Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
Meeting Minutes - June 25, 2008
Kathie Scott, California Department of Education (CDE) liaison to the Advisory Committee
John L. White
Patti Clark-Roehrs (retired effective June 12, 2008)
Sandra McBrayer, Advisory Committee Chair (Chair), called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.
Introduction of Members
The Advisory Committee members and the CDE consultant liaison introduced themselves.
Approval of Minutes from April 23, 2008 – Action
The members reviewed minutes from the April 23, 2008, Advisory Committee meeting. Diane Levin recommended that a technical change be made to reflect the correct name of the Office of the Secretary of Education. Amy Christianson motioned to approve the minutes with Diane’s recommendation, Mary Hoshiko seconded the motion, and members approved the minutes.
Review of Meeting Materials
Kathie Scott provided members with an overview of meeting materials and the agenda.
Advisory Committee Chair Report
The Chair gave the Advisory Committee an update on Senate Bill 1674 (Torlakson). This bill is currently with the Assembly Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill originally included: a set-aside for a teacher pathway program, an allowance for After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs to operate on Saturdays, a minimum amount for rural programs, and clarification of administrative costs. The Legislature recently amended the bill to remove the minimum amount for rural programs. The Chair informed the Advisory Committee the Governor is working on a proposal for a fall ballot initiative to change funding for the ASES Program. The Assembly and Senate have different proposals on changing ASES funding. The Senate went further than the Governor in their proposal. The Senate’s proposal would include the ASES Program in the annual budget, which means, they would set the amount funded each year instead of a continuous appropriation. The Chair explained when the State budget suffers a serious deficit (known as a test-three year) the Legislature would have authority to adjust the ASES budget. Each of the above-mentioned proposals requires voter approval in November.
Alvaro Cortes asked about the final date these proposals must be approved to make it on the November 2008 ballot. John Malloy stated that the Governor and Legislature had until sometime in September 2008, to still be in time to go on the November 2008 ballot.
California Department of Education Staff Report
Gordon Jackson, Assistant Superintendent Learning Support and Partnership Division (LSPD), addressed the Advisory Committee. He stated one good thing that has come from the current fiscal crisis is there is an incredible amount of communication. Gordon stated we need to look at core values to develop communal understanding. Through conversations with after school providers, health care providers, service learning providers, and educators we can work together to close the achievement gap. Right now providers and the student-support system are stressed. Gordon clarified that he wants to make technical assistance collectively crisp, clear, relevant, and productive. Therefore, we all need to consider what the needs are and what we can collectively provide.
After School Programs Update
John Malloy reminded the Advisory Committee the fiscal year (FY) ends on Monday (June 30, 2008) and the ASES grant year also ends. The final close-out expenditure reports and final attendance reports for 2007-08 are due July 31, 2008. The California Education Code (EC) gives the CDE authorization to withhold payments if reports are not in on time. It is especially important this year because the Legislature wants to know how much ASES funding is unspent so it can be used for other educational programs. John Malloy informed the Advisory Committee the California School Accounting Manual requires ASES expenditures and certain types of obligations be recognized in the current year. The current practice is that obligated goods and services are recognized in the following year if not received by June 30, 2008. For the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program there are certain obligations, such as services, being recorded when received. John stressed that it is important to work closely with local educational agency and CDE fiscal staff on this.
Next year the CDE will review grantee attendance history because 2007-08 is the first full grant year. The Regional Leads have been working with grantees struggling with attendance. EC Section 8483.7 requires the CDE to reduce ASES funding for grantees not meeting certain attendance levels. The analysis of attendance will be done on a school-by-school basis. Carla Sanger asked if attendance will be reduced with or without technical assistance. Carla expressed concern some schools many not have received adequate technical assistance before their funding was reduced. John Malloy stressed the CDE will not reduce funding without first offering technical assistance, even if it was known late the school had low attendance. Funding reductions will be done on a case-by-case basis. The CDE will offer technical assistance to grantees, with help from the Regional Leads but, it is the grantee’s responsibility to ask for help. The Chair stated that schools need to be realistic about local needs and the population at each school when determining the number of students that can be served. Grantees should assess why they can’t meet their attendance goals, if applicable.
