District Administration August 2016 - 46

After-school acceleration Dancing to the beat: At Baltimore City Public Schools, students celebrate the construction of a new playground at Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School. KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, helped build it, which is also useful after school. In their own words We asked vendors why district leaders should implement beforeor after-school programming for their students: Dan Figurski COO Champions Quality after-school programs start with high-quality teachers and curriculum. We strongly believe quality after-school programming has a positive effect on student performance in the classroom. Such programing also allows students to choose areas of interest and discovery. Ultimately, this leads to unlocking a student's full potential. Districts have a unique opportunity to partner with out-of-school time providers focused on enriching a child's life. When choosing to partner with after-school providers, districts give students and families a chance to extend the learning day. They also provide working families an incredible resource, ensuring their children will continue learning in an environment that is both familiar and safe. Mark Rothschild CEO Right at School High-quality programs impact students, parents, administrators and communities. For students, great after-school programs foster diverse community membership, self-exploration, and essential social-emotional experiences that contribute to lifelong success. For parents, they provide valued peace of mind that contributes to workplace productivity and job stability. For district administrators, well-designed programs extend and support district missions, help close the achievement gap, and when outsourced, take challenging program management off their plates. And for communities, great programs are a stabilizing force because they keep children happy, healthy and engaged in the after-school hours, right at school. 46 August 2016 vate students and close equity gaps. Along with YMCAs, churches and other community groups, companies like Right at School and Champions have emerged as go-to providers of after-school programs. Germantown Hills School District in Illinois, for example, had a traditional program that three community members ran until two retired. So Superintendent Dan Mair turned to Right at School, noting that its activities are linked to Common Core standards and the arrangement is stress-free for administrators. About 10 percent of K5 students in the district use the program, and Mair sees happier, more engaged students who also get their homework done. And more after-school programs offer valuable learning. "School leaders really can't afford to ignore out-of-school time," says Katie Brackenridge, senior director for expanded learning initiatives at the nonprofit Partnership for Children & Youth, which works to improve the quality of California's after-school programs and policies. "They need to be creative and thoughtful about how that time is used because the research is startlingly clear that the difference in kids' experience has a lot to do with their ability to succeed." Connecting careers, curriculum After-school programs-and, to a lesser extent, their lower-profile before-school equivalents-are more popular than ever: More than 10 million schoolchildren, 18 percent of the total, participated in afterschool programs in 2014. That's up from 6.5 million a decade earlier, according to a report from the Afterschool Alliance. Another 19.4 million would enroll if a program were available, the report found. Working parents need such services for the same reasons they always have: When school's out, they want their children safe and supervised, not home alone surfing inappropriate websites and scarfing junk food. "We still have lots of latchkey kids in America, and that's not a good thing," says Martin Blank, director of the Coalition for Community Schools, which works to link schools with community resources that can support children and families. "Kids need connectedness, they need relationships. It's not personalized learning if you go home and watch television or if you're on some kind of device." Increasingly, district leaders-especially those serving low-income students-are realizing the programs they have offered for years as aids to working parents represent a golden opportunity to enrich and extend the school day. Although the programs typically provide snacks, outdoor playtime and homework help, they now go further, offering mini-courses in such areas as filmmaking, robotics, golf and chess, or field trips to museums, libraries and tech centers. "If we have them for two and a half hours, let's make it purposeful," says Cathy Vasile, director of elementary instruction for Alabama's Huntsville City Schools, which uses Appleton's Afterschool Labs program. It provides the district's STEM- and artsDistrict Administration

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration August 2016

District Administration August 2016 - Cover1
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