Program Quality Initiative
The Program Quality Initiative Process
DASN’s Program Quality Initiative (PQI) is a prescribed process for helping sites achieve national quality standards. There are several key components to our Program Quality Initiative, all of which are designed to help sites improve the quality of afterschool experiences for the children they serve:
- Best Practices - DASN relies on national best practices of quality programs, as detailed in our proprietary AQuA quality improvement tool.
- Assessment - objective assessment of program quality using national indicators
- Coaching - on-site, on-the-job, one-to-one coaching delivered by a DASN Quality Advisor
- Training - designed for all levels of afterschool staff, including front-line, program or site directors, and executive directors. Check our training calendar to see current offerings.
- Resources - curriculum, field trips, volunteers, VISTA members and other resources that help sites grow quality and capacity
Dallas AfterSchool Network uses a series of quality benchmarks, or "tiers", to assess a site's needs, and to measure quality growth throughout the PQI process. All sites start at "Tier 0" until they pass a safety check with a 100% score. They progress to Tier 3 as they demonstrate mastery of the 10 elements of a high quality program. Sites that wish to have a third-party validation of program quality can opt to earn a Certificate of Program Quality.
Criteria for achieving Tier 1 status
Dallas AfterSchool Network Quality Advisors have observed in site visits that the following sites maintain certain minimum safety procedures pertaining to: properly signing participants in and out of the program; availability of fire extinguisher(s); posting of emergency procedures and evacuation routes throughout the facility; availability of stocked first aid kits; properly completing participant registration and medical forms to include minimum information concerning participant allergies, special needs, prescriptions, and medical release forms; and having more than one trained adult present at each site visit. For more details on what safety indicators our Quality Advisors observe on their site visits, please view Dallas AfterSchool Network’s safety checklist. Quality Advisors did not utilize any further criteria to evaluate these sites.
Criteria for achieving Tier 2 status
In addition to the indicators above, Dallas AfterSchool Network Quality Advisors have observed that the following sites demonstrate certain indicators of quality relationships and programming, including: actively listening and speaking to youth; modeling respectful language; addressing inappropriate behaviors immediately; welcoming participants daily; providing activities that support the physical, social, and cognitive growth of all participants; and offering a variety of activities from which students may choose. Quality Advisors did not utilize any further criteria to evaluate these sites.
Criteria for achieving Tier 3 status
In addition to the indicators in Tier 1 and Tier 2, the following sites have continued to work with Dallas AfterSchool Network Quality Advisors, who observe, coach, and model to improve program quality. On their site visits, Dallas AfterSchool Network Quality Advisors have observed sites maintaining the following: procedures for sound operations and fiscal management; a diverse staff that has been trained in the developmental needs of children; programming that is purposely aligned with the school day curriculum; actively engaged participants; strong partnerships with families and communities; a plan for sustainability; and an outcomes measurement system to continuously improve quality.
- Criteria for earning a Certificate of Program Quality
View the list of afterschool or summer sites participating in our Program Quality Initiative.