Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
Meeting Minutes – May 18, 2009
Sandra McBrayer, Chair
John D. Malloy, California Department of Education Representative
The meeting was called to order at 9:37 a.m.
Review of Meeting Materials
Members reviewed the materials in their meeting packets.
Approval of Minutes from January 26, 2009, and March 3, 2009, Meetings – Action
The Chair asked members to review the meeting minutes.
It was motioned by Gary Moody, seconded by Amy Christianson, and voted unanimously to approve the January 26, 2009, minutes as presented.
The March 3, 2009, meeting minutes did not show Carla Sanger as absent. It was motioned by Loren Tarantino, seconded by Amy Christianson, and unanimously approved by the members to approve these minutes as amended.
Introduction of Members
Each member introduced themselves, their current position, and organization.
Advisory Chair Report
The Chair provided members with an update about five pending bills related to after school programs. Four of these bills are in suspense by the Appropriations Subcommittee because they have a fiscal impact.
- Assembly Bill 364, Assembly Member Torlakson – This bill would establish a $150,000 teacher pipeline project to provide stipends for staff working in community-based organizations and after school programs interested in a career in teaching. This would result in approximately $3,500 per candidate. This bill is in suspense.
- Assembly Bill 983, Assembly Member Skinner – This bill would allow before and after school programs to use After School Education and Safety (ASES) funding to operate on Saturdays. This bill is in suspense.
- Assembly Bill 434, Assembly Member Block – This bill would allow before and after school programs to charge all of a site coordinator’s time to direct services if the coordinator is at the site at least 85 percent of the time. This bill would also reduce the match requirement for the next two years from 33 to 15 percent. This bill is in suspense.
- Assembly Bill 1349, Assembly Member Torlakson – This bill would cause any decrease in Proposition 98 funding below the guaranteed minimum to result in an equal percentage reduction to Proposition 49 funding. This bill was referred to the Committee on Appropriations and is scheduled to be heard on May 20, 2009.
- Senate Bill 798, Senate Member DeSaulnier – This bill would increase the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program daily per student rate from $7.50 to $10. This bill is in suspense.
California Department of Education Staff Report
After School Programs Update
John Malloy provided members with an update about California Department of Education (CDE) activities related to after school programs.
Mr. Malloy announced the results of the 21st CCLC grant competition were posted on Friday, May 15, 2009, as required. There was $16 million available for new elementary/middle school grants and $140 million requested. In addition, applicants requested approximately twice as much funding for high schools as was available.
The deadline for the CDE to receive voluntary reductions from ASES grantees is May 22, 2009. Mr. Malloy explained this will give the CDE a better idea of how much might be available for a new ASES Request for Applications (RFA). The RFA will be similar to the last one, does not contain any narrative, and is simply a check list. In approving applications, the CDE will consider each school’s free and reduced-price meal (FRPM) percentage. For applicants requesting a grant including schools with a FRPM of less than 50 percent, the applicant must do a survey to determine if there are other similar programs in the area. For these applications, the CDE will also look at socio-economic status and the number of English-language learners at the school.
Member Tarantino asked if there is going to be priority points for new ASES grants and if there is a penalty for having had a program before. Mr. Malloy responded the ASES RFA requirements are included in the California Education Code (EC). There will be no priority points or penalties.
Member Fernandez commented on information regarding the voluntary grant reductions was sent out to Region VII, and he wanted to know how much leeway there will be when a grantee voluntarily reduces their grant or when CDE reduces their grant. Mr. Malloy responded the CDE staff will review voluntary reductions submitted by after school grantees. The CDE may allow up to a ten percent growth factor for grantees with attendance less than 85 percent of their projected annual attendance. Mr. Malloy added the CDE will not be looking at geographic distribution, just the attendance. When grant awards are issued, the CDE is required to consider geographic equity, but this is not required when reducing grants based on attendance.
Member Campos asked if it was CDE’s goal to have an ASES RFA out this fall.
Mr. Malloy replied it was CDE’s goal to get the actual grants out this fall.
Member Moody asked for information about the RFA going out to the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). Mr. Malloy explained the organization is made up of all of the California county offices of education. The CDE intends to provide funding to CCSESA to have their Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) develop a professional development module for school principals and curriculum experts to connect to after school and better utilize after school time to achieve better academic outcomes.
