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Making a Difference in After School: Measuring and Improving After School Quality Nicole Yohalem, Forum for Youth Investment. Sacramento, CA March 16, 2009. Quality assessment tools. Assessing Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT)

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Sacramento ca march 16 2009

Making a Difference in After School: Measuring and Improving After School Quality Nicole Yohalem, Forum for Youth Investment

Sacramento, CAMarch 16, 2009


Quality assessment tools
Quality assessment tools

  • Assessing Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT)

    National Institute on Out-of-School Time and the MA Department of Education

  • CORAL Observation Tool (CORAL)

    Public/Private Ventures

  • Out-of-School Time Observation Instrument (OST)

    Policy Studies Associates

  • Program Observation Tool (POT)

    National Afterschool Association

  • Program Quality Observation (PQO)

    Deborah Vandell and Kim Pierce

  • Promising Practices Rating Scale (PPRS)

    WI Center for Education Research and Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

  • Quality Assurance System (QAS)

    Foundations Inc.

  • Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool (QSA)

    New York State Afterschool Network

  • School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)

    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, UNC

  • Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA)

    High/Scope Educational Research Foundation

Measuring Youth Program Quality

A Guide to Quality Assessment Tools

Updated January 2009


Quality assessment tools1
Quality assessment tools

There is a lot of similarity in how quality practice is defined. All tools assess:

  • Relationships

  • Environment

  • Engagement

  • Social/Behavioral Norms

  • Skill Building Opportunities

  • Routine/Structure

Note: CA self-assessment tool includes items that address these areas.


Measuring what matters
Measuring what matters

  • Importance of the point-of-service.

  • Good measures have clear, unambiguous items.

  • The best measures also teach.


Emphasis on point of service
Emphasis on point-of-service

  • CA Tool: 16 of 77 items focus on POS

  • SACERS & NAA < half focus on POS

  • APT & YPQA > half focus on POS


Clear and unambiguous
Clear and unambiguous?

Examples from the CA tool:

High inference

  • Ensures staff & volunteers have respectful interactions with participants & families.

    Low inference:

  • Regularly provides families with program information in multiple languages and literacy levels.


Measures that teach
Measures that teach?

Examples from the CA Tool:

Diagnostic

  • Provides opportunities & support for participants to take on leadership roles.

    Diagnostic and prescriptive

  • Regularly provides collaborative partners with program information, such as program progress and evaluation reports and information about program events, in a variety of formats and in multiple languages if appropriate.


Quality improvement
Quality improvement

Key components of quality improvement systems:

  • Quality standards that include what should happen at the point of service

  • Ongoing assessment of how well services compare to the standards

  • Targeted plans for how to improve

  • Training and coaching that fits improvement plans


Emerging examples and lessons
Emerging examples and lessons

  • Afterschool Program Assessment System (APAS)

    National Institute on Out-of-School Time

  • Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI)

    Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality


Apas pilot
APAS pilot

  • Conducted by NIOST, Wellesley College

  • October 2006-July 2008

  • Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte , Middlesex Cnty NJ

  • 65 individuals, 28 programs, 3 intermediaries

  • Well-established K-8 after-school programs

  • Low stakes

  • Emphasis on continuous improvement, flexibility


Core apas tools and supports
Core APAS tools and supports

  • Tools

  • Survey of Afterschool Youth Outcomes Tool (SAYO)

  • Assessing Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT)

  • Web-Based Data Management System

  • Supports

  • Training (2 days up front, online training ongoing)

  • 1-day site visit

  • Local coach


Findings from the apas pilot
Findings from the APAS pilot

  • APAS helped programs identify areas for improvement and staff development

  • Most sites said they made program changes as a result.

  • Coaches are key to implementation and useful to sites

  • Engagement across staff levels is important

  • Engaging funders is important (even with low stakes)

    based on follow-up phone interviews with sites and coaches

    For more on APAS: www.niost.org/content/view/1654/282/


Sacramento ca march 16 2009

Youth Program Quality Intervention

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  • Systemic quality improvement systems (QIS) anchored by the YPQA being developed in:

    • Statewide strategies: MI, ME, MN, RI, NM, KY, IA, WA, AR, NY

    • Cities and Counties: Austin, Chicago, Rochester, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Palm Beach County, Baltimore, Nashville, St. Louis, Louisville, Georgetown Divide/Sacramento, Columbus IN, Indianapolis IN, Tulsa OK

