Ensure your program is of high caliber by using our quality assessment tools

What comes to mind when you think of quality OST programs? Fun? Hand-on, project-based learning? Relationship-building? Safe Environment? Many interwoven factors contribute to a high caliber program. However, what that looks like varies among programs due to the adaptive and responsive nature of Out-of-School Time. Therefore, it makes sense that the evaluation of those programs does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach. But, ensuring that you are continually assessing and making improvements to your program is vital.

Here we have several tools and tips for your quality assessment. First, "Survey your Community" guides you in getting the thoughts and opinions of youth, families, staff, and stakeholders. The "Best Practices" is an adaptive guideline from The Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time that can be used whether your program is small or large, urban or rural, community or school-based. It was developed by examining the Best Practices of other state-wide OST networks and in conjunction with large organizations. For 21st Century Community Learning Sites, the Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool (PQSA Tool) will be used to determine the current effectiveness of the program that operates within your school or organization. Last, the "Continuous Improvement Process" is a method of bringing multiple tools together for regular assessment and refinement.