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Quality Standards and CQI

Information and guidance on the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California and implementing a quality, data-driven improvement process for expanded programs based on the Quality Standards.

Quality Standards

The purpose of the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California is to describe high levels of “Quality” of a program at the programmatic, staff, and participant levels.

Continuous Quality Improvement

In accordance with California Education Code sections 8484 and 8427, all After School Education and Safety (ASES), 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grants, and 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) programs in California shall engage in a data-driven continuous quality improvement (CQI) process based on the Quality Standards.

An effective CQI process is ongoing and involves a continuous cycle of assessment, planning, and improvement. This process should be carried out at a site level, however, the grantee will submit evidence of the process in the Annual Outcome-based Data Report. It is expected that each site keeps a copy of its Quality Improvement Plan available on site for review.

Quality Standards

The Quality Standards External link opens in new window or tab. are not intended to serve as a compliance tool, but as the following:

  • A framework of clear expectations for all stakeholders.

  • A guide to inform the Expanded Learning Division’s decision-making, e.g., technical assistance decisions, language in requests for application, and policy development.

  • A guide for program providers to assess their own programs in order to help determine what they are doing well and what needs improvement.

  • A guide for parents and youth to identify quality programming.

  • A guide for school principals and district superintendents to reinforce and advance key priorities.

  • A complement to other standards in the State of California focused on quality improvement, e.g., Learning in After School and Summer, Quality Self-Assessment Tool, Quality Self-Assessment Rubric, Center for Youth Program Quality, etc.

Resources

Expanded Learning in California—Grantee Orientation Videos and Training Activities

In collaboration with the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division, the California Afterschool Network has created a series of videos External link opens in new window or tab. to help Expanded Learning grantee staff strengthen their knowledge and understanding in the following content areas:


How to use the Grantee Orientation Videos and Activities

In conjunction with the Grantee Orientation videos, CAN has created activity outlines and materials for Expanded Learning professionals to use to facilitate internal training and professional development with their staff. The videos can be used for program quality improvement planning, watched over a series of weeks, used as part of an on-boarding process or even as a refresher at the end of the year!

For additional assistance please contact your System of Support for Expanded Learning for support.

Compliance and CQI

In accordance with California Education Code (EC)sections 8422(a)(2) and 8484(a)(2), all state and federally-funded expanded learning programs serving elementary, middle and high school in California shall engage in a data-driven program quality improvement process. This requirement applies to programs funded through both the After School Education and Safety (ASES), 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), and 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) grants.

The EC Section 8484(a) further specifies that the department may consider these outcomes when determining eligibility for grant renewal:

A. To demonstrate program effectiveness, grantees shall submit, using the unique statewide pupil identifiers, for participating pupils who are unduplicated pupils, both of he following:

    1. School-day attendance on an annual basis.

    2. Program attendance on a semiannual basis.

B. Programs shall submit evidence of a data-driven program quality improvement process that is based on the department’s guidance on program quality standards.

It is noteworthy that program attendance EC Section 8484(a)(1)(B) is cited as a key measure of a program’s effectiveness. In fact, poor and sporadic attendance is often a reflection of more systemic problems in a program’s operations. Thus, rather than focus on attendance in isolation, the law makes a direct link between attendance and program quality and requires that programs engage in a data-driven program quality improvement process.

In addition to submitting data through the Annual Outcomes Based Data for Evaluation, grantees are also monitored on Continuous Quality Improvement through Federal Program Monitoring (FPM). To learn more, visit the FPM web page. Programs are required to retain documentation of a data-driven quality improvement process, including, but not limited to: the CQI plan, evidence of stakeholder engagement, evidence of data collected (i.e.-surveys, focus group results, etc.).

Point-of-Service Quality Standards in Action Videos

This series of six videos highlights our Quality Standards in Action. The purpose of these videos is to serve as a resource to support the implementation of the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California.


For additional resources, please visit the Expanded Learning Division Resources web page.

Questions:   Expanded Learning Division | expandedlearning@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0923
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 13, 2019
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