What we do
Children only spend 20% of their waking hours in school. How children spend their time outside of school, especially in out-of-school time programs, is a crucial factor in their performance and success in school. Luckily, research is clear that out-of-school time providers can positively impact student outcomes in academics, health, nutrition, post-secondary attainment, and social-emotional wellbeing.
To that end, the Out-of-School Time Alliance functions as a network of providers who serve children outside of traditional school hours. Members meet monthly to continually coordinate and align strategies with the goal of increasing participation and effectiveness in out-of-school time programs while also elevating their impact on students and the community at large.
WHO WE ARE
Members of the Out-of-School Time Alliance reflect a diverse group of providers in Hamilton County that serves children outside tradition school hours. Our network includes both direct service providers and informal educators. Crucially, Hamilton County Schools is a key member as our network strives to support and accelerate student learning and demonstrate intentional alignment with the school district.
OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME ALLIANCE QUALITY STANDARDS
To ensure the highest level of service, the Out-of-School Time Alliance has adopted a comprehensive set of quality standards organized across six domains: Environment, Relationships, Community Involvement, Programming, Health, and Administration. These standards were developed by the Tennessee Afterschool Network and reflect not only a national survey of similar sets of standards created by statewide networks but also the input from out-of-school time stakeholders across Tennessee, including direct service providers, professional development organizations, and government. The current iteration of the standards reflects recent revisions as they are revisited biannually to ensure alignment not only with national best practices and research but also the ongoing experiences of out-of-school time providers in Tennessee.
Each summer, Hamilton County Schools offers extended learning for its students. Out-of-school time providers collaborate with the school system to offer enriching programming during and after the daily Summer Reach schedule at various school sites throughout Hamilton County.
Collaborating for continued learning
Together, and in tandem with the district, out-of-school time (OST) providers worked collaboratively during summer 2020 to provide over 5,000 of HCS’s highest-needs students with summer learning enrichment aimed at addressing learning loss, giving students a jumpstart for the coming academic year, and helping students maintain social and emotional connections.
HCS and the Hamilton County Children’s Cabinet worked with OST providers to identify and reach out to underserved students who could most benefit from this support.
In Fall 2020, OST providers and the district joined forces with local faith-based organizations to open virtual learning centers across the district, providing either full or part-time support to working families with children engaging in remote learning. This work was profiled by the national organization TNTP in their Rising Together Report about innovative partnerships between school districts and community organizations that collaborated to support students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To find out how your organization can join the Out-of-School Time Alliance, reach out to Brandon Hubbard-Heitz, Director of Literacy and Student Strategy at Chattanooga 2.0.