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This blog by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time highlights what their research staff learned this past summer about high-quality practices in virtual programs based on conducting observations of more than 200 hours of online academic and general enrichment programming. The focus is on tips for activity design, youth engagement, and technology.
Coaching is one of the most effective ways to support staff and to improve program quality. With its focus on relationships, strengths-based practices, communication, and coaching strategies like reflective practice and building leadership capacity, this guide could be very helpful for leaders of programs in any stage of development.
You for Youth (Y4Y) is a virtual hub for Out-of-School Time (OST) providers. This website offers free professional development courses, tips on training staff, resources and tools for designing high-quality programs, and answers to questions.
This guide compares purpose, structure, content, and technical properties of assessment tools for out-of-school time programs.
This resource provides a review of tools that programs can use to measure youth outcomes. The outcomes selected include communication, relationships and collaboration, critical thinking and decision-making, initiative, and self-direction. The review includes cost and evidence of reliability and validity.
Through a survey, this research study explored what Out-of-School Time (OST) program staff need in order to feel better prepared to support the inclusion of school-aged children with special needs in their programs. Results indicated that professional development on inclusion is key to success. These findings can inform policy and programmatic decisions on professional development.
This collection of resources focuses on helping state administrators and program practitioners design and implement high-quality Out-of-School (OST) programs that support all students, including those with disabilities and special needs.
This issue brief offers an overview of risk factors and symptoms associated with opioid abuse and a list of interventions that can improve outcomes for children and teens affected by opioid exposure.
This article defines parent engagement and why it benefits children, families, and afterschool programs. It provides 15 examples of promising practices. Sample outreach materials and parent surveys are included. This resource supports resilience.
This executive summary reports on a three-year study of Youth Program Quality Improvement in 87 sites in four states that included quality assessment, improvement plans, coaching by managers, and staff training. The approach led to higher quality instructions across programs even where there was manager turnover, low staff education, and varying adult-youth ratios.