Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
Meeting Minutes - September 16, 2009
Sandra McBrayer, Chair
John D. Malloy, California Department of Education (CDE) Representative
Kathie Scott, CDE Representative
Sandra McBrayer (Chair) called the meeting to order at 9:38 a.m.
Introduction of Members
The members introduced themselves.
Review of Meeting Materials
The meeting material was reviewed by all.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair stated since there was not yet a quorum, action on the minutes would be later in the meeting.
Advisory Committee Chair Report
All the after school bills with an associated cost or perceived cost were held in suspense. These bills have the potential to be reintroduced next year.
California Department of Education Staff Report
John Malloy said that the announcement for the Education Programs Consultant (EPC) position in the After School Programs Office (ASPO) that staffs the Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs (Committee) is being advertised outside of the CDE. He stated the Evaluation Consultant position was just filled. He said there may be more positions available due to individuals retiring from state service.
The ASPO has completed the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Universal Grant Request for Application (RFA). The RFA is moving through the CDE approval process. Mr. Malloy said that the Department of Finance (DOF) may declare fiscal year (FY) 2008-2009 a Test 3 year. He reminded the Committee the only time the 550 million dollar allocation for ASES funding can be reduced is in a test 3 year. The DOF has stated if FY 2008-2009 was a Test 3 year, funds will be taken from FY 2009-2010. This issue is being reviewed by CDE. There is the potential for negotiations between the CDE, the DOF and the Legislature. The CDE’s first concern is to protect current grantees. The CDE does not want to offer a new RFA and then have current funding taken away. The CDE will not know if FY 2008-2009 was a Test 3 year until they are contacted by the DOF in December. Funding for a potential RFA will come from the reduction in current grants due to lower than anticipated attendance, Mr. Malloy stated that the reduction would be less than 70 million dollars. The RFA will not be offered until the amount of the reduction is determined. The CDE is asking for clarity if FY 2008-2009 is a Test 3 year can the funds be taken from 2009-2010. Mr. Malloy reiterated the CDE’s main concern is protecting the grantees. The field will be notified as soon as information is received.
The CDE is in the process of doing grant adjustments. The first round of grant reductions has been completed. The data provided by the grantees was used to make the cuts. A message was sent out on April 30, 2009, to all the grantees that if the attendance did not justify what was voluntarily reduced they would be subject to further reductions. There were two adjustment formulas. If in any year after the first year of the grant the program does not make 75 percent of the anticipated attendance, the adjustment is based on that one year as the law requires. Secondly, if the program does not make at least 85 percent in two consecutive years, their grant would be adjusted. This adjustment is based on attendance from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. The highest of the two attendance figures reported by the grantee was used in the formula. There was also up to a ten percent growth factor included. The consultants and analysts in the ASPO contacted the grantees and informed them of the formula the CDE was using based on the data submitted. The grantees were given an opportunity to make any changes. The proposed adjustments are being verified and approved by management. An appeals process will be posted on the CDE Web site. The appeals process is the same as with an RFA. Any grantee whose grant has been adjusted below the legislative cap will have an opportunity to apply again to bring their grant up to the cap. Mr. Malloy stressed the law states if a grantee does not meet the legislative cap for three consecutive years, the grant may be terminated. Mr. Malloy shared that a congratulatory message was sent to the field because the attendance numbers increased greatly.
The only grant reviewed this year for attendance was the ASES grant. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) are given three years to meet the requirements for attendance. Next year 21st CCLC Cohort 4 grants will be reviewed for attendance. If the attendance requirement is not met the grant will be reduced.
The Committee thanked Mr. Malloy for clarity on the voluntary-involuntary reduction issue.
Mr. Malloy combined the technical assistance (TA) efforts and the TA for inclusion report as one report. He gave a list of all the current TA projects. He stated that the primary TA providers to the field are the consultants and analysts in the ASPO as well as the entire CDE. They provide TA regarding the education code, grant conditions, payment status, etc.
The Regional Leads (RLs) are the primary provider in the field. A little more than 4.5 million dollars is devoted to the RLs. The RLs’ primary target for TA are the school district, the school and the site. The RLs facilitate communication among the grantees and between the grantees and the CDE. They provide assistance in whatever way they can. If there is a situation the RLs are unsure of, they communicate with the CDE regional consultant. The RLs have a work plan available that the grantees can review to identify TA to be received.
