- Administrative Management Capacity in Out-of-School Time Organizations: An Exploratory Study (2008)
This report summarizes the management concerns and challenges of organizations that provide out-of-school time programming. The findings are based on a study of 16 high-quality out-of-school time providers. Key challenges include: a lack of ability of programs to invest in administrative staff, and infrastructure (e.g. IT, space) which forces program staff to spend time on these tasks and diverts the time that could be spent on ensuring program quality and strategic planning. The findings are further broken down into these categories: financial management, human resources, information technology, and facilities.
- After-School Toolkit: Tips, Techniques and Templates for Improving Program Quality (2008)
This toolkit, commissioned by the James Irvine Foundation and developed by Public/Private Ventures, offers program managers a practical, hands-on guide for implementing quality programming in the after-school hours. The kit includes the tools and techniques that increased the quality of literacy-focused programming and helped improve student reading gains in the Foundation's Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative, an eight-year, $58 million after-school endeavor to improve education achievement in low-performing schools in five California cities.
- Afterschool Grows Up - How Four Large American Cities Approach Size and Scale in Afterschool Programs (2008)
This report provides in-depth profiles of 4 emerging city-systems for Out-of-School Time: The Afterschool Corporation (New York City); LA's Best (Los Angeles); Aterschool Matters (Chicago); and San Diego 6 to 6 (San Diego). It presents their work as part of growing efforts to provide out-of-school time at scale, rather than the piecemeal, fragmented approaches that still dominate the out-of-school time landscape. The report examines each city-system's approach to out-of-school time funding, staffing, evaluation, champions/leadership, and authority/control.
- Building Quality Improvement Systems: Lessons from Three Emerging Efforts in the Youth-Serving Sector Executive Summary (2007)
This report looks at quality improvement processes in three out-of-school time networks: Girls Incorporated Quality Improvement Process; YouthNet of Greater Kansas City Organizational Assessment and Improvement Project; and the Michigan Department of Education After-School Quality System Demonstration. The executive summary synthesizes the quality improvement efforts of these respective networks including: key partners involved, core components of the improvement process, evidence of early impact/sustainability, challenges, and lessons learned.
- Characteristics of effective summer learning programs in practice (2005)
Based on observation of various summer programs, this research report suggests that high quality summer programs that effectively support student academic growth and youth development share nine characteristics. These characteristics, listed below, focus on a program's approach to learning and infrastructure: intentional focus on supporting learning, firm commitment to youth development, proactive approach to summer learning, strong leadership, collaborative planning, opportunities for staff development, strategic partnerships, commitment to rigorous evaluation and improvement, and a focus on sustainability.
- Improving After-School Program Quality (2007)
This research report builds on the work of two previous research studies (Durlak & Weisberg, 2007; Yohalem & Wilson-Ahlstrom, 2007) to answer key policy questions related to out-of-school time programming: what are the characteristics of programs that produce good outcomes? Can programs simultaneously produce results in multiple outcome areas (e,g., safety, academic improvement, youth development)? How can programs best be held accountable for outcomes? How can stakeholders improve program effectiveness? Key findings: research on programs supporting youth development outcomes can also help to improve academic performance; programs with SAFE features (Sequenced activities, Active learning techniques, Focus on social or personal development, and Explicit objectives) are correlated with positive outcomes for participants; the increased availability of programming in many communities makes it more politically feasible to shift the focus to program quality; the specific content of a program is less important than the focus on implementing it well; and program evaluations should examine staff and program practices related to implementation as well as youth outcomes.
- Putting it All Together: guiding principles for QUALITY After-School Programs Serving Preteens (2008)
This report examines the specific characteristics of quality programs that have produced positive outcomes for preteens. These following six characteristics were developed based on studies of existing afterschool programs and include: a focused and intentional strategy - programs have a clear set of goals, target specific skills and deliberately plan all aspects of the program with a youth development framework in mind; exposure (depth, intensity and breadth) - programs are available for a significant number of hours per week and over a period of time and include a variety of activities; supportive relationships - programs emphasize positive adult-youth relationships regardless of content; family engagement - programs strive to include families through various strategies; cultural competence - programs have diverse staff, are inclusive of a variety of populations, and help participants to understand and value diverse cultures; and continuous program improvement - programs strengthen quality through ongoing staff training, coaching and monitoring, and data collection and analysis.
