Snapshots: March/April 2018

Nuggets of research, policy, and practice to keep you informed.

Principal, May/June 2018. Volume 97, Number 5.

Beyond the Classroom

Quality out-of-school-time (OST) programs are key to students’ over­all success. Research on the impact of afterschool and summer learn­ing programs has confirmed that students benefit academically and enjoy improved social, emotional, and physical outcomes.

In the 2017 “Beyond the Classroom: What Principals Want When It Comes to Afterschool and Summer Learning” report from NAESP and the College of Charleston’s Afterschool and Summer Learning Resource Center, survey efforts targeted a range of areas that include: activities offered in afterschool and summer pro­gramming, program operations and management, program quality, and perspectives on student outcomes. A total of 1,217 elementary school prin­cipals, representing 38 states across the country, responded to the elec­tronic survey.

Fast Fact: On average, it costs districts less than 1 percent of their annual expenditures to build and maintain an effective principal pipeline.
— The Wallace Foundation, June 2017


Activities Offered in Afterschool and Summer Programs

Among all survey respondents, 75 percent indicated they currently have an afterschool program, 56 percent have a summer program, and 16 per­cent currently do not have any type of OST program.

Respondents that currently have an afterschool program indicated that the most consistent activities provided are homework help (77 percent), aca­demic improvement and remediation (65 percent), sports (64 percent), and arts and crafts (57 percent).

When looking at communities, urban (79 percent), rural (79 percent), and suburban (74 percent) respon­dents indicated that homework help is a primary activity in their afterschool programs. Among all survey respon­dents, activities most often offered in summer programs are focused largely on academic improvement and reme­diation at 74 percent.

Afterschool and Summer Management
Among all respondents surveyed, most respondents (60 percent) indi­cated that their school managed the afterschool program. Twenty percent of respondents indicated their school district handled this duty, and 14 per­cent indicated a community partner or nonprofit managed the program.

Community comparisons show that these agents are common in terms of afterschool management across all three communities; however, urban respondents (21 percent) indicated they get more help in terms of after­school program management from community partners or nonprofits, compared to rural (9 percent) and suburban (12 percent) respondents.

Just as afterschool programs are typically managed by the principal’s school, school district, or community partners, data collected on summer programs indicate the same agents are involved in summer program management. Among all survey respondents, 57 percent indicated their summer program is managed by their school, 34 percent indicated their school district manages the summer program, and 5 percent said that a community partner manages the summer program.

Principal Perceptions of Program Quality
Among all survey respondents, perceptions of afterschool pro­gram quality mostly ranged from adequate (57 percent) to high (40 percent). Very few (3 percent) feel their afterschool program quality is poor. Regarding summer programs, 51 percent indicated their summer program was high-quality, and 47 percent perceived their summer pro­gram as adequate.

The 2017 national principal sur­vey report also focuses on other elements of afterschool and summer programs, including OST-school partnerships, resources and funding, and challenges in OST program­ming. For the full report, visit http://

Are You Ready?

Questions to consider as you develop an afterschool program at your school:

  1. Have you surveyed parents and teachers? Are there other afterschool programs in your community to which you might refer parents and students?
  2. What are your objectives for the program? To provide afterschool care for working parents? To offer additional enrichment activ­ities, such as arts and music?
  3. Whom will your program serve? All students? Students in need of extra assistance?
  4. How will you structure your program? Will you partner with a community-based organization or hire your own staff? What activities will you offer?
  5. Where will you house your pro­gram? Will you provide office space for a coordinator and other necessary staff?
  6. How will you pay for your pro­gram? Will you charge families a fee? Will you apply for grants or use district funds?
  7. How will you sustain your pro­gram over time?
  8. How will you evaluate the pro­gram’s effectiveness?

Find resources to plan for and implement quality afterschool learn­ing programs at NAESP’s Afterschool and Summer Learning Portal. http://


How do you incorporate your Professional Learning Community in goal-setting?

ANDY JACKS (@_ANDYJACKS): Your kids, staff, and parents hold you accountable if you carefully listen to them. Set your goals and priorities on what’s best for them! #NAESPChat

SUSAN BALBONI (@SMB1222): Our team of elementary principals collaborate. Some goals are set by the district, but we have some flexibility and decide on goals based on building needs. #NAESPChat

JENNIFER BUFFORD (@JENNIFERMBUFF): Our Instructional Leadership Team helps with goal-setting @A5WHES. We have candid conversations based on data and go from there. We keep in mind culture first, culture next, culture always. #NAESPChat

ANDREW (@ANDREWBUCHHEIT): Data, hard and soft, identifies goal areas as well as input from all stakeholders and leadership teams. #NAESPChat

What strategies do you use for goal-setting? Share your thoughts on Twitter via @NAESP.

Copyright © National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy.

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