21st Century Community Learning Centers Update
John Malloy announced the request for applications (RFA) Cohort 5 timeline did not meet applicant or CDE needs. The Advisory Committee asked the CDE to extend the Cohort 5 timeline by two weeks. Applicants informed the CDE the two-week change was still inadequate. Therefore, the CDE wants to be sure the Cohort 6 RFA goes out earlier. John Malloy announced the CDE will work with the Advisory Committee on the timeline. Amy Christianson stated the CDE needs to take school needs into account when establishing a timeline. She stated we do not want to miss the peak times when schools are doing their site planning.
John Malloy informed the Advisory Committee that prior to passage of Senate Bill 638 about 85 to 90 percent of 21st CCLC grant money went to elementary/middle schools. With the passage of Senate Bill 638, the Legislature determined that no less than 50 percent of 21st CCLC funding will go to high school After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) programs. The allocation of grant funding to elementary and middle schools is now set at a maximum of 40 percent. Yesterday, the CDE mailed official appeal letters announcing the appeal deadline of July 3, 2008. The CDE will announce final appeal decisions in late July 2008. John Malloy stated that he could not comment on specific grants or appellants.
Carla Sanger asked for a clarification about high school applicants. She asked how many high schools received a grant and how many schools are high schools. The Chair updated the Advisory Committee there are 1,182 traditional high schools serving 1.8 million students. There are about 1,100 continuation and opportunity schools that also enroll high school students. About 10 percent of high schools have program improvement (PI) status. In addition, there are 159,000 private high school students.
Statewide Projects and Initiatives Budgets, Timelines, and Training Providers Update
Jane Ross and John Malloy provided the Advisory Committee with an update on statewide contracts and initiatives. Ms. Ross informed the Advisory Committee there are two handouts that pertain to technical assistance, and the handouts build on what was discussed at the last meeting. Per the members’ request, we have divided this document into two major sections: Core technical assistance resources (those that are funded on an ongoing basis) and Specialized technical assistance resources (technical assistance resources that are funded for a period of two to three years and change over time). The Specialized resources are designed to leave in place materials and trained trainers who can be engaged by Regional Leads or programs to provide training at a later date.
There are six core resources in place as follows:
- Regional After School Technical Assistance System (RASTAS) or Regional Leads. Jane Ross stated the CDE worked with the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) a year ago to redesign Regional Lead requirements, and the work of this system, and to bring it into line with other types of technical assistance systems within the CDE. Each region is allocated a portion of the available $4.5 million annually based on the number of after school programs, LEAs, geographic area, and number of students served in the region.
- California After School Demonstration Program. Jane Ross informed the Advisory Committee the first cohort for this pilot includes nine grantees (a total of nine elementary school sites, four middle school sites, and one high school site). Ms. Ross reminded the Advisory Committee the CDE contracted with the Southwest Education Development Laboratory (SEDL) to work on development, and documentation of the Demonstration Program application process, professional development, and monitoring plans. The total funding for this contract is $683,350; however, the Demonstration Program sites are funded at $75,000 per year through June 2009, which brings their total to approximately $1 million for the contract period.
- California After School Resource Center. John Malloy reminded members the California After School Resource Center’s (CASRC) initial funding was set for nearly three years at a total of $2,340,880, an average of about $780,000 per year. The CASRC provides access to a comprehensive set of reviewed materials, resources, tools, and supportive services for after school programs, and other interested parties.
- Statewide Technical Assistance Needs Assessment. John Malloy also reminded members there was a presentation at the July 2007 meeting regarding this assessment. The needs assessment was conducted last year and that consists of an online survey for program line staff, Regional Leads, program coordinators, and others. This is an extensive survey the CDE would like to see after school providers and staffs use every two to three years. The total cost was $125,000.
