High quality out of school time programs are an essential component to improving the lives of Texas youth, supporting families and creating a strong Texas workforce. To support programs in achieving the highest program quality, TXPOST collaborated with stakeholders across the state to develop the Texas Standards for High Quality Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning and an accompanying Assessment Tool.
A high-quality program has many components such as:
- Engaging, age-appropriate activities
- Dedication to supporting staff
- Commitment to engaging families and community partners, and
- Focus on organizational practices that ensure sustainability
These and other categories are included in both the standards and assessment tool.
The Assessment Tool was designed by youth development professionals and funders who support expanded learning opportunities. This tool can be used by programs who are just beginning a continuous quality improvement cycle, or those with extensive experience in assessing and coaching to improve quality.
Detailed instructions and guidance for use of the tool are included. This will assist users in understanding how to use the tool and offer some guidance on scoring. Users of the tool are encouraged to develop a more in-depth rubric if applicable to their context. The tool is also available in as a Google Form.
In addition to the Standards and Assessment Tool, TXPOST has also developed a template for identifying areas that need improvement and planning for action toward higher quality called the Action Planning Template. Programs are encouraged to use this template and to adapt it to fit the needs of their organization and assessment process.
If you have any questions about the Assessment Tool or would like assistance in developing a plan for using it in your program or community, please contact Alison Reis-Khanna.
These standards were developed under the leadership of Dr. Raphael Travis, Associate Professor at Texas State University, with the input of a diverse group of out of school time program providers, funders, technical assistance experts and state agency representatives. We are grateful to all whose contributions led to these important steps in developing a comprehensive statewide quality improvement system for programs serving school-age youth outside the traditional school day. We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders across the state to implement the standards and support systems in developing a continuous quality improvement process.