"Taking the time to discuss the importance of quality improvement and focus on the experiences of children is key to the success of our program”.
- Shayla, Program Director, Community Arts Center
OST programs in Cambridge are paired with Quality Coaches to support and guide them through the Quality Improvement System. Coaches model and teach the practices of the self assessment cycle to program leaders, helping them to identify program strengths, implement facilitative leadership, and improve program quality from within. Quality Coaching provides support to leaders at the executive and program levels.
Program Level Self-Assessment
The Agenda for Children utilizes the National Institute on Out of School Time's (NIOST) Assessment of Program Practices Tool (APT) for program-level observations. These standards develop a common language for discussing quality in three central areas: Quality of Activities, Positive Behavior Guidance, and Staff-Youth Relationships. Research shows that strong program practices in these three areas lead to positive outcomes for youth. Our model engages members at every level of the organization in the observation process, guided by a Quality Coach over multiple years.
Staff at all levels of participating programs complete a 21-item organizational health study developed by the Agenda for Children. The Organizational Self-Study (OSS) helps sites better understand how they function as an organization, how they think about and work towards quality, and how they build a solid foundation on which they can continuously build. The OSS helps programs look at the bigger picture of organizational health in order to support quality on the ground.
Agassiz-Baldwin Community Center
Amigos-Cambridgeport Community School
Area IV Youth Center
Cambridge Community Center
Community Art Center
East End House
Elm Street Community School
Fitzgerald Community School
Fletcher Maynard After-School
Fletcher Maynard Community School
Frisoli Youth Center
Gately Youth Center
Haggerty Community School
King K-2 After-School