Kathie Scott stated the CDE established the framework for the work plan for the RLs with components to be addressed. The RLs and their local advisory committee then develop the details as to how these components will be accomplished. Ms. Scott said the work plan is focusing more on closing the achievement gap and instruction and resources. It is discretionary at the local level as to how the components of the work plan are achieved. The Committee said all RLs do not have this understanding. Member Funk asked who guides the RLs in interpreting the mandate to give guidance in closing the achievement gap. Mr. Malloy replied the grantee designs the program and has access to the primary TA providers within the CDE if need be. He stated the CDE meets regularly with the RLs and could possibly have more conversations regarding this subject. The Chair stated the Committee should work with the RLs and RL system.
The California After School Demonstration Program (CASDP) grant is funded at $700,000 this year. There are nine CASDPs in eight regions that provide a place for people to get information about after school programs. The CASDP’s have been utilized for practical demonstration and for training, and mentoring. This is the third year for CASDP. The contract with the Southwestern Regional Development Laboratory (SEDL) has expired. The CDE is committed to the CASDP for at least this year. If the CASDP proves successful there is a possibility of another cohort after this year. The Committee asked if there was a list of the CASDPs on the CDE Web site. Ms. Scott stated there is a CASDP tab on the California After School Resource Center (CASRC) Web site. The Chair asked Ms. Scott to e-mail the link to the Committee. Member Funk stated he was informed CASDP is not currently set up for site visits (i.e. visiting the CASDP sites). The Committee asked what the purpose of the CASDP was if they are not set up for site visits. Ms. Scott stated the purpose is to provide online training by having the CASDPs go to one site and have programs attend the training. The Committee was concerned there was not a site available to see a hands-on CASDP operation. Mr. Malloy said the CDE would share the Committee’s concern with CASDP. The Chair summarized the discussion by stating the Committee’s concerns as: 1) review the contract for subsequent years to see if they want to continue this work, 2) the CASDPs should be open, willing and available for site visits; 3) produce trainings at multiple sites to teach their expertise; and 4) provide online resources.
The California After School Resource Center (CASRC) is a Web-based centralized location for research and California Content Standards aligned structured materials. All materials featured on the CASRC Web site have been reviewed for their high quality. The Web site has been enhanced to include the CASDP, Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics as well as updating and maintaining the Physical Activity Guidance Manual.
The California After School Network (Network) is funded for $250,000 per year. The Network serves as another vehicle to connect the field with after school providers, with tools and assistance, as well as with the CDE.
The ASPO is participating in a division-wide initiative to determine best practices for online training for key youth development concepts and research. The funding for this initiative is less than $80,000. The initiative was put out through an RFA from another unit in the Learning Supports and Partnership Division. The contract has gone out to Health and Education Communication Consultants.
Five hundred and fifty thousand dollars is spent per year with the Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the evaluation contract. The contract is now starting the first phase.
A grant for $1,000,000 has been given to the California County Superintendents Education Service Association (CCSESA) through the El Dorado County Office of Education (COE). CCSESA provided an RFA for COEs for developing trainings and material so that assistant superintendents, principals and other leadership in the schools can partner with and utilize the academic and enrichment activities that after school programs offer for academic achievement
Last year the ASPO worked with the Special Education Division’s California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (CalSTAT) contract with Napa COE. This year the ASPO is working with the CalServe contract, also through Napa COE. The contract amount is $225,000. The purpose is to work for inclusion in after school programs of children with special needs. There are inclusion resource coordinators in northern and southern California who work with the schools on how best to include all children in after school programs. Services available include online training modules, trainings, and grantee telephone consultations when requested.
At the conclusion of the TA report, the Chair requested Mr. Malloy to present a matrix to the Committee at the next meeting for FY 2010-2011, that would include continued grants and new ideas. The matrix would allow the Committee to offer advice to the CDE on continuation questions, as well as other issues in the field that may require TA. Mr. Malloy stated the matrix may not be available at the next meeting, but information for the matrix would be shared then.
