Outcome: Socially and Civically Engaged
Involved In Extracurricular Activities
Significance of Indicator: The term Out of School Time (OST) refers to the array of safe, structured programs that provide children and youth from kindergarten through high school with a range of supervised activities intentionally designed to encourage learning and development outside of the typical school day. OST programs occur before and after school, on the weekends, during school holidays, and in the summer. They take place in a variety of settings, including schools, museums, libraries, parks, faith-based organizations, youth service agencies, health agencies, and community-based organizations. Activities offered by OST programs include academic enrichment, tutoring, mentoring, arts (e.g., music, theater, and drama), technology, science, civic engagement, health and fitness, and activities to support and promote healthy social/emotional development.
Children who participate in Out of School Time programs are more likely to be academically successful, healthy and safe. Out of School Time programs decrease the likelihood that students will engage in risky behaviors and increase potential to thrive academically, socially and physically. Participation in afterschool programs also directly correlates with higher attendance rates for public school students.
what the data tell us
Definition: The percentage of K-12 students enrolled in area public schools who participated in afterschool programs for more than 30 days during the 2010-2011 academic year in economically disadvantaged areas of Central Texas.
Data Source: Central Texas Afterschool Network Mapping Study
Data Considerations: This data was based upon a survey distributed to after school program providers in 17 low income zip codes in Central Texas. Zip codes were classified as low income if 70% of children attending area public schools qualified for free or reduced price lunch. Zip codes included in this study are located in Austin, Manor, and Del Valle.
The story behind the data
A survey conducted by the Central Texas Afterschool Network (CTAN) found 22% of youth attending schools in 17 low income zip codes in Central Texas participated in afterschool programs for greater than 30 days during the 2010-2011 school year. 59,795 students are enrolled in public schools within the 17 zip codes surveyed for the CTAN study. 13,331 of these students attended an afterschool program for more than 30 days this past academic year. Of the 17 zip codes surveyed for the CTAN study, the 78722, 78751, 78757, and 78748 zip codes house the fewest number of OST programs and serve the fewest students.†
Engaging in community, school and/or extracurricular activities is a key component to securing healthy outcomes for youth. After school programming offers a structured environment for students to participate in healthy enrichment activities, and decreases the likelihood that students will participate in risky behaviors. Students who regularly participate in afterschool programming perform better academically, attend school more regularly, and graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers who do not attend.
A recent national study found that students who participated in federally funded afterschool programs saw significant grade improvement in math (42%) and reading (43%). Studies have also shown that participation in afterschool programming decreases the number of reported behavior problems and the prevalence of drug and alcohol use among disadvantaged youth. Students who participate in afterschool programs are also less likely to be obese or become teen parents.
Out of school time programming has enormous potential to increase academic equity and provide a safety net for students from low income communities who may not have access to other support systems. 62% of Austin ISD students, 85% of Del Valle ISD students, and 79% of Manor ISD students are economically disadvantaged‡.
Over the past 10 years, total student enrollment increased by 9% in Austin ISD, 67% in Del Valle ISD, and 179% in Manor ISD. During this period, the number of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch in each district increased by 48%, 122%, and 315% respectively÷. Additionally, between 2004 and 2009, the number of children living in poverty under 5 in Travis County rose from 15% to 26%°. In light of this data, the number of economically disadvantaged students enrolled in Austin, Del Valle, and Manor is projected to continue to rapidly increase in the near future. Statistically, these students are often less academically successful, have lower graduation rates, are less likely to meet college readiness standards, are less likely to have health insurance, and are more likely to participate in risky behaviors. Financial and social investment in prevention and support systems such as afterschool programming will be critically necessary to serve the needs of this growing student population.
Initial analysis of the 2010-2011 CTAN mapping study identified multiple areas for improvement in the provision of afterschool programming for low income areas of Travis County. The data suggests OST services in could be improved by expanding outreach efforts to engage and inform parents about afterschool programming, enhancing the types of services provided per programming site, increasing the number of afterschool services available to high school students, and expanding summer programming. Currently, approximately 11% of youth enrolled in public schools in low income areas of Travis County attend OST programming during the summer. The survey data also indicates increased interest among OST site directors and coordinators in the use of assessment tools such as the Youth Program Quality Assessment to improve OST programs.†
†CTAN, "CTAN Mapping Study" Survey. June 1, 2011
‡"Academic Excellence Indicator 2009-2010." Texas Education Agency, 2010. Accessed on June 23, 2011. http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2010/index.html
÷Harner, Dennis. "Demographic Analysis and Enrollment Projections for the Austin Independent School District" Harner and Associates. December 16, 2010. http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/2004bond/boundaries/docs/2011_demographic_update_report.pdf
°American Community Survey
Local efforts to improve the indicator
- The Central Texas Afterschool Network: The Central Texas Afterschool Network is a collaborative network of out of school time service providers, stakeholders, and funding organizations. CTAN promotes quality and accessibility in out-of-school time programming by building collaboration between afterschoool program providers, community organizations, students, families, and educational institutions. CTAN facilitates resource sharing, networking, advocacy, research, and program quality assessment and evaluation.
The data from CTAN's mapping study, used for this indicator, identifies gaps in access to afterschool programming in low income communities in central Texas. These results will be used to advocate for increased support for quality, accessible afterschool programming for currently underserved student populations. CTAN continues to work to secure grants to fund expanding programming and improving program quality in underserved areas of Central Texas.
- United Way of the Capital Area: Funded by the United Way Worldwide Out of School Time Community Pilot Grant Award, United Way for Greater Austin is partnering with other community organizations to create an "Out of School Time Action Agenda". The action agenda will focus on improving and developing community partnerships to improve out of school time programming and increase high school graduation rates. United Way has also partnered with CTAN to administer Youth Program Quality Assessments of afterschool programs in central Texas. Early results from CTAN's mapping study indicate strong interest among afterschool program providers in quality assessment tools such as the YPQA.
- Texas Afterschool Association: As the local affiliate of the Nation Afterschool Association, TAA offers training, curriculum and professional development opportunities for afterschool programming providers in Texas.
- Travis County Collaborative Afterschool Project: TCCAP was created and funded by the Travis County Comissioners Court in response to the results of the 2004 CTAN afterschool program mapping study which identified service gaps in low income zip codes in Travis County. TCCAP provides afterschool support and social services to students residing in zip codes near Webb and Pearce middle schools.
- Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST): The mission of the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST) is to improve the quality and availability of out of school time programs in Texas. TXPOST works to engage all Texas youth serving organizations, state agencies, and other stakeholders in discussions and collaboration to insure human and financial resources are maximized and fully leveraged to improve outcomes for the children and youth of Texas.
A closer look at the data
This information is still under development