Member Sanger asked who represents after school on the CISC.
Mr. Malloy informed the members it is an assistant superintendent from the
El Dorado County Office of Education. Once we come up with the grant we will provide more information. Member Sanger asked how familiar is the CISC with the body of work done by after school programs? Mr. Malloy stated they are incredibly aware of the needs of after school programs. He further explained the regional county office signs off on the after school regional lead grant. Member Christianson asked if there is a component in the planned CISC grant requires coordination and collaboration with the existing after school Regional Lead system so the message is delivered clearly. This grant seems like it is not building on and expanding the existing regional system. Is there a requirement on behalf of the Advisory Committee to form a coordinated effort with the Regional Lead system?
Mr. Malloy stated the people who may be working on this project are the assistant superintendents who sign the Regional Lead grants. The CDE is looking to work directly with school leadership. In some cases the Regional Leads and school leadership are working well together, but in some cases this is not the case. We can see this because the low attendance in after school programs indicates the resources are not being used effectively.
Member Christianson expressed concern that although an assistant superintendent signs a grant, they may not know what is going on in the world of after school. The Chair made a recommendation as this CISC grant goes forward there, is collaboration and partnership between providers of after school services and the Regional Leads. Member Tarantino asked how long the appeals process is for the Cohort 6, 21st CCLC grant. Mr. Malloy stated the appeal process ends on Friday, June 5, 2009.
Member Moody stated he is bothered by the secrecy surrounding the CISC grant. It is something being developed for after school, and when “I get questions, I do not know anything about it”.
Mr. Malloy commented this issue was presented to the members at the March 3, 2009, meeting and reference to this can be found on page seven of the minutes.
Member Moody added he was not at that meeting and therefore was not aware of it.
Member Christianson stated it is part of the after school regional lead system to analyze what is not being met by the regional lead system and to address these areas.
Mr. Malloy stated the Regional Lead system works well with after school providers, but we want to make sure regular day leadership is making use of after school resources also.
Member Sanger stated she believes the Advisory Committee needs to exercise some activity about this grant. She is concerned there are presumptions of poor work, after school providers not aligning, and administrators are looking at a money source without accountability. She can not understand how there could be an analysis the Committee has not yet seen. Member Sanger asked Renee Newton if she has seen an analysis of California after school programs.
Member Newton spoke about the work of Dr. Deborah Vandell and that it was done at a national level. Member Sanger stated it is important that this Committee not take this issue lightly.
Mr. Malloy told members the CDE did consider the good work the California after school programs are doing, but there still is a need to encourage regular day educators to take advantage of after school programs to accomplish educational goals. He informed members the After School Network did a technical assistance (TA) survey, and the idea of alignment with the regular day was in the top three needs in every region. The Chair asked members about next steps and how this issue should come back to the Committee.
Mr. Malloy stated the next steps will be for the CDE to work with the CCSESA and the CISC and develop this grant. The CDE does not have an absolute start date yet. The Chair stated there are concerns expressed by members about how this grant coordinates with the Regional Leads, questions about how there is input from the after school field to the Committee, and how we assure we are not using resources and money for meant for after school for professional development.
Member Lopez expressed concern about how input from the after school field will be provided to the CISC. Member Fernandez asked where the million dollars for this grant comes from. He stated in discussions of TA money the TA dollars were presented to the Committee, and this was not presented to the members at that time.
Mr. Malloy explained the funding for the CISC grant comes from TA money and the regional need surveys indicated this was the number one issue across the state. Member Campos commented she believes at one point there was a report to members the 2009-10 TA plan was already established, and she did not recall this being in the plan. Mr. Malloy stated the 2009-10 is not put together yet, and the CDE welcomes input from the Committee members. Member Moody requested this issue be included in the CDE report at the next Committee meeting, and he wants to make sure advice from the Committee is not overlooked.
Member Campos clarified this grant would be to work with principals on how to use after school money in a more effective way and she does not understand what this means.
Mr. Malloy stated the purpose of this grant is to use resources and not just money. He provided an example of how Sacramento Start had great success working with mentor teachers, not just aligning, but making sure regular day administrators can use the after school program to accomplish regular day goals. Member Funk stated he is concerned about the TA plan and the budget. Some of the California After School Demonstration Programs (CASDP) have been trying to access Regional Lead resources and other resources and they have been discouraged from doing so. There is a protective nature to the CASDP and how the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) and the CDE work together on this project. Member Funk requested a report on TA so Committee members can review these TA projects and their line-item budgets, which organizations will receive TA funding, what role those organizations play, and how those resources align with quality and outcomes. He feels there is a disconnect between the TA resources allocation and the work of the Committee.