Member Funk asked about TA funding for the After School Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs). Ms. Scott stated that $700,000 is going to the RL System to support learning communities for high schools. This amount was last FY’s funding that has been continued this FY. There is no new allocation. The Chair commented this could possibly be a challenges or solutions agenda item to discuss increased funding or increased services for ASSETs. Member Funk also asked if all the TA funding had been allocated for FY 2009-2010. Ms. Scott stated that all funding for the ASES Program has been allocated and that the TA allocation for the 21st CCLC is being reviewed.
Member Funk expressed a concern regarding the suspension of legislation clarifying what constitutes a site coordinator’s administrative cost versus direct services. He asked if there had been conversations to offer solutions since this legislation has been suspended. Mr. Malloy stated the solutions are as before and that is to perform a time study on the coordinator. If 85 percent of the coordinator’s time is spent in direct services to students, then 85 percent of their time can be billed as direct services. Fifteen percent would have to come from administrative cost. If half of the time is spent in direct services, then half can be used as direct services and the rest administrative cost. Member Funk requested the Committee further explore the definition of direct services to students as to provide more clarity to the field.
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Mr. Malloy stated there is no report.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
The Chair stated there was not a report. The Chair shared there was a setback with the Employment Development Division. Work is being continued to bring together after school RLs and providers with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Children NOW completed a survey with the counties in which 24 WIA’s responded that they had an interest in working with after school programs. This was the one area of federal funding that was increased.
California Afterschool Network Report
Andee Press-Dawson gave the report for the Network. The Network is in phase two of the Quality Self-Assessment Tool (QSAT). Feedback was received from last year, as well as in the summer of this year. Two new indicators have been added to the QSAT: English Language Learners and Physical Activity & Nutrition. The goal of the Network is to have it available in the next two weeks. The QSAT will be mailed to all the RLs. The Network is able to offer training to each region on how to use the QSAT through their contract with the CDE and their support from the Packard Foundation. Ms. Press-Dawson said that the QSAT will be available at the next meeting.
The Network’s Older Youth Committee has been very active. The committee is launching a yearlong series of telephone workshops. These workshops are designed for site directors and high school and middle school practitioners. The Network has partnered with ASAP Connect to connect them to the proper TA providers to serve as experts on the calls. The calls will consist of input from the expert and an opportunity for individuals to dialogue.
The Network is sponsoring a high school conference the first week of November in San Diego. Ms. Press-Dawson shared highlights from the first day’s agenda. Several RLs are using high school funding to send teams to the conference. They have requested regional meetings with their high school grantees at the conference.
Ms. Press-Dawson gave an update on the Mentoring Project. This project was funded by the Packard Foundation through a one year grant. A call went out for site directors in the field with over three years service to be mentors. They were matched with mentees who requested mentors. The Network discovered this project would best work regionally instead of statewide. Phase two of the project is being implemented. Regions 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, and 11 have requested to be a part of the project. Each region has been asked to identify a “mega” mentor who will work with the mentors. A Master Mentor training is scheduled for October 2, 2009. The online tool for core competency for site directors is available. The site director will complete a self assessment, work with their mentor and develop a professional development plan. The cost of the training is $2,000 per region. They will receive ongoing training, support, and the online tool. The Los Angeles region is being used as the model. They are using the project as a stepping stone for leadership development for site directors.
Funding from the Mott Community Learning Project was used to call for programs that have completed a strong evaluation of middle schools programs. These evaluations will be used to prepare a document on the findings in California. The document should be available in the next six months. Ms. Press-Dawson asked the Committee members to send good evaluations to the Network. Member Campos asked if there was an evaluation report available from the data collected over the years that gives a sense of how programs have had an impact on students across the state. Mr. Malloy stated this is the contract that began last year for $550,000. It is a legislatively mandated independent evaluation and the report is to be out at the end of 2011.
Ms. Press-Dawson invited the committee to the “Lights On” event on October 22, 2009 at the State Capitol. Last year’s event was well attended.
Challenges and Solutions Faced by Before and After School Programs in Delivering Services
The Chair asked the Committee to think about TA for next year based on what they are seeing. A couple of items already mentioned have been the RL’s connection and training with the achievement gap, local plans-what is suggested and not directed, the challenge of direct service (i.e., for the site coordinator what it is). Member Campos suggested the Committee keep in mind with the new cohort of ASSETs available, will there be some type of workshop or training that will allow programs to understand the rules of engagement around ASSETs funding. She is not sure if the CDE will provide a 21st CCLC ASSETs orientation. Mr. Malloy stated the CDE is working with the Network to develop online orientation training.
