Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
December 4, 2007 (Non-quorum Meeting)
John L. White
Sandra McBrayer, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. The Chair recognized those members present by asking each of them to introduce themselves.
Approve Minutes from the August 28, 2007 Meeting
The Chair announced because there was not a quorum, the Committee could not approve the minutes from the October 16, 2007, meeting, however, the Committee did review the minutes and had the following comments:
- Gary Moody needs to be added as an absent member for the prior meeting.
- On page 16 of the digital copy, there is a paragraph that states the executive director of the State Board of Education (SBE) would be involved with the scope of work of the contract with an outside evaluator to produce a statewide evaluation of after school programs. This should be changed to “the Executive Director or President of the SBE will approve the scope of work on the contract.”
- The California Department of Education (CDE) should try to capture the main points of the meeting in the minutes without being too brief or too verbatim. The Committee will try to find a happy medium on the detail of the minutes.
The CDE received quite a few applications for Frank Pisi’s former position. The CDE will be screening applications soon. Per the California Education Code (EC), the Committee nominates the candidate, but the person must be approved by the SBE at a SBE meeting.
John Malloy presented the CDE report that included the following:
After School Education and Safety
There has been confusion in the field regarding how the last six months of After School Education and Safety (ASES) grant funding can be spent. Grant funding can be spent on any allowable items for the last six months. The CDE sent out an e-mail to grantees to clarify this. The information provided to grantees was shared with the regional leads.
It appears that some new ASES grantees are not able to spend all of their grant funding. The CDE sent out an e-mail to ASES grantees to explain how grantees can extend their grant for an additional three months (January 1, 2008, to March 31, 2008). The EC section requiring that 85 percent of the grant funding be spent for direct services to students still applies. To extend an ASES grant for an additional three months, a grantee must submit a written request to the CDE that includes an explanation of why the extension is necessary and a plan or budget of how funds will be spent.
CDE staff called all applicants that have not submitted their grant acceptance paperwork (AO-400). If the CDE does not receive the AO-400 in the next several weeks, the CDE will cancel the grant. There were originally about 40 agencies that had not returned their AO-400. The CDE is not requesting assistance with this effort from the after school Regional Leads because this is a CDE grant compliance issue. The Regional Leads should focus on providing technical assistance and not enforcing grant compliance. The After School Partnership consultants will call grantees that still have not submitted their paperwork. Almost all agencies not submitting their paperwork are new grantees.
The CDE shared proposed frequently asked questions (FAQs) with several current grantees to determine if they are clear. John stated that the FAQs will be posted in the near future.
21st Century Community Learning Centers
John Malloy congratulated the 21st Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grantees, because for the second year in a row, all California grantees sent in their annual performance reviews (APRs) on time. The APR is the evaluation process required by the U. S. Department of Education.
A Request for Applications (RFA) for approximately $50 million will be posted on the CDE Web site. The EC requires that of the total $50 million, $25 million must go to high school After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) grants, $20 million to elementary and middle school grants, and $5 million for equitable access and family literacy grants. It is important that current 21st CCLC elementary and middle school grantees realize that there is less funding available than in the past.
The Committee asked what percentage of high school applicants who applied for the last cohort received a grant. John stated that approximately 50 percent did not get a grant. John also stated that less than 50 percent of elementary and middle school applicants for the last cohort received a grant.
The competitive priority process is being changed so that schools with the greatest need will be more competitive. Processes from the prior cohort RFA are still in place.
Applications for this cohort will be due February 15, 2008. The CDE has posted an application to be a reader on the CDE Web site. The Readers’ Conference is scheduled for March 2008.
Michael Funk asked if the CDE could put out an FAQ regarding instructional aide requirements. John Malloy stated this is included in the proposed FAQs. John stated that it is district policy that sets instructional aide requirements. The Chair stated that this is a local decision, not a CDE decision. Local educational agencies (LEAs) must determine what the requirements are for an instructional aide in their district.
The Chair introduced Camille Maben as the new representative for the Office of the Secretary for Education (OSE). Steven Amick, the former representative, is no longer with the San Diego County Office of Education, so he can no longer serve on the Committee. Camille is Chief of Staff for the OSE and was a former Chief of Staff for Delaine Eastin (former State Superintendent for Public Instruction). Camille is also a school board member.
There was no specific update given regarding the after school self-assessment tool, however, the Committee members recommended the following to improve the instrument:
- Identify who is responsible to answer each question. We do not want people to guess who is the best person to answer a particular question or section.
- Make sure the self-assessment tool is aligned with other assessment instruments used by the CDE.
- Roll out training with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation).
Michael Funk asked if the Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee is still working on this tool. John responded that the Regional Leads would definitely be involved in the delivery of technical assistance based on needs identified through the tool. John also replied that the CDE is looking into dividing the tool into separate sections to streamline the document and make it easier for people to use.
The Chair stated that the purpose of the tool is not to monitor grantees, but to help sites and grantees identify technical assistance needs. Since the tool is not to be used for monitoring, the CDE needs to make sure the field does not feel the CDE will be using the tool to monitor them.
John Malloy informed the members that the Korean Subcommittee on Education invited him to present on California’s after school issues. John stated that California is seen as a leader in after school programs. He also commented that all countries represented at the conference spoke about how effective after school programs can be in closing the achievement gap.
The Chair introduced Gordon Jackson, Assistant Superintendent, Learning and Support Partnerships Division and invited him to address the Committee. Gordon informed the group that Jane Ross is in Washington, DC, so Gordon is presenting in her absence.
