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ERIC Number: ED536701
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 115
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Building Citywide Systems for Quality: A Guide and Case Studies for Afterschool Leaders
Yohalem, Nicole; Devaney, Elizabeth; Smith, Charles; Wilson-Ahlstrom, Alicia
Wallace Foundation
A quality improvement system (QIS) is an intentional effort to raise the quality of afterschool programming in an ongoing, organized fashion. There are a number of reasons the QIS is gaining popularity. The main reasons community leaders are drawn to improving quality is that they know that 1) higher quality programs will mean better experiences for kids and 2) quality is uneven across and even within afterschool programs. Identifying quality as a priority is an important first step, but addressing it in a systemic way is complicated; it requires research, planning, consensus building, resource development, managing new processes and sometimes redefining old relationships. This guide can help those working to create better, more coordinated afterschool programming get started building a QIS, or further develop existing efforts. It helps readers understand what constitutes an effective QIS, describes the tasks involved in building one, and offers examples and resources from communities whose work is blazing a trail for others. The approach featured in this guide is based on what management gurus call "continuous improvement": the idea that organizations should regularly take stock of themselves against a standard; develop plans to improve based on what they learned; carry out those plans; and begin the cycle over again, so that the quality of their work is always improving. In their experience, afterschool programs--and more importantly, the children and youth they serve--benefit enormously when they agree to a common definition of quality and embrace continuous improvement. A glossary of terms is included. QIS Capacity Self-Assessment Tool is appended. (Contains 16 endnotes and 3 footnotes.)
Wallace Foundation. 5 Penn Plaza 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212-251-9700; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wallace Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Massachusetts; New York; Texas