According to the Ohio Department of Education, “the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program provides opportunities for children who come from economically disadvantaged families and attend low-performing schools to receive academic supports” (ODE, 2017). CETE is currently evaluating the 21st CCLC programs at four sites around Columbus, OH: (1) North Linden Elementary School, (2) Prairie Norton Elementary School, (3) Southpark Apartments in Franklinton, and (4) Stiles Elementary School. All four sites are managed by staff at Columbus State Community College’s ESL Afterschool Communities program. As a whole, the program provides focused supports for immigrant and refugee families. The program offers year-round academic programming using a scientifically based research (SBR) curriculum aligned to Ohio’s Common Core Standards which increases student’s learning time and skill sets in reading fluency/language arts and mathematics. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills are an important focus that is weaved throughout all curriculum planning. Character education is embedded, which promotes resiliency factors, self-esteem, positive identity exploration and life skills through healthy food, recreational activity, prevention programs, leadership training, volunteer service, career exploration and field trips. Recognizing the importance of families to achieve the academic and character education goals for students, the program also offers opportunities for parental involvement and engagement at home and school, such as regular home visits, adult basic ESL classes, family math and literacy nights, social service referrals, parent education workshops, community field trips and translation services.
The purpose of the local evaluation for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs is to help the program continually examine their outcomes and work collaboratively with stakeholders to provide the best opportunities possible for students (ODE Local Evaluation Manual, 2017). The major local evaluation deliverables include: (1) an Evaluation Plan/Logic Model, (2) a Mid-Year Report, and (3) a Final Report. To achieve these deliverables, the CETE’s Results Management Team works with the program director to develop the evaluation goals, conducts program site visits, interviews program staff, develops/reviews data collection tools, supports data collection and analysis, reporting, and works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a set of recommendations to improve program/data quality.