Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Social Work

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Jessica Strolin-Goltzman


after school program, social emotional learning, social work, equity in school environments, restorative practices


With the rise in family employment due to growing economic demands, afterschool programs have evolved over the last few decades to become an essential care solution for school-age children. As afterschool becomes an ever-growing need in communities, its presence as a fundamental component of a school district becomes increasingly more apparent. The Burlington School District (BSD), of Burlington Vermont, uses a system known as the Expanded Learning Opportunities, which houses an umbrella of programs designed to provide engaging and enriching extracurricular activities for the community’s students. This study uses an exploratory qualitative design. To answer the following research question: What are the ways in which Burlington School District afterschool achieves/expands on traditional programs and achieves equitable, safe, and intuitive environments? Findings from this study suggest that BSD’s priorities for its afterschool program can be categorized into four themes; (1) Quality assurance of program maintained through licensing and professional development; (2) Educational programming that provides academic support, as well as collaboration with school day faculty; (3) Prioritization of social-emotional learning models of behavior management; and (4) Implementation of a social justice-focused lens to provide equity and services to students and families. Additional findings that surfaced in this study relate to the impacts and ways covid-19 pandemic have affected BSD afterschool, and what implications can be derived from BSD’s experience reformatting afterschool in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.