March 8, 2022
This year, your Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program will be reporting on new Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures that were published on July 1, 2021. If you’re a program leader, it’s important to consult with your state coordinator to ensure you understand the new measures and how your state wants data presented. Also, you might want to catch the upcoming LIVE With Y4Y webinar: Knowledge Is Power: Leveraging Data to Improve Program Quality. Webinar guests will offer research- and experience-based tips on your data’s importance, collection, and use. Meanwhile, review the comprehensive Y4Y resources discussed below to ensure that your program’s collection, reporting, and use of this year’s data ultimately wins the top prize: grant renewal!
Understand What You Need: Data for Design
Y4Y’s update of the Introduction to 21st CCLC course could not have come at a better time! If you’re looking for information about the new GPRA measures and the legislative background, check out the course’s Learn More Library. At this point in your program year, you should be implementing activities based on needs assessments you performed at the beginning of the year — congratulations on that successful initial collection of data for design! But if a review of the measures reveals that a data point was overlooked, you can reach out to partners immediately. If you're not sure you got this step right, then do the following:
- Go to the Implementation Strategies section of the Introduction to 21st CCLC course and jump to “Conduct a Needs Assessment.”
- Then review the steps in Y4Y’s Conducting Your Program Needs Assessment tool, and crosswalk your program’s identified needs with the new GPRA measures.
- Once you’re confident each measure has been linked to a need, to make sure your program is directly addressing each need, use Y4Y’s Mapping Needs to Activities tool.
Work With Your Prized Partners
Our culture seems to be waking up to the fact that everything comes back to relationships. If your program needs a little advice in strengthening those school-day partnerships to ensure efficient data sharing, check out these Y4Y resources:
- Partnering With Schools Rubric
- Responsibility Checklist for Principal and Program Director
- Homework Communication tool
- Communicating With Schools Training Starter
Talk About Data Types
It isn’t just leadership that needs to understand types of data. Your frontline staff will be critical in answering some data questions before and after activities, and when it’s time to report at the end of your program year. Make the most of these Y4Y resources to ensure staff understand data types and why each type is so important:
- The Three Types of Data tool addresses where data come from and what those data can tell you.
- Y4Y’s recent blog post on the acclaimed book Street Data will help you and your staff understand the relationship between qualitative data and equity.
- Other great sources of qualitative data are student, family and educator surveys.
Train on Collection
Different types of data mean different types of data collection. Y4Y offers resources to address this important step in the full data picture:
- The Data Tracking Packet is a comprehensive and customizable set of tools for all types of program data collection.
- The Data Collection and Analysis Training Starter will guide you through training staff in this important task.
- The Observation Checklist and Virtual Activity Observation Checklist will help staff develop best practices in observing students.
Analyze and Organize Your Data
Again, you’ll want to check with your state coordinator to understand exactly how your data are analyzed and presented at the end of your program year. Your state may have a database you are directly uploading information into, so be sure to clarify those procedures and deadlines. Y4Y offers tips on this step, including how to responsibly handle your data:
- The Understanding Families and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Training to Go explains best practices to ensure secure handling of personal data.
- Strategy 10 in the Introduction to 21st CCLCs course offers tips on analysis, like being proactive about regularly reviewing data and including your evaluator on your planning team.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Your goal this spring is to keep your eyes on the prize of grant renewal by demonstrating how effective you’ve been at serving the students in your program. Keep in mind that this year’s end data might be used as next year’s beginning data: in some cases, for students who are continuing with you, and in other cases to inform activity and program design decisions as part of your continuous improvement cycle. Your state coordinator is your partner in this, so remember: Nobody wants you to win more than they do!