CAN Newsletter: October 13, 2015
Lights On Afterschool Illuminates Campaigns to Increase Funding for ASES Programs and preserve 21st CCLC programs
October 22, 2015 is Lights on Afterschool! Each October, millions of Americans in thousands of communities across the nation celebrate afterschool, expanded learning programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. Register your celebration and be counted in the thousands of nationwide celebrations. Make California a leader in Lights On Celebrations!
This year, we have an opportunity to use this event to shine a bright light on our collective need to increase funding for After School Education and Safety (ASES) Programs. The funding formula for ASES programs has not changed since 2006, while program implementation has become more costly due to state-imposed wage increases, mandatory sick leave benefits, as well as increases in the cost of living. Invite your state legislators to your celebration. Use the State of the State of Expanded Learning in California and the attached talking points to communicate the importance of bringing the ASES appropriation into alignment with the 2015 economy to local media, elected officials and other key stakeholders in your community.
Your Federal Legislators will be in their home districts during Lights on Afterschool! Federal Legislators will be determining the future of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers as part of No Child Left Behind Reauthorization.
Quality Committee Releases Work Group 3 Recommendations to Support Statewide Continuous Quality Improvement
In 2014, the California Department of Education (CDE) adopted quality standards as a guide for expanded learning programs across the state. In 2015, the Governor signed SB1221 into law (now codified as EC 8484 (a) (2)), which requires all CDE expanded learning grantees to show evidence that they are engaged in a quality improvement process towards the California quality standards. To be well-implemented, these two initiatives will require a significant amount of attention and time from stakeholders across the expanded learning field, including the CDE’s After School Division (ASD staff), K-12 districts, expanded learning providers, and technical assistance (TA) providers. This paper describes specific recommendations about what information, tools, and TA the field will need in order to be successful, who should develop those supports, and in what timeframe. Access the recommendations (also attached).
You’re encouraged to use data to describe your program’s benefit, but where to start? Lengthy reports and big spreadsheets are hard to interpret and don’t always help to prioritize next steps or plan for program improvement. For many people, data analysis can seem like a daunting task, requiring specialized knowledge and years of training. This guide provides a gentle introduction to practical approaches to explore and analyze data commonly used in youth-serving organizations. The activities outlined in Dabbling in the Data: A Hands-on Guide to Participatory Data Analysis are suitable for a variety of group sizes and stakeholders so that you can draw on the experiences, knowledge, and insights from everyone involved in your programs, including youth!
Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Partners Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education
America After 3pm STEM Edition
On September 29, 2015 the Afterschool Alliance released Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Partners Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education. This new publication outlines the importance of STEM learning and outlines a national picture of STEM in expanded learning. The report highlights availability and access, frequency, participation, and parent attitudes and satisfaction related to STEM learning in expanded learning programs, including how parent attitudes vary by income and ethnicity. The report also summarizes implementation challenges and recommendations to increase and improve STEM learning in expanded learning programs. The full report and executive summary are attached.
In addition to the full report, STEM Infographics outline the Importance of STEM Learning in Expanded Learning Programs. Additionally, California-specific data and a news release highlight that California Parents Value Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Learning Opportunities Provided by expanded learning programs.
K-12 and expanded learning partnership are key to expanded learning program quality and increasing positive academic impacts of expanded learning participation. There are a variety of resources available to support such partnerships. The California After School Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool contains a section to assist expanded learning and K-12 practitioners/leaders to create plans for effective partnership. The National Association of Elementary School Principals resource Making the Most of After-School Time outlines successful case studies. Additionally, the Leadership for Student Success through After School Programs (LSSASP, also referred to as “the Principals project”) was developed to provide professional development, technical support and resources for district and school administrators as they address complimentary support for students between the core instructional day and expanded learning programs.
A new Learning in Afterschool and Summer (LIAS) Project blog written for the CAN newsletter outlines the results of a recent LIAS Effectiveness Study. The study surfaced a variety of strengths and challenges for the project, but also for implementation of the LIAS principles on-site. The study also surfaced that the project has been effective at raising awareness for the LIAS principles throughout the state and that for many respondents it has changed the way they talk about and design their programs. Access the LIAS blog post to learn more.