Member Taranto expressed concern as an advisory body the Committee should not be caught up in the management of CDE contracts. She is concerned the members want to be involved in the management of TA money, and she questioned whether this is the role of an advisory body. Member Funk stated you cannot give advice if you do not have context and detail. He feels he cannot give advice if he does not bring feedback from the field to members.
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Member Newton informed members the Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee (OES) will be meeting at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon in Room 6102. The OES members will receive a report from University of California, Irvine (UCI) representatives. The UCI representatives recently updated the CDE and Packard Foundation staff about the progress of the outcome measures tool development. They are on schedule developing the outcome tools. They have drafted the tools and members will review the draft tools this afternoon. After the OES members meet, the draft tools will be presented to the full Committee before next fall. The tools have been tested at a few sites intensively and they will be refined based on tests.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
The Chair provided members with an update about the Workforce Development Subcommittee (WDS). The WDS plans to partner with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) directors in many regions to determine what opportunities there are for summer hiring. There are three distinct opportunities. If their region has not already selected providers for their Summer Hire a Youth program after school programs can: (1) apply for direct grants; (2) they can submit to the already selected contractors their desire to hire youth this summer to work in after school or, (3) they can provide contractors with youth in their programs who are interested in working this summer. Dennis Petrie of the Employment Development Department (EDD), John Malloy of the CDE, and the Chair will host a video conference. Various sites will be hosting the video conferences across the state. The video conference will be one hour long. Mr. Petrie will talk about the requirement for eligibility of WIA eligible youth and the Chair will talk about how after school programs can take advantage of this opportunity. This will feature the EDD and WIA administrators in the same room to discuss this issue. The Chair also informed members the WDS is moving forward to develop a tool kit to help after school programs to retain and recruit staff.
California Afterschool Network Report
Andee Press-Dawson gave an update on California Afterschool Network (CASN) activities. The quality self assessment tool (QSAT) was distributed across the state. In addition, the CASN did presentations at conferences and regions throughout the state. June 30, 2009, is the deadline to provide feedback and input on the tool. There are various ways to provide input, including an online feedback form. Ms. Press-Dawson hopes members will take time to weight in on this. The CASN staff will be receiving input during July and August 2009, and will get back to the CDE to develop the final tool. Once the tool is finalized, the CASN will provide training on that tool.
Member Tarantino asked if the CASN is working on the CISC Alignment Project. Ms Press-Dawson said the CASN is not working on the project, but is working on high school after school programs through the Mott Foundation grant. She is also connecting with Cathy Bean and they meet on a regular basis. She added CISC is a new statewide partner on the CASN Policy Committee. The CASN is now focusing on promoting quality. They featured Nicole Yohalem and Bob Granger, who have worked on quality tools, at a presentation on March 17, 2009. They provided valuable input about the tool.
To keep the field informed about federal projects, the CASN is working with the Food Program to make sure kids have enough to eat during the summer. They will be hosting a teleconference to help after school programs connect with, and become a sponsor with, their local food program. The CASN High School Committee is hosting the Step Up Conference high school summit on November 3-5, 2009. The CASN is currently soliciting proposals for workshops. The CASN also developed a tool kit for programs to use and share what they are doing in their programs. The CASN provided trainings in March 2009 to share what good work is being done in Los Angeles after school programs. They coordinated site visits targeted key legislators who need to hear about local programs. The CASN is involved with the After School Challenge the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) put together.
Ms. Press-Dawson provided members with some statistics from the CASN Web site. In April 2007, the CASN Web site had 1,300 visits and 4,800 pages viewed. In April 2009, the CASN Web site had 4,900 visits and 15,600 pages viewed. CASN has four committees currently, including: policy, quality, older youth (middle and high school), and nutrition/physical activities. There are over 300 individuals actively involved in these committees.
