Quality Standards and CQIInformation 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 StandardsThe 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 ImprovementIn 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.
The Quality Standards 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.
- Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California: Creating and Implementing a Shared Vision of Quality (PDF)
- Crosswalk Between Quality Standards and Program Assessment Tools (PDF)
This Crosswalk outlines a number of available tools that can be used for quality assessment and improvement.
- Guidance for Developing and Implementing a Data-Driven Program Quality Improvement Process for California Expanded Learning Programs
- Quality Improvement Program Plan for Expanded Learning Programs (DOC)
- Instructions for Completing a Quality Improvement Plan for Expanded Learning Programs
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 to help Expanded Learning grantee staff strengthen their knowledge and understanding in the following content areas:
- Grants 101
- The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California
- Continuous Quality Improvement
- Federal Program Monitoring
- 85/15: Direct Service to Pupils, Administrative, Indirect Costs and Supplement versus Supplant
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:
- School-day attendance on an annual basis.
- 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.
- Quality Standard: Safe and Supportive Environment (Video; 4:16)
This video highlights programs that are providing Safe and Supportive Environments.
- Quality Standard: Active and Engaged Learning (Video; 3:50)
This video highlights programs that are implementing Active and Engaged Learning.
- Quality Standard: Skill Building (Video; 4:48)
This video highlights programs that are implementing Skill building.
- Quality Standard: Youth Voice and Leadership (Video; 3:31)
This video highlights programs that are implementing Youth Voice and Leadership.
- Quality Standard: Healthy Choices and Behaviors (Video; 4:22)
This video highlights programs that are implementing Healthy Choice and Behaviors.
- Quality Standard: Diversity, Access, and Equity (Video; 4:40)
This video highlights programs that are implementing Diversity, Access, and Equity.
For additional resources, please visit the Expanded Learning Division Resources web page.