The OST Standards
Developed with input from statewide stakeholders representing out-of-school time providers, educators and policymakers, the Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs is a compilation of out-of-school time standards aimed at providing an answer to the pressing question: What is Quality in Out-of-School Time? This question is addressed in the context of best practices and organized into the following key areas:
Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs is the first step of a three-step continuous quality improvement process. Steps two and three will build on these standards by focusing on the adoption of an assessment tool for programs to use to further identify and refine their strengths and areas of improvement; as well as the development of a comprehensive professional development system for out-of-school time program providers and staff.
OST programs are in a unique position to rapidly respond to the demands of youth and quickly adapt to implement innovative and best practices that best support their learning styles and areas of interest. Adopting a continuous quality improvement process is a way for programs to Assess – Design – Do; assess the quality of programs, design strategies and activities that increase quality as well as respond to youth needs and interests and do – i.e. implement these strategies and activities, understanding they may not at first be perfect, but the process of Assess – Design – Do can begin again.