Enrichment and Support: What the Extended Day Program Offers to Students

At the time of publication EHHS has been issued by the state of Connecticut to temporarily close until April 20th due to the Coronavirus, Covid-19, outbreak. As a result, all school activities have been cancelled - that includes the after school program. However, when the school reopens - at a date for which Governor Ned Lamont will announce - the After-School program hopes to offer students the benefits which are stated below. If changes are to occur in regards to the program, students will be notified.

Are you looking for support in a Capstone project? Do you want to enroll in a course not offered in a regular school day? The Extended Day Program offers all this support, enrichment and much more to the students of EHHS. The program began on March 2, 2020 and will continue on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:15pm to 3:45pm. Whether you are in search of extra help or support of any type, EHHS, and its teachers, are here to offer comfort and encouragement to all who attend!

The Extended Day Program is designed to be either an intervention program for students looking for support or an enrichment program for students looking to extend their learning. EHHS began the program to aid students from each grade level. The program is made possible by state funding. The funding is provided each year and the school judges what students are in need of the most to allocate the money accordingly -- this is true for all schools in East Haven. EHHS Principal, Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo, decided it would be best to use the funds to grant students new opportunities. “We decided to look at this and say 'what are we struggling with?’ We want to make sure that students are getting the credits that they need towards graduation [...] But, we also want to [...] offer some new courses in the future [so] let’s ‘pilot’ these in an extended day and see if there is any interest from students. That informs what we do in the future,” says Mr. DeNuzzo. Each of the nine courses currently offered are managed by teachers within the building; the classes that are available, thus, depend upon the availability of a teacher after school.

Though the program has been around for several years, each year new classes are added. Mrs. Susan Harkins, EHHS Vice Principal, says, “The program continues to grow over the years and with the support of our teachers and our guidance counselors, we identify areas of need [to the students] and are able to offer those programs to students.” Some courses that have recently been incorporated into the program include, a Capstone Independent Study - provided to students who were unable to complete their capstone in the semester provided, and a recovery Physical Education course - allows students to recover a half-credit if they received between a 50-59 during the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, this year, students are offered entrance into the program for free as well as transportation home! EHHS teachers and administration constantly look for ways to support the students and, with the help of the state, can provide programs for the betterment of every students education.

The Extended Day Program currently has low enrollment, but the program coordinator, Mrs. Sara Cooper, hopes that by publicizing the program on social media and throughout the school, students will enter into the program. “We are hoping that putting it on announcements and sending it as a [message] home [through] the principal’s weekly blasts […] it'll gain more popularity,” says Mrs. Cooper. She also hopes that teachers will begin to recommend students as she feels they won’t take the initiative on their own, “They need that little push to get there.” Any and all students should feel comfortable accepting the help available to them and reaching out to the administrators to join the program.

As the program continues for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, EHHS hopes it can provide all of its students with any and all guidance and enrichment possible. Whether a student wants to get ahead in their credits, or recover any that they have lost, Mrs. Cooper hopes more students will take advantage of the opportunities offered to them! If you are an EHHS student interested in attending one of the programs, you can contact your guidance counselor or Mrs. Cooper herself for enrollment - remember, it's free!