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The Out of School Time System. CBASS-City of Racine Partnership. Purpose : Advise on the development of a comprehensive out-of-school time strategy that builds off local resources, is sustainable, meets the needs of children and families, and is informed by best practice. Strategy:

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cbass city of racine partnership

CBASS-City of Racine Partnership

Purpose: Advise on the development of a comprehensive out-of-school time strategy that builds off local resources, is sustainable, meets the needs of children and families, and is informed by best practice.

Strategy:

Systems-design analysis through phone interviews and literature review

Plan and facilitate convening

Produce recommendations

racine context
Racine context
  • Challenges
  • Youth level
  • High achievement gap between white and minority youth.
  • Program level
  • Providers do not operate with a shared definition of quality, and comprehensive, consistent strategy to improve quality.
  • Unmet demand.
  • Systems level
  • Wide array of OST services, but network is fragmented.
  • Key constituents lack OST knowledge.
racine context1
Racine context
  • Assets
  • Interest in building a system among stakeholders.
  • New partnerships taking root in the city.
  • Wide array of youth-serving providers.
  • City leadership committed to OST services.
recommendations
Recommendations
  • To improve coordination among existing entities within the OST system, Racine should implement an OST governance structure.

2. To bridge knowledge gaps and raise awareness about the value of OST services, the Communications, Research and Evaluation, and Sustainability workgroups should develop a plan for Racine to implement a multi-pronged communications strategy.

  • To raise the bar on quality across all programs, the Quality workgroup should adopt a system-wide quality improvement strategy.

4. To ensure that systems design is informed by reliable data and knowledge and that resources are targeted to effective programs in underserved communities, the Research and Evaluation workgroup should develop a plan for Racine to invest in a Management Information System.

workgroup summaries
Workgroup Summaries
  • Communications: Focus on knowledge gaps, as well as promoting OST.
  • Sustainability: Defined sustainability as more than financial resources.
  • Quality: Affirmed standards, assessments, training are fragmented.
  • Research and evaluation: Cognizant of challenges facing systems-building, and clear next steps to improve quality, knowledge sharing and access.
four underlying elements to ensure success
Four underlying elements to ensure success
  • Long-term planning
  • Transparency and focus on the system as a whole
  • Provide incentives and allow for flexibility

4. Strive for early and substantive wins.

recommendation 1 establish a governing structure
Recommendation 1: Establish a governing structure

To improve coordination among existing entities within the OST system, Racine should implement an OST governance structure consisting of:

  • full-time coordinator to ensure implementation
  • steering committee led by the Mayor, Superintendent of Schools, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, Police Department, Racine County Human Services and representatives from the non-profit community to set strategic direction
  • chaired workgroups: Communications, Sustainability, Quality, Research and Evaluation, to design and implement system-wide action plans.
recommendation 2 implement a communications strategy
Recommendation 2: Implement a communications strategy
  • To bridge knowledge gaps and raise awareness about the value of OST services, the Communications, Research and Evaluation, and Sustainability workgroups should develop a plan for Racine to implement a multi-pronged communications strategy involving networking meetings, market research, and media outlets.
recommendation 3 improve quality
Recommendation 3: Improve quality
  • To raise the bar on quality across all programs, the Quality workgroup should adopt a system-wide quality improvement strategy for all programs, consisting of quality standards, an assessment tool, and coordinated training to current providers to promote these standards and use of the assessment tool.
  • Avoid common pitfalls
  • Build a culture of improvement by utilizing a low stakes approach
  • Build off existing resources
  • Start small
  • Recognize provider capacity
recommendation 4 develop a management information system
Recommendation 4: Develop a Management Information System
  • To ensure that systems design is informed by reliable data and knowledge and that resources are targeted to effective programs in underserved communities, the Research and Evaluation workgroup should develop a plan for Racine to invest in a Management Information System to better understand gaps in services, track attendance, demographic, and youth outcomes for OST programs.
successes and challenges
Successes and Challenges
  • Successes
  • Shared vision for OST
  • Four priority focus areas
  • Networking opportunities
  • Steering Committee formed
  • Work groups formed around focus areas
  • Challenges
  • Gaps in participation
  • Lack of clarity around leadership
  • Different perspectives on vision
  • Lost sense of urgency
  • System based versus project based
  • Top down versus bottoms approach
  • Lack of belief that a system can be created