AFA Summer Self Assessment FINAL
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Who is this tool for? This is for you and your program staff. The tool should empower you to learn, grow, and create more effective summer programming. Ultimately this tool serves to ensure that San Francisco youth experience the highest quality summer programs in the city.
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This tool is designed for a team of staff to complete to assess summer programs. This tool is organized around AFA’s 11 elements of quality, which are the same as those used by the California After School Network’s Quality Self-Assessment Tool (QSA). Each element is broken out into 1-2 program practices. Each of these program practices has specific indicators by which to assess program quality ─ from low to high.



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There are 11 Sections of the AFA Summer Quality Self-Assessment Tool:
QSA 1. Program Assessment & Design
QSA 2. Program Administration & Finance
QSA 3. Community Partnership & Collaboration
QSA 4. Alignment & Linkage with School Day
QSA 5. Program & Environment Safety
QSA 6. Youth Development
QSA 7. Staff Recruitment & Professional Development
QSA 8. Family Involvement
QSA 9. Nutrition & Physical Activity
QSA 10 and 11. Promoting Diversity, Access, Equity & Inclusion/Effectively Supporting English Language Learners Note: Some program practices are repeated for two or more elements of quality, but have different associated indicators that respond to the specific program practices. For example, the program practice, “We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff” is found within Program & Environment Safety, Youth Development, and Promoting Diversity, Access & Inclusion sections, but each occurrence has specific indicators.
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Each indicator has a notes section for comments. Here staff can reflect on overall evidence to score each indicator (low quality, approaching quality, or quality practices). The score of 1, 3, or 5 can be recorded in the “Overall Rating” column.
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Understanding Quality
Low Quality: This section contains practices and strategies that are not ideal. If you find yourself rating some aspects of your summer program in this area, see if you can try out some of the practices in the Approaching Quality section. When completing the tool, low quality receives a score of 1.
Approaching Quality: This section contains strategies and practices typically seen in a functional summer program. Ideally you should have most of your ratings scored at this level or higher. You might select 1-3 areas rated at this level as focus and adopt some strategies of the Quality Practices section. When completing the tool, approaching quality receives a score of 3.
Quality Practices: This section contains examples of exemplar practices and strategies in high functioning summer programs. When completing the tool, quality practices receive a score of 5.
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Most elements of the Summer Quality Self-Assessment Tool require evidence from the designing/planning standpoint of a summer program. These elements do not have an observable component, but can be reflected on and discussed. The data or relevant information should be collected by individual persons, and then reflected upon in group discussion.
As individuals share how they rated each section an interesting discussion should emerge about your team's perception of program quality. This articulation will allow you to identify strengths and challenges, possible strategies to enhance low quality elements, and help prioritize which elements should be addressed first.
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In our Program…Low QualityApproaching QualityQuality PracticesNotesScore
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(1 point)(3 points)(5 points)
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QSA Program Quality Element 1: Program Design and Assessment
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We allocate enough time and resources to promote positive academic and developmental outcomes. Program has no youth outcome goals.Program has very broad goals that are not specific, measurable, realistic, or time limited. Program sets at least two specific, measurable, realistic, time-limited goals for youth outcomes each summer session that align with the mission and the needs of youth served.
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Goals are vague and not useful in evaluation.Goals reflect general education or developmental progress, but are not clearly linked to the specific needs of the youth served.Program staff and partners use youth outcome goals as the foundation for activity planning and curriculum development and/or selection. All programming is connected to measurable youth outcome goals.
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We use data about the youth we serve to continuously inform our practice.Director can provide evidence of changes made in the program from one summer to the next but cannot pinpoint the sources of data or information that drive the change. Director can provide evidence of improvements made in the program from one summer to the next that take into consideration two of the following: youth data, stakeholder perspectives and his or her personal perspective.Director can provide evidence of improvements made in the program from one summer to the next that take into consideration all three: youth data, stakeholder perspectives, and his or her personal perspective.
