Expanded Learning – Grade Level Proficiency Beyond the School Day

Young boy reading book.

About Expanded Learning

Expanded Learning opportunities are critical to the success of all students. Expanded learning programs provide safe places to learn, grow socially and emotionally, and ensure that they have the resources needed to be successful.

Our city expanded learning programs and initiatives focus on program quality standards, increased collaboration in a networked expanded learning ecosystem, and enabling library access to every student in San José, ensuring that every learner has equitable access to a community of learning enabling them to be agents of their own opportunity.

Program Highlights and Outcomes - Expanded Learning

Homework Club

Programs Offered: 113 sessions 2-hour sessions (226 hours)
Participants: 1,862 students (206 unique participants), 209 volunteer coaches

SJ Learns

Programs Offered: 19 schools across 5 Local Education Agencies: Alum Rock Union School District, Campbell School District, Franklin-McKinley School District, Luther Burbank School District, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District 
Participants: 998 Students (55% English Language Learners, 74% Students served from Low Socio-economic status households, 13% Student with Individualized Education Plans)

  • 69% of in-person learning pod student attendees who completed a baseline and final assessment demonstrated growth on academic assessments.
  • 10 Community of Practice (CoP) meetings were held that included districts, community-based partners, and two additional funders provided a vehicle for deepening alignment with the expanded learning quality standards; sourcing ideas to enhance the pipeline of expanded learning instructors and teachers; and sharing promising practices and tips to support academic achievement and socio-emotional wellness in a distance learning environment.

Class Visits

Programs Offered: 171 classrooms
Participants: 4,250 students

  • Virtual class visits provide teachers and their classes direct access to a Librarian and ‘in-person’ library services and:
    • Promote Active and Engaged Learning with students in their virtual classrooms and their teachers.
    • Promote Diversity, Access, and Equity by providing programming, free resources, and connections to the library.
    • Build Collaborative Partnerships with Local Education Agencies.
  • Maintains and promotes Quality Staff.
  • 98% of teachers surveyed said they would recommend the program to other educators.

R.O.C.K ‘n’ Learn

Programs Offered: 44 classrooms across 21 locations, including community centers, parks and libraries, and 17 school districts
Participants: 717 unduplicated youth

  • Eligible families were provided a full scholarship. A total of $2,524,295.40 was awarded in scholarships.
  • Worked with school districts to provide free lunches to youth daily. Distributed 96,793 meals and snacks.
  • Active and Engaged Learning: Students participated in activities such as Lights On Afterschool and Read Across America Day.
  • Youth Voice and Leadership: Students participated in activities with PRNS Senior Nutrition Program.
  • Diversity, Access and Equity, Quality:  PRNS provided staff a series of virtual trainings on behavior management and inclusion.
  • Safe and Supportive Environments / Clear Vision, Mission and Purpose: Ongoing training and support to staff on health and safety guidelines, concussion protocols, first-aid, etc.
  • Assessed RNL programs using the ELQ Site Evaluation Tool.


Programs Offered: 4 virtual locations across 4 locations in 3 school districts
Participants: 99 unduplicated youth

  • Grant-funded afterschool program operated by PRNS at four school sites in partnership with Berryessa and Alum Rock School Districts and ACE Charter Schools.
  • Students are provided a safe and supervised space to participate in distance learning in in low-income COVID impacted neighborhoods while families needed to return to work.

Numbers are from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Data will be updated annually.

More About Expanded Learning

Expanded learning programs for young people serve many critical functions: bolstering skills needed for academic success, supporting workforce development, keeping our youth safe, and increasing civic engagement.

The Education and Digital Literacy strategy identified the need for network wide collaboration related to program quality standards, access to high-qualify available programming, and student supportive resources.

Expanded Learning Quality Standards

The City, primarily through PRNS and Library Departments, provides several programs designed to enhance learning outside of the school day. On an annual basis, PRNS serves more than 4,200 unduplicated students through programs such as Recreation of City Kids (R.O.C.K.) at 26 afterschool sites; After School Education and Safety (ASES) at four sites; 12 teen centers; and a variety of camps throughout the year. Similarly, SJPL offers more than 9,600 free programs and activities designed for afterschool and summer at all 25 library locations throughout San José with a total attendance of 133,630 in program participation each year.

Upon conducting analysis and research of existing standards, the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning (ELQS) emerged as the choice for Citywide adoption and implementation. Created by the California Department of Education and already utilized by a vast majority of afterschool providers, including all ASES funded programs as well as PRNS, the Expanded Learning Quality Standards provided a common language and easily understood baseline for the San José Expanded Learning ecosystem.

Quality Improvement Implementation & Outcomes

Beginning in fiscal year 2019-2020, City departments will begin (or continue) efforts to ensure that all City-provided, -funded, -sponsored, or -partnered programs for Expanded Learning are in compliance with the Expanded Learning Quality Standards. Programs will be identified, assessed, and which programs need additional improvements.

Additional Expanded Learning Programs for the Community

  • SJ Learns: Grant Program expanding promising and innovative out of school programs for students in transitional kindergarten through third grade.
  • InPlay: Discover out-of-school time activities and scholarships.

Archived Information

On September 21, 2020, SJPL hosted a SJ Access Schools-City Collaborative – Connectivity Forum (Agenda PDF)


Latest Blogs

Virtual Homework Club

Need help with your homework? Volunteers will be available online to help Kindergarten - 8th-grade students with their homework.

SJPL Staff
09/09/2021 - 12:00 PM

Need Help with Your Homework? Check This Out!

San Jose Public Library has many homework resources for you: live tutors and primary and secondary online sources!

Ila Langner
09/17/2020 - 10:00 PM

Help Your Students Explore the Universe with these Ideas from the Science Community

Resources for teachers and parents to help build science learning opportunities at home.

Joanna Henderson
04/24/2020 - 9:00 AM