Presentation by Michael Funk on the Sunset Beacon Neighborhood Center Guide: The Best of Both Worlds: Aligning Afterschool Programs with Youth Development Principles and Academic Standards
Member Funk gave members a presentation about the Sunset Beacon Neighborhood Center Guide: The Best of Both Worlds: Aligning Afterschool Programs with Youth Development Principles and Academic Standards. He explained it is the best of both worlds -- aligning after school programs with youth development and academic standards. This Guide has been about five years in the making. It is downloadable from the Sunset Beacon neighborhood Center (SBNC) (Outside Source) Web site.
Seven or eight years ago the California After School Partnership and folks at the University of California, Davis produced the quality self assessment tool was not distributed. The school working with the SBNC went through self assessment process and developed project-based learning to determine things which work well with the middle school. There was criticism by faculty at the middle school because they were concerned the after school activities were not academic enough. They then documented what type of learning was taking place. They found they could not articulate or document what learning was taking place and report this back to educational field. They set out to map what type of learning was taking place and how it tied to academic standards. They started doing lesson plans. Artists and musicians and others do not come from academic background needed to do lesson plans. They did lesson plans two times per month, and this would demonstrate the thinking and intentionality of our work. It showed there was Intentionality in learning. Over three years they developed a collection of lesson plans.
The idea was to put all these plans in a binder and talk about this with the regular day teachers. Ultimately, there was interest in this across the field. They received funding from the Haas Foundation to help with this effort. The product was more like a tool kit with instructions on how to use the Guide. They spent three days last summer with six middle school staff to put together workshops which were presented at Foundation, Inc. workshops in San Francisco. After school staff are enthusiastic about the Guide. It has been used in programs in North Carolina, Memphis, New York City, as well as many programs in California.
Challenges Before and After School Programs Face in Delivering Services
The Chair asked members to discuss any issues they are aware of regarding challenges after school programs are facing in delivering services. Member Tarantino stated funding will be a challenge. Member Funk stated the Alignment Project is a great example of alignment we have been missing. It has not been made available to the Regional Leads. Member Sanger stated the economy is a great concern. She stated in looking at large programs in San Diego and talking about what is the landscape of fund-raising universe. She asked how we can increase funding from the private sector to support after school programs. They need to look at how to get fund raisers and after school programs together.
Member Funk stated there are challenges in delivering services in community-based organizations (CBOs) partnering with school districts and how labor issues and contracts are administered. There are issues of the level of education and there are instances where the grantee is confused or somehow getting directions to the CBOs that are not in compliance with the law. This makes delivering programs very difficult. There have been cases where grantees have administered programs and union issues are getting larger and larger. Member Christianson is also having this problem. There is a huge territorial fight. Schools want to use more money to pay for credential programs and make after school programs more like the regular day. Unemployment in rural areas is a crisis and children have to leave programs earlier. There is also a problem with the interpretation of the auditors. Another problem is requiring the after school program to absorb some of the regular day support.
The Chair stated programs are not prepared for reductions, even though they have been advised about them. There is a need to get programs to face funding realities. There are programs in need, so programs need to realize they need to give up funding if they cannot use it. Member Christianson stated professional development is a concern. Programs have greater success at retaining staff have strong professional development programs in place.
Member Hoshiko stated school closures are impacting enrollment. One school which was fully enrolled in ASES closed. Their ASES money can not go with them. There is no large school adjustment, so schools cannot increase their ASES funding at a given school. Member Campos commented there is a need to actively let the field know there is a huge need for after school programs and funding is not ongoing and is going back. We need to look at the challenge of using ASES funding on the weekends.
Member Sanger stated the Office of the Secretary of Education called and questioned if Saturday funding is a Los Angeles issue. It is not just a Los Angeles issue. Member Moody stated Fresno County does not have many advocates. It is difficult to voice needs for this area.
Member Funk stated at times the regular day needs to learn how to align better with after school. He is not sure if there was a resolution which, in general, the TA spending and the big picture allowed a full, open discussion about how it is spent. He asked how the CDE sees the members’ role in determining TA funding for the ASES program. Member Newton commented she believes in the past we have had discussion about the investment in the alignment. We need to be clear on what is meant by investment. We need to be clear on what we mean by alignment. We need clarification about input from the members on this topic. The members should review what we have to gain by aligning after school programs with the regular day.
Member Christianson made a recommendation that prior to funding; members present their proposal, what they plan on doing with this funding, and how they would roll this project out statewide. Mr. Malloy stated he is not sure what the timing will be. The Chair stated there is a recommendation to put this issue on the agenda prior to funding. The Chair stated there are four things included in this conversation:
- Make sure this concept is working with the Regional Leads.
