, and even tests. Ultimately, the teachers are the ones that get the least out of ELT. Geometry teacher Taylor Sain has found that the ELT work she has to assign is more geared towards the SAT Math section. Oftentimes, the class has not covered the topics yet. Making students, who may need more support, fall behind. “Those that excel will continue to do so,” Sain said, “but the ones who may need more time will get left behind.”

ELT has joined the list of the many unusual tasks that North Atlanta has chosen to enforce this year. Whether or not ELT will truly leave an impact on the Warriors’ tests is something only time will tell.