Gordon clarified the work of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) through its contract with the CDE. The SEDL contract is for $683,000 for a three-year period. Gordon spoke about the California After School Demonstration Program (CASDP). He stated that the CASDP does not include a self-assessment tool. He also said that the CASPD pilot gave him a chance to learn and build on his experience working with Program Improvement schools. He added that the CASDP process will take advantage of technology because the internet will be an integral part of the process.
John Malloy informed the Committee that CASDP applications from prospective sites came from ten regions. Of the applicants, four were previous regional learning centers (RLCs). The CASDP Readers Conference was held November 27-29, 2007. Twenty-two applications were received. There were two readers from the After School Programs Office (ASPO) and two from the After School Policy and Evaluation (ASPE) Office. The grant is scheduled to begin in March 2008. This will be a beginning point, as we are starting out on a small scale.
Gordon stated that he could not locate a formal evaluation of the previous RLCs. He also stated that the CASDP sites are a component of an overall assessment of after school programs across the state.
John Malloy stated that the CDE is working on the replication process. The CDE will make sure the statewide distribution of CASDP sites will be balanced. In addition, the CDE will conduct site visits before contracts are awarded. The CASDP is also open to agencies operating high school programs. Gordon stated that site visits for potential applicants are scheduled through February 2008.
Michael Funk stated that he believes there was some type of evaluation of the previous RLC process. Norma Munroe, an Education Programs Consultant with the ASPO in the CDE stated that there was not a formal evaluation process. Norma stated that processes and products done in the past were useful, but they could not be replicated.
The Chair asked how the former RLC process influenced the development of the CASDP. The Chair will add the questions to the agenda for the next meeting. Michael Funk asked how all the efforts work together. He wants to look at the rubric to get a better understanding of the interconnection of RLCs with other efforts and how the original RLCs influenced the development of the CASDP.
Amy Christianson stated that she wants to ensure that agencies that did not apply are not left out of the process. She is worried about the small number of CASDP sites and how we collect best practices.
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Renee Newton, Chair of the Subcommittee, gave an update of the Subcommittee’s work. A work group of the Subcommittee met in August and September 2007 to review tools and procedures for the alternative measures of skill development, homework completion, and improvement in positive behavior. The Subcommittee met in October 2007 to develop a report to the Committee. The Subcommittee considered tools already developed. The members want to develop a process that will not be specific to California and would be for public use. The Subcommittee is forwarding recommendations to the Foundation.
Paula Bellacera, a Research and Evaluation Consultant (EREC) in the ASPE Office of the CDE, and a Subcommittee member, was invited to give an update. Paula gave the group a brief update on her background as a professor at the university level and her experience as an EREC for more than 20 years. Paula stated that the EC requires that grantees submit data to the CDE annually. The CDE uses this data to determine if programs are making a positive impact on children and families and if they should continue to be funded. Paula reminded the Committee of the outcome measures:
- Standardized Testing and Reporting results
- Behavior improvement
- Homework completion
- Skill development
The CDE will be contracting with an independent evaluator to produce a statewide evaluation of after school programs. Grantees can choose which measure they will use to determine program effectiveness from the four measures.
The Subcommittee will convene a panel to include members of the after school community to inform the development of evaluation tools. The Subcommittee will look at what is available in other states and at the federal level. This information will be provided to the contractor. The evaluation contractor will create a series of questions that are reliable. By the end of the year the CDE hopes to have the tools in place. The CDE will need buy-in from the field and input from the Committee. Paula stated that grantees should be able to change their chosen measure.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
Sandra McBrayer gave an update about the Subcommittee’s work. The Subcommittee is working with the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges that agreed to participate in the process. There is a request for proposals (RFP) being developed by the Chancellor’s Office which will be out soon.
Sandra gave a presentation to the community colleges employment placement departments. This group was not aware of after school programs and how they can help with workforce development.
California AfterSchool Network Report
Andee Press-Dawson from the California AfterSchool Network (CASN) gave an update. There will be a leadership team meeting in Sacramento on December 6, 2007. The CASN just completed a second mailing to after school grantees to inform them of a project to acknowledge students for good attendance. There will be a certification of students attending for 140, 160, or 180 days. The CASN also completed a mailing to after school grantees regarding legal ways to extend their funding. Various after school grantees conducted conferences to celebrate Lights On Afterschool. The CASN is also focusing on marketing, funding for after school snacks, and the CASDP sites.
There will be a forum at the University of California, Los Angeles featuring Denise Huang and Deborah Vandell. There was Charles Mott Foundation funding for a professional learning community for peer-to-peer mentoring. Fifty mentors and 200 mentees will be involved in the project. They want to develop regional networks in addition to statewide networks. The CASN will be announcing several position vacancies soon.
Items for the Next Committee Meeting
The Chair stated that there are the standing agenda items, which include the CDE update, the Chair’s update, and all of our subcommittee updates. The Chair stated that they will also need an update and action item on the CASDP and an update on the self- assessment tool with a response to all of the questions asked. The Chair asked if there were any other topics to place on the agenda.
John Malloy informed the Committee that the CDE SBE Board room is available on Wednesday, February 27, 2008. The Committee agreed to this date and the following agenda items:
- Approval of minutes from October 16, 2007
- Approval of minutes from December 4, 2007
- Advisory Committee Chair report
- CDE Staff Report
- ASES Update
- 21st CCLC Update
- Quality Self-Assessment Tool Update
- CASDP Update
- Outcomes And Evaluation Subcommittee Report
- Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
- After School Network Report
- Items for Next Advisory Committee Meeting
- Public Comment
The Chair thanked everyone for their input and adjourned the meeting at 11:48 a.m.