Our after-school and summer learning programs are designed to be fun, but we don’t play around when it comes to quality. Our Guide to After-School Quality Standards outlines the standards we use and provides a blueprint for how out-of-school time providers, parents, youth and funders can all get on the same page about what quality means, and looks like, in after-school programs.
The standards outlined in the Guide have been informed by national research findings and developed in collaboration with 30 community-based organizations and public institutions throughout Rhode Island. The ongoing process of bringing the standards to life through practice is regularly informed by the work of the Forum for Youth Investment, the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and Every Hour Counts. The standards and practices have also been adopted by the state of Rhode Island’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers network and the Rhode Island Afterschool Network, as well as many after-school funders in Rhode Island.
Our set of standards hold our programs to the highest level of quality. And that’s why our young people enjoy their AfterZone and Hub experiences and come back! Day after day, year after year, from 6th through 12th grade.
Avoid a Mess, Assess
We assess the quality of youth program experiences and whether or not our youth participants experience positive outcomes from our programs using a variety of nationally recognized validated tools, such as the Weikart Center’s Youth Program Quality Assessment tool as well as the Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes Youth Survey and Teacher Survey, both developed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time.
Further, we use a common measurement framework for the out-of-school time field developed by Every Hour Counts. This framework, developed in collaboration with American Institutes for Research and with support from The Wallace Foundation, defines a set of system-, program-, and youth-level outcomes that citywide expanded learning systems like PASA should aim to achieve.
Bonus: Learn more about how we teach our standards to program providers and partners through professional development.