- Access and Inclusion Technical Assistance Project. John Malloy thanked the Advisory Committee for bringing to the CDE’s attention the need for a resource to support programs in serving students with special needs. As reported at the last meeting the After School Programs Office (ASPO) worked with the CDE’s Special Education Division to develop an amendment to one of their existing contracts. This amendment will provide triage, training, and technical assistance for after school programs dealing with the issues of including students with special needs. The amount of after school funding supporting this contract is $250,000 for 2008-09.
- California Healthy Kids Survey. John Malloy provided the Advisory Committee with an update on the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). The survey is a comprehensive youth risk behavior and resilience survey, and supporting its administration is a Division-wide initiative in the CDE. It is one of the strategies the State Superintendent for Public Instruction (SSPI) is using to help close the achievement gap. The CHKS and the California School Climate Survey provide a means of understanding the educational experience of underperforming students. The CHKS helps provide schools and districts with the opportunities to address factors that impede academic achievement for all students, especially for the subgroups that we know make up the achievement gap. The CDE ASPO contribute $250,000 per year to fund the CHKS because data from the survey is clearly a valuable student-support resource.
Carla Sanger asked if there will be an extension of the current contract, or will there be a request for proposals for FY 2009-10 which will incorporate different types of activities. Jane Ross responded that part of today’s discussion is how to inform technical assistance for FY 2009-10. The CDE is embracing input from the field, Regional Leads, the Advisory Committee, and others. Amy Christianson commented that in her region after school programs are utilizing the survey to adjust, and prioritize findings, and are doing follow-up focus groups.
Jane Ross stated the CDE continues to look back at responses to inform what we do. For example, the field responded that Categorical Program Monitoring (CPM) was a top priority. CDE developed technical assistance to be delivered at the regional level for the CPM process as a result. John Malloy commented the CDE learned that after school staff needed assistance to better serve students with special needs. The CDE is developing technical assistance to address this concern. Lou Fernandez stated that he continues to get inquiries about an after school survey. John stated that the California After School Network (Network) also distributed a survey to assess after school program needs.
There are eight specialized technical assistance initiatives (number two below includes two initiatives):
- After School Content Literacy Project. Jane Ross informed the Advisory Committee this project was designed to foster in the after school environment, the use of research-based literacy strategies that strengthen students' abilities to read, write, listen, speak, think, remember, and apply information across the curriculum. A design team representing the CDE, the San Diego County Office of Education, and San Diego State University worked with members of the CISC subcommittee on Reading-Language Arts to develop the After School Content Literacy training document. The Content Literacy document is now posted on the CASRC Web site. This project has reached its completion after roughly three years of funding, for a total amount of $310,000. The contract ran from May 2005 to June 2008.
- After School Physical Activity Project and Guidelines and Trainings on Nutritious Snacks. Jane Ross provided an update on these two projects. Although they represent two separate contracts, Ms. Ross discussed these two projects together because they complement each other. The CDE will be combining them into one contract for 2008-09. Both projects have operated under the leadership of Nancy Gelbard, a CDE Education Programs Consultant, who is a well known leader in health, nutrition, and physical activity.
This work was motivated by (1) the passage of Senate Bill 638, which requires the CDE to develop and disseminate voluntary guidelines for physical activity, and (2) by the passage of Senate Bill 12 and Senate Bill 965, which impacted the definition of acceptable snack foods and beverages in schools, and (3) the SSPI’s obesity initiative.
In 2008-09, both of these projects will focus on dissemination, promotion, and support of the guidelines through training and outreach efforts to reach after school program staff statewide.
Each of these two projects was funded for a two-year period beginning in June 2007. The total for the After School Physical Activity project is just over $566,000, and the total for the Nutritious Snacks project is just over $609,000.
