Expanded Learning Providers
Expanded Learning (also known as Out of School Time or Afterschool) programs play a critical role in partnering with schools to support and reinforce good attendance habits. Find and download the Why Attendance Matters for Expanded Learning Providers handout that makes the case for why and how providers can make a difference.
The Expanded Learning Self Assessment Tool: Use this tool to assess how well your program is designed to improve student attendance. If possible, a team of key stakeholders should take the assessment. Share answers and discuss different perceptions to develop consensus about the most critical immediate steps for action.
The Value of Out of School Time Programs, Rand Corporation, 2017. In this report authors Jennifer McCombs, Anamarie Whitaker and Paul Yoo reviewed research on OST programs and found they typically produce the primary outcomes expected by the programming delivered to youth. Program quality and intentionality can influence outcomes, and children and youth need to attend regularly to measurably benefit. The authors recommend governments and private foundations consider all the benefits that programs provide to youth and families, and emphasize program quality, when making funding decisions.
Out-of-School Time Participation and Student Outcomes: An Evaluation Brief, June 2014. Researchers Valerie Evans and Tonya Wolford examined data from the School District of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s Out of School Time (OST) program in 2011 and 2012 for students in grades K-12. The researchers found that the greater the number of OST days attended predicted better behavior and academic outcomes. Students who attended summer programs only appear to have better attendance at school and lower rates of suspension than predicted by their participation in OST programs.
In 2012, United Way of Rochester, New York partnered with The Children’s Institute and the Rochester City School District to evaluate the effectiveness of its after-school programs. The results show that kids in United Way’s after-school programs attend 6,100 more days of school than their peers and their GPAs were .87 points higher than their classmates. Results from the first year evaluation showed that kids in after-school had a GPA increase of .25 points. Read the Impact Briefing and the full program evaluation report.
Family League 2011-12 Out of School Time Programs in Baltimore City, October 2013. This report by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium examines the relationship between out-of-school time programs and school absence. Through the Family League’s education initiative, thousands of children in Baltimore have access to quality after school and summer learning opportunities. Among students who regularly attended OST programs, they had higher promotion rates than their peers, entered 6th and 9th grade with higher school attendance (important transition grades to middle and high school), and were significantly less likely to be chronically absent.
More and Better Learning: Year One Report on ExpandED Schools, 2013. An analysis of data from The After-School Corporation’s (TASC) national demonstration of a longer school day shows that elementary and middle school students improved their academic achievement, attended school more often and benefitted from improvements in school culture.
Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control and Brain Function, Hillman, Charles H. et al., Pediatrics, September 29, 2014. This study found significant differences between students in the afterschool program and those on the wait list. Students in the intervention group improved two-fold when tested on accuracy and cognitive tasks compared to the students who did not participate in the afterschool program. Researchers found widespread changes in brain function, meaning greater amounts of executive control in the students that engaged in physical activity while participating in the afterschool program. Students in the program also improved both their overall fitness and their school attendance rates.
View the presentation from at the National Summer Learning Association annual conference, October 26, 2016. Featuring Attendance Works and New Britain Connecticut, this workshop shows how afterschool and summer learning programs can help schools address this critical issue, which is now a required reporting metric under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Read the article Building a Culture of Attendance: Schools and Afterschool Programs Together Can and Should Make a Difference!, by Hedy Chang and Phyllis Jordan. Published by the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, this article explains why quality afterschool programs can have such a profound effect on student attendance.