After school education programs can provide fundamental resources for students to expand and enrich the education they receive during the school day, as well as fill critical gaps in the schedules and opportunities of students. Boston After School & Beyond (BASB)’s After School Learning community includes 99 programs around the city of Boston dedicated to continuing education and enrichment past the classroom and the regular school day.
The distribution of the 99 After School Learning partners across Boston is shown below, with red markers representing returning sites and blue markers representing new sites as of School Year 2017-18.
Members of this community of practice engage in three activities over the course of the school year:
Use common units of measurement to assess and describe youth participation in their programs, plus the skills that their students practice, the degree to which they develop them, and the quality of programming from a youth development perspective.
Convene twice per year to review cohort-wide measurement results and discuss emerging policy and practice regarding social emotional learning and school-community partnerships.
Participate in periodic professional development opportunities focused on systemic needs identified through measurement activities, strategic priorities for BPS, and promising practices and trends in out-of-school time learning.
In addition, BASB provides members of the community of practice with comprehensive program quality reports that include school day outcomes at the program level such as average attendance rate, measures of academic achievement, and BPS school climate survey results, as well as network-wide comparisons for each metric. The estimated in-kind value that BASB provides to each member of the After School Learning community of practice is valued at $9,000 annually.
As a part of the After School Learning community, BASB has a number of partners that participate in specific education initiatives. Currently BASB is involved with three initiatives that target specific aspects of learning for students in distinct developmental stages.
Partnerships in Social-Emotional Learning (PSELI)
PSELI is an initiative funded by a grant from the Wallace foundation, that is committed to developing effective strategies to foster social-emotional capabilities at the elementary school level. You can learn more about PSELI here.
BoSTEM is an initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, with whom BASB collaborates to bring quality after-school STEM programming to middle school students in Boston. You can learn more about BoSTEM here.
Teen Expanded Education Network (TEEN)
TEEN is an initiative focused on giving high school students opportunities to learn in contexts outside of the classroom, as well as provide them with skills to prepare for College and Career Readiness. As a part of this initiative, students can earn badges for their progress and achievement in the attainment of certain skills, as well as receive school credit for certain credit-bearing projects and opportunities. You can read more about TEEN here.