- Youth Development Training Project. John Malloy stated the contract with WestEd provides youth development training through a training of trainers (TOT) model. This TOT is intended for after school program line staff. The content of the training focuses on the resiliency and basic youth development strategies that we know are critical in after school programs. The training will boost the building of capacity throughout the state by getting this critical training down to the level of those directly interacting with the students. This project was funded for 2007-08 and the contract is currently under renewal to extend it through June 2009 for an additional $225,000, which would bring the total to a little over $1 million.
- The After School Mathematics and Science Project. John Malloy informed the Advisory Committee this TOT is being conducted by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and responds to the need to provide greater support for students in mathematics and science, as evidenced by continued low scores California receives on comparable assessments with other states. This project focuses on providing professional development and materials to after school program staff across the state.
In each of the 11 regions after school staff has received this training, and this program will be reduced in size in 2008-09. The mathematics trainings will focus on new activities and will be conducted in four regions that will be selected based on level of interest, size of the region, the number of after school program sites, and additional financial support. The science trainings will be limited to two regions and will take advantage of additional support by the Noyce and Packard foundations. This effort is funded for just over two years (from May 2007 through June 2009) for a little over $1 million.
- Health and Safety Trainings. Jane Ross informed the Advisory Committee this contract funds the California Healthy Kids Resource Center (CHKRC) to provide training and technical assistance in the provision of required health services and a number of health education topics pertinent to after school programs. This contract will provide training in first aid, how to handle hygiene issues, treating minor illness, recognizing and properly supporting students with asthma, diabetes, seizures, and other topics pertinent to after school programs, such as, bullying, nutrition, and media education, skills for the prevention of substance abuse, and violence. This work is funded for two years beginning July 2007 for a total of about $670,000.
- California After School Network. Jane Ross stated this contract is administered by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis). The Network has worked with the CDE to conduct the make-up ASES orientation and the 21st CCLC orientations last fall; they work on an ongoing basis to develop, and conduct field surveys, disseminate materials (regular updates, resources, and announcements) developed by the CDE, and other CDE-approved information via the Network listserv, and to plan the new grantee orientations (including the Cohort 5, 21st CCLC orientations). This contract began in FY 2007-08, and the two-year total for the contract through June 2009 is approximately $461,000.
- Closing the Achievement Gap. John Malloy discussed the last specialized project that represents the CDE After School contribution to a division-wide effort to focus on the Superintendent’s initiative to Close the Achievement Gap. The LSPD is funding an online Web training on powerful youth development and resilience-based strategies to focus on Recommendations 4 and 5 in the P-16 Council’s Closing the Achievement Gap Report.
In 2007, SSPI Jack O’Connell charged the P-16 Council with focusing on closing the achievement gap. The Council considered what the state can do to create the conditions necessary for closing the gap and developed 14 recommendations. Recommendation 4 is to provide culturally relevant professional development for all school personnel, and Recommendation 5 is to conduct a climate survey. This online training resource will be available to every California school and after school program. The ASPO will contribute $200,000 between September 2008 and September 2011. The concept behind the training was developed in consultation with staff from the P-16 Council and others.
A handout was distributed to provide information about who was trained and how others can be trained. The handout provides contact information for some of the trainers who have been trained as a result of specialized technical assistance work. More information is available on the CDE and CASRC Web sites and from the Network’s listserv.
Technical Assistance Input from Members
The Chair led a conversation to begin the process of gathering input from members regarding lessons learned from current contracts, how they can be modified, and possible outcomes. The Chair asked the members to refer to the inquiry that went out through the Network asking people to identify themselves, what type of school they work for, what their position is, and what do they see as technical assistance needs both immediately and for the future. This inquiry has also gone out to the Regional Leads. The Chair stated the CDE needs to know from this Advisory Committee what you see as potential technical assistance core and specialized needs in your areas.
