To design the Utah Quality Afterschool Self-Assessment and Improvement Tool, the Utah Afterschool Network (“UAN”) collaborated with over 180 afterschool advocates and leaders statewide to develop a common set of quality afterschool standards. Both the self-assessment tool and the standards upon which it is based have received broad support and are shared across agencies. Youth Connections, Safe Passages, Life Skills, SSBG, CDBG, and 21st CCLC grant recipients are required to implement the Quality Tool to receive funding.
The Quality Tool organizes its ELO quality standards into 4 quality areas—Be Safe, Develop Meaningful Relationships, Learn New Skills, and Administration. Each quality area is broken down into “domains.” Domains are then broken down into multiple “major standards,” which are in turn broken down into detailed “indicators.” Quality Tool ELOs assess their programs using each of the quality indicators. Participating ELOs quantify their performance levels for each indicator with standardized definitions:
1= Must address and Improve/Standards Not Met
2= Some Progress Made
3= Meets Standards
4= Exceeds Standards
For each domain, the following tables present average performance levels for each domain of the 4 quality areas for Quality Tool ELOs in the region.
Quality Tool ELOs—Learn New Skills Quality Area (School Based, Community Based, Total ELOs) - “Learn New Skills” means that “[a] quality program provides a variety of learning experiences that support the physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth and development of all participants. Active involvement in intentionally designed learning experiences provides youth the opportunity to explore their interests, build talents and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Participation in program planning, real world learning and social action projects promotes the development of leadership skills and attachment to community.” It is broken down into Cognitive/Academic, Social/Emotion, Healthy Behaviors/Lifestyles and Leadership/Community Involvement domains.
Quality Tool ELOs—Administration Quality Area (School Based, Community Based, Total ELOs) - “Administration” means that “[a] quality program is intentionally designed around clearly defined and measurable goals and uses data for ongoing program planning, improvement and evaluation. It has a sound fiscal management structure and implements policies and procedures in alignment with program goals. Needs-based training and professional development are provided to strengthen and improve staff skills. Community collaborations enhance program offerings and promote advocacy and sustainability.” It is broken down into Program Leadership, Management and Finance, and Staffing/Professional Development domains.