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Professional Development

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Afterschool Program Changes Due to COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

A new report from Temescal Associates and the How Kids Learn Foundation examines how afterschool programs were adapting to new COVID-19 developments.

Afterschool Program Changes Due to COVID-19 Prevention Efforts surveyed program staff members working directly with children, those who oversee a single program, those overseeing multiple programs, and more.

It's no surprise the report indicates most program staffing has been negatively affected due to the pandemic, with 66% of respondents working from home, 20% experiencing layoffs, another 20% being furloughed, and 17% dealing with reassignment of duties.

The report touched on the percentage of programs that provide sick leave benefits, in addition to overall strategies used.

  • To maintain staff cohesion: Respondents cited communication through email, text messages, and phone calls (30%); communication thought social media, Zoom conferencing, and work emails (33%); engaging with webinars, online meetings, PD, and other apps (26%); and daily/weekly staff check-ins (12%).
  • To continue staff development: Respondents cited using online training/webinars (54%); increased meetings, email, and check-ins (6%); engaging in Zoom meetings (13%) and other (15%).
  • To maintain contact with youth participants: Most programs are seeking to maintain virtual contact with youth. Respondents cited the use of emails and text messages (17%); engaging on an online platform (19%); engaging with phone calls and social media (Facebook) (28%); sending out mail or activity packets (4%); engaging in Zoom meetings or calls (16%) and other (10%).
  • To maintain contact/support with participant families: Strategies include engaging on social media, Zoom conferencing, through other websites, or updated web pages (26%); phone calls, texts, or emails (42%); through food distribution or delivered activity packets (6%) and other (17%).

The report goes on to describe what respondents have indicated their immediate and intermediate program needs are—a wide variety of items. When it comes to immediate needs, one respondent said:

"We need to know what will happen with funding and how attendance will be tracked/counted during this time. Not knowing leaves my team with a feeling of anxiety and uncertainty."

Intermediate needs prompted similar responses, with another respondent indicating computer literacy resources for parents who oversee distant learning are going to be key.

Respondents also shared overall impacts they're witnessing and experiencing from the COVID-19 crisis.

"The feeling of uncertainty sits with all of us. My team has been working to create a virtual program/platform for our students and families, but it's uncharted waters and many of them are discouraged. Stakeholders have been understanding and appreciate that we are trying to innovate and maintain a meaningful connection/support system to our students," one respondent said.

To view the report in its entirety, visit FINAL REPORT: Afterschool Program Changes Due to COVID-19 Prevention Efforts.

Courtesy of NAA.

Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.