Mary Hoshiko stated she has seen the continuous need for additional core and specialized training, especially for community-based organizations. There is a need for capacity building, working with special needs students, behavior management, connecting with the high school California standards, aligning with the regular day, and nutrition. Amy Christianson stated in her region there is a need for training to deal with expansion and growth of after school. After school staff need to develop the ability of understanding and managing staff. Leadership and facilitation is critical especially at the administrative level. She stated that after school staff also need more knowledge of fiscal budgets and how to avoid “working in silos.” There is also a need for additional resources and services for students.
Carla Sanger stated as educators we like the TOT model, but we need to acknowledge that not all smart people are good trainers. We need to consider that some training must be done only by the best trainers. The Chair reminded the Advisory Committee to look at the type of training happening in your area and determine what the best delivery of that training is. The Chair stated members should identify quality training and trainers. Louis Fernandez stated it is extremely difficult to have staff freed up to attend trainings. Some training is held at a distant location. It would be helpful to provide some of the funds to the local level to do the training. Trainings could be located at convenient places close to where staff work. It is also important to ensure that staff are getting something out of the training.
Amy Christianson commented she does not see this as a problem for her very rural area. After school staff report that training is appreciated. Ms. Christianson reminded the Advisory Committee it is important to look at the needs for the region, because training needs are not the same for all urban or rural areas. Ms. Christianson stated if all program systems are in place the training will be valuable. Mary Hoshiko stated training is not where change happens; it is on the job. Strong leaders and site folks are needed to take it to the next level. There is a need for strong leadership and a support network. Renee Newton commented we should look at strengthening the system, and then consider how the dollars should be distributed. Alvaro Cortes stated the TOT model does not work unless you can clone the best trainers. The training evaluation process must be done on an ongoing basis. Evaluation results must be analyzed and used to inform your work. The Advisory Committee should be involved in that process.
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Renee Newton did not have a report because the Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee (OES) did not meet last month, but she requested that the Chair appoint a replacement for the CDE representative to the OES. Ms. Newton also stated that the OES requires staff support to provide a concept paper or outline to review regarding the independent evaluation tool. John Malloy responded that the CDE is starting interviews to hire a replacement for Paula Bellacera (Education Research and Evaluation Consultant). Mr. Malloy informed the Advisory Committee that the CDE should have someone on board by the September meeting.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
The Chair gave a report on the Workforce Development Subcommittee (WDS) activities. The Chair informed the Advisory Committee that the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) has released funding for a request for proposals (RFP) that will solicit applications from Community Colleges to develop after school workforce pipelines. Proposals are due July 15. This project is sometimes referred to as “growing our own” and is a partnership between colleges and after school programs. The RFA is for $1.5 million or $300,000 per pilot site for a two-year period. There will be five pilot sites to build a bridge program to address foundational skills of young adults 18 to 30 years of age who are interested in working in after school programs while attending a community college. There is also funding from the Lucile and David Packard Foundation to help sites with planning.
California Afterschool Network Report
Andee Press-Dawson gave an update of the Network. Over the last two years the number of people visiting the Web site has increased significantly. In addition, the Network now has over 2,500 people receiving the weekly list serv. Andee informed the Advisory Committee that John Jones and Jeff Davis are the Network’s technical staff.
Ms. Press-Dawson announced that the Network has recently completed selecting 25 individuals to serve on a new leadership team to begin July 1. The Network had such an overwhelming response from people to serve on this committee that it is now broken into a middle school and high school committee. The committees will begin looking at best practices in each program grouping next month. Ms. Press-Dawson further announced that the elementary and middle orientation in Sacramento will take place on November 3, 2008. In addition, BOOST-er will be conducting a high school conference in San Diego on November 5 and 6, 2008. New grantees are encouraged to attend.