- Make sure there is a partnership with the Regional Leads.
- Collect and share input from after school field, both in the design and in the implementation, and recognize it is not resources as in dollars, but in the services, programming, and concepts.
- Put the TA plan on the agenda so we can look at those as new concepts or ideas and also can continue to look at those needs and directions.
Member Sanger stated it is very important we meet before June 30, 2009.
Presentation by Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez Regarding After School Assistance Providers Connect Technical Assistance Efforts
Ms. Abundis-Rodriguez presented members with an update about After School Assistance Providers Connect (ASAP Connect). The organization formerly known as California After School Technical Assistance (CASTA) has changed their name to ASAP Connect. ASAP Connect focuses on the California link to quality after school assistance providers. They are evaluating the effectiveness of TA and promoting collaboration and excellence. She hopes they can foster TA and provide leadership to improve the quality of after school programs. Ms. Abundis Rodriguez shared a story about a young lady named Dominique in Santa Clara County. She is a young after school site coordinator who was overwhelmed with the many requirements and questioned whether she wanted to stay in after school field. She attended a ten-day workshop on leadership. Three years after the training she still provides leadership in the after school field.
What ASAP Connect wants to do is to share how evaluation strategies impact the work of the field, the worth of services, how service is being provided, and to provide needed support. In an effort to evaluate TA, ASAP Connect did a literature review. The Packard Foundation provided an intern to help with this project. We looked at what already existed in the field for evaluating TA to determine the most effective TA strategies. We also looked at relevant research in after school, child care and other related fields. We referred to ongoing needs-driven support for after school programs, staff, and stakeholders. There are different levels of coaching, mentoring, and brokering of resources. One limitation is there is no common definition of TA. There is a lack of comprehensive evaluation at all levels. We did not look at student learning outcomes. We discovered there is very little evaluation of coaching as a strategy. There is some research but it is not public because they are internal evaluations. We also reviewed literature based on after school programs and similar programs.
- Based on this review, we feel there needs to be a certain level of education about evaluations
- Consider formulating a professional think tank
- The OES should look at evaluating TA
- Identify an online clearing house
- Apply findings to TA and core competencies
Ms. Abundis-Rodriguez shared with members what ASAP Connect (Outside Source) has done since her last visit. The Web site is designed to provide resources to after school programs and link to TA providers. There is a registration process for TA providers. Grantees can look at this Web site for support. After school programs can search the site, and there is a map so they can scroll to their geographic area.
Member Fernandez asked if ASAP Connect will be providing guidance to the Regional Leads because this is a challenge. Is there discussion that brings the process together? Ms. Abundis-Rodriguez explained ASAP Connect provides funding and coaching support for the Regional Leads to help them improve service delivery and build regional capacity. They offer strategic planning, system design, and evaluation strategies.
Items for the Next Advisory Committee Meeting – Action
- Update on the CCSESA “alignment” project
- The CDE’s priority of TA dollars for 2009-10
- Meeting location and time so the next meeting takes place before the end of June 2009
Select the Next Meeting Date – Action
CDE staff will locate a meeting room at CDE and inform members of the next proposed meeting date which will be before the end of June 2009.
Steven Amick, Executive Director of the League of California After School Providers, spoke about a discrepancy between programs voluntarily reducing their grant award and the CDE reducing their grant award. There is a discrepancy between a 15 percent cushion for voluntary reductions and a ten percent cushion for CDE reductions. There is a May 22, 2009, deadline for voluntary reductions. Mr. Amick does not understand why the CDE will not help uninformed grantees who miss the deadline. He questioned why the CDE will not do for them what well informed people would do for themselves. He wants the CDE to build in a 15 percent cushion for everyone.
Also, there is a provision in the EC which allows the transfer of funding from one site to another within a grant. EC states grantees may allocate up to 125 percent of their grant between sites. These transfers should be considered at the end of the year. This provision should be made now to grantees and used to allow flexibility.
There being no further comments, a motion to adjourn was made by Gary Moody, seconded by Amy Christianson, and unanimously approved by the members at 11:35 a.m.
These minutes were approved by the Advisory Committee at the next meeting held on June 23, 2009.