Data related to Out-of-School Time efforts Can be Used To:
- Map Existing Out-of-School Time Opportunities — Out-of-School Time stakeholders need data on existing school- and community- based programs – where they are, who they serve, what types of activities they offer, frequency and duration, etc. – in order to identify gaps in opportunities. This data can also be compared to school and student performance data, as well as socio-economic indicators, to better pinpoint if new programs are needed and what types of programs would best align to individual student and community needs.
- Target Programs — Data can show the children and youth who need the programs most, which allows you focus programs around those populations. The data on student performance, behavior, attendance, overall development, and well-being is critical to be able to determine the types of Out-of-School Time supports to provide and the specific students to whom these programs need to be available and accessible.
- Strengthen Program Content and Practices — Out-of-School Time programs can be improved by using data to determine the extent to which actual content, activities, and staff practices reflect original program design.
- Align Staff Professional Development — Implementation of research-based program models and/or activities requires a strong, qualified staff. The best research-based model will not have any impact if staff does not have the skills and competencies to deliver. Data on program implementation weaknesses and strengths can be used to identify and provide additional training for staff and build program capacity.
- Communicate Results and Ensure Accountability — Public and private funders, parents, policymakers, and school leaders want to know that Out-of-School Time initiatives are meeting intended goals and having a positive impact on the children and youth who participate in them. It is critical that Out-of-School Time leaders both conduct evaluations and regularly communicate the results. Using stories and data to share how programs are supporting shared goals for young people helps build a groundswell of community support and sustained funding for Out-of-School Time initiatives.