The Packard-funded mentoring project is launching in September 2008. Each region will recommend 50 people to serve as mentors and 200 people to serve as mentees. These individuals are all current site directors. The goal is to build the capacity of site directors and to teach them to work effectively with staff. Participants must be recommended by their program directors and their Regional Lead. The quality self assessment tool is moving forward and the Packard Foundation will fund a two-year roll-out and development of the tool. The Network is finalizing the tool and will get back to the CDE for feedback. The Network’s goal is to have the tool ready to use in September 2008.
California After School Technical Assistance Presentation
Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez, Executive Director, and Reba Rose, gave a presentation on the California After School Technical Assistance program (CASTA). Ms. Abundis-Rodriguez informed the Advisory Committee that she has seven years experience as the Regional Lead in Region 5 and will draw from that experience in her work on the CASTA project.
CASTA is a project of the Center for Community School Partnerships (CCSP), situated in the School’s Center for Cooperative Research and Extension Services in Schools (CRESS) at UC Davis. This project includes 15 years of experience providing technical assistance to Healthy Start and others. Funding for the CASTA project is provided by the Lucile and David Packard Foundation and the Haas Foundation. There are several key stakeholders involved in the CASTA project: Rocio Abundis-Rodriquez, the Packard Foundation, Perry Chen, the CDE, Steve Fowler (Fowler/Hoffman Associates), and others from the field. The vision of CASTA is to support the building of comprehensive, coordinated and exemplary technical assistance with the capacity to support the diverse needs of after school programs across the state. The CASTA includes three components: Technical Assistance Providers Partnering for Excellence (TAPPE), a catalog of technical assistance providers, and a map of technical assistance topics. The goals of the TAPPE are to increase collaboration among technical assistance providers, improve the quality of training, and to develop core competencies for technical assistance.
There is a need to define core competencies, which CASTA will do via a workgroup of eight individuals including, trainers, system builders, and after school grantees. The TOT model will be used, but is just one strategy. CASTA services are not intended to duplicate but to supplement. Another TAPPE strategy is to provide one-on-one mentoring, coaching and peer support to technical assistance providers in implementing best practice strategies in their varied roles. Reba Rose informed the Advisory Committee that CASTA provides the field an opportunity to bring together the diverse training providers to look at all of the technical assistance that can be provided. CASTA will make sure that the learning is embedded, institutionalized, and will build the capacity of people to think creatively. The Chair asked if CASTA will consider technical assistance quality. Ms. Abundis-Rodriquez responded that quality will be discussed, but she is not sure what the outcome will be at this point.
Items for the Next Advisory Committee Meeting – Action
- Legislative Update
- The CDE Report on the 21st CCLC RFA and Current Contracts
- Perry Chen will be invited to present on initial mapping findings
- Michael Funk will present on the Encore After School Project
- Lindsay Callahan and Michael Macias will present on the Central Valley After School Foundation
- Develop protocols for presentations to the Advisory Committee
Next Meeting Date, Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – Action
Approved by the committee.
Kica Gazmuri, Training Network Project Director, of the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) spoke about the TOT model. She appreciated member comments on the TOT model. Ms. Gazmuri mentioned that she is involved with a trainer network out of the CDE Child Development Division. She spoke to some of the strategies in place. These strategies included: running a four-day TOT focusing on trainer competencies and the skills a trainer needs to be effective, how to transfer of these skills to the site, and assessment of trainer content expertise. This TOT focuses on training skills and curriculum. CalSAC looks at how to support programs that have received training and assesses the need before and after (follow-up). Assessment data is tracked on an online training request system. Rebecca Goldberg of CalSAC spoke about the California Workforce Innovation Network (CalWIN) collaborative. CalWIN supports workforce development efforts and looks at how to promote after school programs as a valuable resource for the public. They also train and prepare staff before employment in an after school program. CalWIN provides recruitment resources, and assists after school programs with marketing campaigns. CalSAC is looking at connecting the community with other systems including the Workforce Investment Board. Ms. Goldberg informed the Advisory Committee that this effort needs more statewide support.
There being no further comments, the Chair closed the meeting at 11:44 a.m.