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Outcome and process assessment data is not collected.Outcome and process assessment data are collected and analyzed, but not applied to future program efforts.Outcome and process assessment data are collected, analyzed, and applied to future program efforts.
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QSA Program Quality Element 2: Program Administration and Finance
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We plan in advance.Activities are not designed to make connections for youth between regular program activities and field trips or other special events. Program is designed to make clear connections for youth between some regular program activities and some field trips and special events.Program is designed to make clear connections for youth among all regular program activities, field trips and special events through projects or thematic units.
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QSA Program Quality Element 3: Community Partnerships and Collaboration
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We plan collaboratively with partners around shared goals.Program staff and partners plan activities with no connection to shared youth outcome goals.Some programming may be connected to broad goals but not to measurable youth outcomes. All programming is connected to measurable youth outcome goals.
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QSA Program Quality Element 4: Alignment and Linkages with the School Day
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We encourage linking summer learning to school learning No activities are designed to expose youth to something new.Some activities are designed to expose youth to something new- a place, idea, material, skill or talent. Most activities are designed to expose youth to something new- a place, idea, material, skill or talent.
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Activities do not use a forward-thinking approach- content and methods are used that the young people experienced during the previous school year.Some activities reflect a forward-thinking approach, but some materials and lessons are repetitive of what youth experienced during the previous school year.Activities reflect a forward-thinking approach and expand on the previous school-year’s content and activities. If remediation is necessary, program uses materials and lessons that are different from the school year.
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We encourage 21st Century skillsNo activities promote collaborative learning and interdependence among youth.Some of the activities promote collaboration.Most activities promote collaborative learning and interdependence among youth.
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QSA Program Quality Element 5: Program Environment and Safety
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We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff. Youth have no structured opportunities to learn about each other and staff and develop relationships as a group. Youth have some structured opportunities to get to know other youth and staff and develop relationships among themselves.Youth are involved in structured group activities that encourage positive, healthy relationship building with each other and their teacher.
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Free time is unstructured and no rules or policies are in place for how youth are supposed to treat each other.Free time has some structure and rules and policies are established for how youth are supposed to treat each other but youth do not appear to follow them.Free time has stations or structured activities that prevent bullying and rules and policies are established for how youth are supposed to treat each other. Youth appear to follow rules and policies.
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QSA Program Quality Element 6: Youth Development
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We encourage experiential and activity-based learning.No activities involve a hands-on, kinesthetic or project-based component that allows youth to engage in in-depth investigations with objects, materials, phenomena and ideas and draw meaning and understanding from those experiences. Some activities involve a hands-on, kinesthetic or project-based component but may not be age-appropriate or focused enough for youth to draw meaning and understanding from those experiences. Most activities involve a hands-on, kinesthetic or project-based component that allows youth to engage in in-depth investigations with objects, materials, phenomena and ideas and draw meaning and understanding from those experiences.
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We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff. Staff spends little time interacting with the youth (ie, interacting with staff most of the time).Staff spends some of their time interacting with youth in a supportive and encouraging manner, and some of their time interacting with others (ie, staff).Staff spends most of their time interacting with youth in a supportive and encouraging manner.
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Interactions with youth are primarily directives and project oriented.Interactions with youth include some personal one on one adult/youth interactions.Interactions with youth include multiple opportunities for personal one on one adult-youth interactions.
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Few staff model healthy behaviors of self-care and social interactions for youth.Some staff model healthy behaviors of self-care and social interactions for youth.Most staff consistently model healthy behaviors of self-care and social interactions for youth.
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We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff. (Continued)











Staff yell or shame youth to eliminate conflicts.Staff sometimes acknowledge and approach conflicts and negative behavior calmly. Staff acknowledge and approach conflicts and negative behavior calmly and engage youth in a discussion of the cause of the conflict and help youth generate a solution to the problem.
