The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning

Overview

The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California

The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California were identified to create a framework of clear expectations, and a shared vision of both programmatic and point of service quality among multiple stakeholders. The purpose of the Quality Standards is to describe high levels of “Quality” of a program at the programmatic, staff, and participant levels.

The Quality Standards are not intended to serve as a compliance tool, but as the following:

  • A framework of clear expectations for all stakeholders.
  • A guide to inform the After School Division’s decision-making, e.g., technical assistance decisions, language in requests for application, and policy development.
  • A guide for program providers to assess their own programs in order to help determine what they are doing well and what needs improvement.
  • A guide for parents and youth to identify quality programming.
  • A guide for school principals and district superintendents to reinforce and advance key priorities.
  • A complement to other standards in the State of California focused on quality improvement, e.g., Learning in After School and Summer, Quality Self-Assessment Tool, Quality Self-Assessment Rubric, Center for Youth Program Quality, etc.

The 12 Quality Standards and descriptions of what each Standard should look like in action (Standards in Action) were created in partnership between CDE, After School Division and the California AfterSchool Network Quality Committee. 

How are the Standards used?

The Standards in Action are intended to provide more detailed information about what the Standards should look like at the programmatic, staff, and student levels. The Quality Standards are a central component of the cycle of quality improvement. They are not assessment or compliance tools, but can be utilized in conjunction with a variety of assessment tools to plan and assess the quality of expanded learning programs. 

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The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California

The purpose of the Quality Standards is to describe high levels of “Quality” of a program at the programmatic, staff, and participant levels. The quality standards are not intended to serve as a compliance tool, but as the following:

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California After School Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool

The new and improved, second version of the California Afterschool Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool (QSA) and User’s Guide have recently been finalized with extensive input from the California after school field.  Programs can use the tool to self-assess their program and make plans for program improvement.  The tool focuses on big picture program design elements, as well as important considerations at the point of service.