Member Funk opened a discussion on the purpose of the Committee and this particular agenda item. He stated the Committee seemed to perform as an oversight committee rather than an advisory committee. He asked how the Committee could become pro-active in its role in being advisory before decisions are made, instead of just receiving reports and asking questions. He stated the Committee should be discussing the 2010-2011 TA budget, as well as assisting CDE with making decisions. The Chair stated she has requested a 2010-2011 matrix for the next meeting so the Committee can move to a more advisory role. She stated the CDE is not required to take the Committee’s advice all the time, but would like for the Committee to be able to share insight and advice before decisions are made in FY 2010-2011. The Chair said that this agenda item is designed for input from the Committee about what is happening in the field that the CDE can be made aware of. The Committee and CDE could have a better understanding of each other’s position and the Committee could offer recommendations that would be accepted by the CDE. This would create a more advisory role for the Committee. Some members of the Committee felt that the members’ background, knowledge and experience were not being taken advantage of. Member Funk stated that the Committee should be proactive. He also said he hoped the CDE staff would assist the Committee in this effort. The Chair reminded the Committee that at the last meeting Gordon Jackson, Assistant Superintendent, shared the CDE is open to advice and recommendations from the Committee. Mr. Jackson also stated that there are some things that are not in the Committee’s purview. The Chair said she agrees with the Committee’s request to be proactive in the decision making process.
Emphasis was placed on TA and it being a standing agenda item so other TA needs can be discussed and feedback given to the CDE by the Committee. The Committee asked if specific TA topics need to be placed on next meeting’s agenda, or will they be listed under the heading of Challenges and Solutions. The Chair replied the item will be re-titled based on the issues that have come up as there may be a need for further conversation or clarification. There would also be a subset under TA that could be titled “TA Draft Plan for 2010-2011” knowing the CDE has part of that information to date, but also understanding that there have been conversations, and those issues could be called out and discussed at future meetings. The current agenda item is too broad.
Mr. Malloy reiterated that Mr. Jackson had shared there are some non-negotiable items that are set by the CDE. He also stated the CDE is seeking advice and input from other entities as well as the Committee.
Items for Next Advisory Committee Meeting
The Chair stated items for the next meeting have been covered. The items will be reviewed and distributed to the Committee.
Select Next Meeting Date
The Chair said that a date for early December is being considered. Once the date and location is confirmed, the Committee will be notified. Ms. Scott will be working on securing a date and location.
Mr. Malloy reminded the Committee the announcement for the EPC position has been released. This position would serve as the liaison to Committee.
The Chair asked that the minutes of the previous meeting be approved. A motion was made Member Cortes and seconded by Member Moody. The minutes were unanimously approved by the Committee.
Rocio Abundis-Rodrigues, Executive Director of ASAP Connect spoke to the Committee. She stated the focus of ASAP Connect is to build capacity for TA providers and connecting after school programs with TA services in the field. She gave an overview of ASAP Connect’s recent activity. In addition to one-on-one coaching to RL staff, they are also supporting them in other strategic planning areas as well. ASAP Connect received funding from the Packard Foundation to offer mini-grant to the RLs.
The Committee was concerned that the CDE be aware of who has access to the RLs, who is influencing them and what the training involves. Ms. Scott stated the RL’s requested ASAP Connect be involved in their training. Mr. Malloy stated the entire state of California has access to the RLs. He emphasized anyone in California can offer training to the RLs. He said the RL is not a person but the selected COE in that region. Choosing to contract with an entity for training is a local control issue. Their responsibility is to obtain the best training available to them.
Al Smith spoke to the Committee. He is the Executive Director for the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC). He has been with CALSAC since May. He shared CALSAC is available as a resource as a professional network and a TA network for after school programs. CalSAC provides training and also assists in increasing the pipeline of after school workers to get into after school. He stated CALSAC is currently working with the Chair on the Workforce Development Subcommittee.
The Chair called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Member Cortes made a motion, which was seconded by Member Fernandez to adjourn the meeting. The motion was unanimously passed by the Committee. The meeting adjourned at 12:08 p.m.