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No rules or policies are in place to promote inclusive behavior among all youth.Strategies are in place to promote inclusive behavior among all youth but youth do not know and/or follow rules and policies.Strategies are in place to promote inclusive behavior among all youth and youth know and follow rules and policies.
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Staff apply inconsistent consequences for negative behavior.Staff sometimes apply consistent consequences for negative behavior.Staff always apply consistent consequences for negative behavior.
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We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff.



(Continued)







Staff and youth are predominately negative with one another, using dismissive or sarcastic tones of voice, rolling their eyes, sighing loudly, etc.Some interactions among staff and youth are positive (e.g. speaking in warm tones, making eye contact, smiling).Nearly all interactions among staff and youth are positive, characterized by warm tones of voice, frequent eye contact, and smiles.
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Youth are frequently negative with one another.Some negative youth to youth interactions are observed.Few negative youth-youth interactions are observed.
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QSA Program Quality Element 7: Staff Recruitment and Professional Development
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We provide staff training and development linked to core competencies and other capacity needs.There are no training opportunities linked to core competencies.Program uses weekly staff meetings linked to core competencies and other capacity needs.Program uses multiple methods to deliver staff development related to the core competencies during the program such as staff meetings, online discussions, peer coaching, email, and journaling or study groups.
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Trainings are not linked to other capacity needs of current staff. Topics for staff development are pre-determined based on the needs of current staff.Training topics are linked to core competencies and relevant to the needs of current staff.
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QSA Program Quality Element 8: Family Involvement
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Staff regularly communicate with families/ caregivers.Staff do not communicate with parents, and/or parent involvement occurs only when there is a problem between the youth and the program.Staff check in with caregivers about their youth during pick up times, and/or for major program-wide events.Staff regularly communicate with parents/caregivers – including constructive feedback about youth in a respectful, confidential way, and/or can refer them to resources they may need.
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No staff member can speak other languages that many parents in the program speak.At least 1 staff member can speak another language that many parents in the program speak.Multiple staff members can speak different languages, and staff use a variety of communication systems (phone calls, emails, 1:1 meetings, newsletters, etc.).
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QSA Program Quality Element 9: Nutrition and Physical Activity
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We allocate enough time and resources to promote positive academic and developmental outcomes.Program dedicates little to no time for moderate to vigorous physical activity for all youth.Program dedicates some time for physical activity every day. Program dedicates an appropriate amount of programming daily for moderate to vigorous physical activity for all youth.
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Activities do not accommodate skill and ability level of participants. Activities accommodate skill and ability level of most participants.Activities accommodate skill and ability level of all participants.
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No food is served by the program. Program provides food, but not at appropriate times or is sometimes unhealthy.A healthy meal and/or snack are/is provided at the appropriate times of the program.
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QSA Program Quality Elements 10 & 11: Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Effectively Supporting English Language Learners
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We use data about the youth we serve to continuously inform our practice and to accommodate the specific needs of participants. Program does not plan activities based on youths’ skill levels or individual needs.Information from assessments is not directly used to inform lesson planning and instruction.The results of the pre-program assessment(s) inform lesson planning and instruction, and activities show differentiation for youth of different abilities or attitudes.
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Program does not actively seek information about special needs of incoming student (i.e., on registration form). Program actively seeks information about special needs of incoming students but does not follow up with the necessary accommodations.Program actively seeks information about special needs of incoming students and follows up with necessary accommodations.
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Program does not assess youth progress at the end of the program.Youth progress is informally assessed.Youth progress is formally assessed and used to inform and develop the following year’s summer programs.
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We cultivate a unique, unifying culture among youth and staff. Program does not have a set of principles.Program has principles meant to set culture.Program has principles that are implemented to set culture through continuous communication of key ideals, strengths or talents that describe participants and staff.
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No staff can articulate program principles.Some staff can articulate program principles.Most staff can articulate program principles.
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No youth can articulate program principles.Some youth can articulate program principles. Most youth can articulate program principles.
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