Program Quality Process
Dallas AfterSchool Network is committed to helping afterschool and summer programs achieve the highest quality possible. While the ultimate goal is Certification of Program Quality based on third-party evaluations, these steps are in place to guide an afterschool site in the process:
- Apply for your site to join in the process by completing an application. Download site application This puts your program in queue for a baseline observation covering safety issues, connected and nurturing relationships, and engaging and appropriate curriculum. Supportive resources can be found on this website, and note specifically the safety checklist for basic requirements, as well as AQuA Elements 1, 3, and 5. Download the safety checklist See the AQuA Tool.
- Once competency has been shown in safety, relationships, and programming, an observation completed by a Quality Advisor identifies areas of strength as well as areas of needed focus in the remaining best practices of afterschool programs: administration, staff development, linkages to the school day, youth engagement, community connectedness, program sustainability, and measuring outcomes. A Quality Advisor works one-on-one with site and program staff to implement a self-assessment, create action plans, and complete staff evaluations based on these elements. This is a period of reflection and action as program quality is addressed in areas needing attention. Quality Advisors also communicate needs that may require Dallas AfterSchool Network support, such as training. A post observation proves competencies in all ten research-based best practices.