Seattle

Rochester

Grand Rapids

Washington*

M

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a

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Chicago

New York

e

t

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Iowa

Indianapolis

Rhode Island

Sacramento/ Georgetown

Divide

m

b

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Columbus

Baltimore

St. Louis

Kentucky

Oklahoma

Nashville

Arkansas

New Mexico

Austin

West Palm Beach County


Ypqi focus pos quality in context
YPQI Focus: POS quality in context

POS

Point-of-Service

Youth PQA Form A

Engagement

Interaction

Support

Safety

PLC

Professional Learning Community

Youth PQA Form B

  • Org policies/practices

  • Management values

  • Performance feedback

  • Continuity/staffing

  • Standards and metrics

  • Staff development

SAE

System Accountability

Environment


Incentivizing participation
Incentivizing participation

  • PASA “endorsed” programs must:

    • Maintain certain enrollment and retention benchmarks

  • Have a written curriculum

  • Undergo self-assessment using RIPQA annually

  • In exchange for:

  • Streamlined grant application process

  • Small administrative funding supplement


Requiring participation
Requiring participation

Excerpt from Rhode Island 21st CCLC RFP

“Applicants must participate in the 21st CCLC Rhode Island Youth Program Quality Assessment Process (RIPQA), which includes the use of a self-assessment tool, outside observations, development and implementation of action plans to strengthen the program over time, working with a Technical Advisor, including designation of staff to coordinate the process.”


Rhode island 21 st cclc pilot
Rhode Island 21st CCLC pilot

  • Assessment & Planning

  • Kick-off, 2-day training on RIPQA

  • Quality Advisor (QA) meets with programs individually to orient

  • Observation visits (3-8 programs per site)

  • QA develops progress report, teams meet with instructors to share reports and develop action plans

  • ED and other key staff complete Form B individually

  • QA summarizes, meets with team to discuss scores and improvement strategies

  • QA generates overall report on strengths and improvement steps

  • Training & Technical Assistance

  • Series of 2-hour workshops focused on RI-PQA content

  • Additional training on behavior management

  • AYD training (32 hours) offered twice annually

  • 4-session supervisor training

  • 5 hours of on-site coaching per site from QA


Ri 21 st cclc pilot lessons
RI 21st CCLC pilot – lessons

  • Lessons Learned

    • Programs liked tool and found process worthwhile

    • Initial data collection model was time consuming

    • Timing is important to ensure changes get implemented

    • Needs across sites are very similar

    • Strong desire for on-site TA/coaching

  • Adjustments for Cohort 2

    • Smaller observation teams, fewer observations per site

    • One program report as opposed to individualized reports

    • Additional TA/training

    • Start with Form B, then observations (Form A)

  • For more information: www.mypasa.org/pasa-strategies


Palm beach county qis pilot
Palm Beach County QIS Pilot

  • Centerpiece of the Prime Time Initiative

  • 38 providers in pilot; now working with 90

  • January 2006 – fall 2007

  • Based on the PBC-PQA

  • Financial incentives for programs

PD

Training


Findings from the palm beach pilot
Findings from the Palm Beach pilot

  • Most programs completed all phases of QIS

  • Quality improved

  • Quality improvement is a long-term process

  • On-site TA very important component

  • Clarity of purpose is critical

  • Spielberger & Lockaby, 2008

  • www.chapinhall.org


Coaching
Coaching

  • Characteristics:

  • Willing to listen

  • Experienced

  • Accessible

  • Flexible

  • Responsive

  • Creative

  • Resourceful

  • Roles/functions:

  • Keep programs engaged

  • Deliver training

  • Answer questions on tools, process

  • Participate in observations

  • Generate reports

  • Facilitate improvement planning

  • Provide on-site feedback, modeling

  • Key considerations:

  • Program vs. system-level coaching, role of intermediaries

  • Dosage


Purposes and methods
Purposes and methods

Smith, Devaney, Akiva & Sugar forthcoming in New Directions


Lessons for california
Lessons for California

  • Have well defined purposes for the system.

  • Focus on the point of service.

  • Anchor quality improvement efforts with data about the POS.

  • Create incentives for continuous improvement.

  • Build in on-site, ongoing technical assistance/coaching.

  • Be intentional about pilot participation.

  • Build learning communities.

  • Recognize that management is a key lever.

  • Worry about the quality of your measures and data.


For more information nicole yohalem program director forum for youth investment nicole@forumfyi org

For more information: Nicole Yohalem, Program DirectorForum for Youth Investmentnicole@forumfyi.org

www.forumfyi.org