A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs

Afterschool leaders know all too well the many challenges involved in managing, organizing, and operating a high-quality program. A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs shares the insights of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning (the National Partnership) as well as information about both the academic and the organizational and management practices that successful afterschool programs use. These practices cover the following four focus areas:

  • Program organization
  • Academic programming practices
  • Supportive relationships in afterschool
  • Achieving program outcomes

Within each focus area, these is a description of the key practices of successful programs. In addition, the guide provides a Quality-O-Meter tool to help afterschool leaders reflect on their program’s practices. This tool incorporates what the National Partnership learned in its research as well as knowledge from its numerous content experts. This tool is a structured way to organize and manage the implementation of any new or enhanced afterschool practice.

How Practitioners Can Use This Guide
this guide can help build the knowledge and skills of anyone associated with expanded learning time—whether afterschool, before school, Saturday, extended day, extended year, summer learning, or any other nontypical school-day learning situation. Leaders can use this guide as a self-study of the key practices that contribute to a successful program. With their groups, leaders can use it to guide discussions and decision-making processes in a professional learning community. This guide can serve as a continuous improvement and planning tool for staff or a program advisory group. Furthermore, it can be used to inform the ongoing discussions between school-day programs and afterschool or other expanded-learning programs.