Because, together, we’re more effective
The power of Boston Beyond’s network lies in our shared commitment to expanding opportunities for our city’s children. Rather than competing for students or acclaim, our partners bring their best ideas and resources to the network, understanding that when we elevate one another, we all become more effective.
Too often, educators and youth providers work in self-defeating isolation. Boston Beyond breaks down those barriers, creating a space for peers across the city to learn from one another and from best practices in the field. Our common focus on skills brings cohesion to network dialogue, allowing diverse partners to align their efforts, share what’s working, and problem-solve outstanding challenges.
The result is a virtuous cycle of improvement for all—and most importantly, the children we serve.
Learning that feeds action
As network convener, Boston Beyond uses its unique position to facilitate data-driven dialogue and other learning opportunities that build the capacity of our partners. These recurring offerings help our partners align curricula, reinforce one another’s efforts with students, and discover best practices in youth development and program design.
We offer several forms of professional learning to our network:
- Data Debriefs: At the end of each summer and school year, partners gather to review program quality and student learning data. Together, we look at network-wide trends and identify areas for improvement in the next program cycle.
- Best Practices: Data help us identify programs that demonstrate exemplary program practices and student outcomes. We invite program leaders and staff to share their practices at in-person network sessions, and Boston Beyond documents these practices for ongoing reference in our online Insight Center.
- Skills Support: We offer targeted, research-based professional development on specific college and career-ready skills, like perseverance and communication. Attendees leave with practical recommendations they can immediately integrate into their work with students.
- Certified Observer Network: We train and certify program staff to assess other providers. A two-day training with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time builds their familiarity with effective program practices, and site visits offer opportunities to learn from peer programs by observing them in action.
- Special Initiatives: Boston Beyond leads grant-funded initiatives through groups of partners explore innovations in an area of common concern, such as increasing middle schoolers’ engagement in STEM and aligning social and emotional learning across in-school and after school hours. These initiatives include intensive professional development for participating staff and rigorous evaluation to inform program growth.