- Measuring Youth Program Quality - A Guide to Assessment Tools, Second Edition (2009)
This guide, updated from an earlier version, compares assessment tools used in out-of-school time programs. The tools included in the guide are all research-based, designed to be deployed in a variety of settings, and utilize program observation. Tools are compared in terms of purpose/history, structure/methodology, content, reliability and validity. Some of the assessments reviewed in the guide include: Assessing Program Practices Tool (APT); Out-of-School Time Observation Tool (OST); the School Age Care Environmental Rating Scale (SACERs): and the Youth Program Quality Assessment.
- Promising Practices - Showcase of Award Winning Programs (2011)
New Jersey After 3pm is a private/public partnership dedicated to maximizing resources to support afterschool programs throughout the state. This brief publication highlights out-of-school time programs honored as part of New Jersey After 3's Promising Practices and Competition Showcase. Promising practices highlighted in the brief focus on systems, processes, or activities designed to strengthen family, school and community partnerships and/or program content.
- Supporting Success - Why and How to Improve Quality in After-School Settings (2008)
The CORAL Initiative (Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning) was launched by the James Irvine Foundation in 1999 to strengthen the academic achievement (particularly in reading) of students attending low-performing schools in California. This study distills lessons learned for improving out-of-school time program quality based on efforts undertaken by the CORAL initiative. Key recommendations for strengthening program quality and improving student academic achievement include: instituting a process for continuous improvement that includes ongoing monitoring and opportunities for professional development; making the financial investments necessary to implement the continuous improvement process; and securing the commitment and participation of staff at all levels.
- Quality Time Afterschool (2007)
This research brief summarizes research conducted by Public/Private ventures of the Beacons Centers managed by Philadelphia Safe and Sound. The Beacon centers provide a range of out-of-school time programming focused on enrichment, leadership, heath, arts, and recreation. Key findings: effective group management and support from adults were two of the most important factors in promoting youth engagement, participation, and learning; and the greater role that youth had in shaping program activities, the greater their engagement and enjoyment of the activity.
- The Cost of Quality After-School Programs (2009)
Based on a sample of 111 programs across six cities, this research report discusses the costs of implementing high-quality out-of-school time programs. The study finds that the costs of quality varies significantly based on program goals, content (singularly focused v. multiple activities) ages served, and times of operation. The discussion of costs includes non-monetary (or in-kind) contributions like physical space and volunteers.
- Think Outside the Clock - Planners Link After-School Programs to Classroom Curriculum (2011)
This brief article, featured in the April 2001 edition of JSD published by the National Staff Development Council, discusses the importance of the issue of out-of-school time for educators and asserts that schools can play a critical role to ensure alignment, coordination, and quality, particularly in the case of school-based out-of-school time programs.
- Body and Soul: Reflections on Two Professional Development Credential Pilots in Massachusetts (2010)
This report provides an overview of two credentialing models developed in Massachusetts: the School Age Youth Development (SAYD) Credential and Professional Youth Worker Credential (PWYC). The report includes staff reflections on the impact of earning a credential on their commitment to the field and program practices. It concludes that credentialing systems work best when they include: a training system (including method of approving trainers), career lattices, incentives (including wage increases), and a quality rating system.
- Credentialing for 21st CCLC Staff An Overview of the Benefits and Impacts (2009)
As the field of out-of-school time matures, more professional development models are emerging - credentialing systems are one such approach to professionalizing the field, improving staff practices and improving program quality. This report summarizes two long-term models of credentialing and provides an overview of the benefits and the potential barriers to credentialing. The report also discusses essential elements of a strong credentialing system, including detailed analysis of core competency frameworks. The report describes the current state of credentialing systems in afterschool and youth development and includes a case study of the Missouri Youth Development Credential.
- Out-of-School Time: Leveraging High Education for Quality (2010)
This paper discusses how partnerships between institutions of higher education
and the out-of-school time field can strengthen the quality of learning opportunities beyond the regular school day. Increasingly higher education institutions are recognizing the out-of-school time field as a unique space requiring unique approaches to curriculum and content delivery. In response they are developing courses, certificate programs, and practicums in out-of-school time. This paper helps advance a shared understanding of how higher education can play an important role in professionalizing the out-of-school time field, developing a skilled workforce, and providing potential pathways for individuals seeking to pursue a career in out-of-school time.