On Feb. 12, the Tempe City Council passed a resolution formalizing the city’s commitment to Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs.
There are currently 541 out-of-school time sites throughout the state that recognize and follow these standards, but passing the resolution makes Tempe the first city in Arizona to officially adopt the standards.
The standards were created through an active partnership between the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, the Valley of the Sun United Way, cities, towns, school districts and community organizations.
The standards include best practices in seven key areas:
- Safe and healthy environments
- Positive relationships
- Intentional programming and activities
- Equity and inclusion
- Family, school and community engagement
- Program management
- Program evaluation and data.
“Tempe’s adoption of the Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs unifies the city’s educational goals for its students,” Councilwoman Robin Arredondo-Savage said. “Having these standards in Tempe ensures that we have a specific direction for improvement, allowing us to build a common language between out-of-school time programs, schools, funders and families.”
Quality out-of-school time standards help to:
- Establish a baseline of quality across all programs
- Provide expert guidance and resources to program staff and leadership
- Develop a common language to facilitate collaborative efforts between school and out-of-school time programs
- Develop accountability measures in quality assurance reporting
- Drive conversations about what changes are needed for great impact on youth
“The impact of out-of-school time programs has been consistently and clearly measured in terms of student attendance, behavior and achievement,” Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence Executive Director Melanie McClintock said. “Adopting and implementing these standards will ensure continued focus is put on providing access to quality programs and offering ongoing measurements and assessments statewide.”
Watch Arizona Horizon’s segment from Eight, Arizona PBS on after-school programs featuring Melanie McClintock and Chad Geston, a former Camelback High School principal.
For more information, visit www.AZAfterSchool.org.