The number of providers in the BLOCS OST network continues to increase steadily. That’s because they see the success network members are having with students and want to bring that to type of impact to their neighborhood and the community at large. This section of the website is designed to assist providers in two ways:
• For potential BLOCS OST providers, it provides information on how to become a BLOCStar and how doing so can help you continue to improve the quality of your program.
• For existing BLOCS OST providers, it provides access to helpful tools, resources and information.
Becoming an External Assessor
External assessments are an integral part of the YPQI system. They give partners that offer out-of-school-time programming objective performance feedback on the quality of the services they provide for youth. This is the first step in improving their programs and providing support for them to deliver social-emotional learning opportunities for the students. Data from these programs demonstrates that this process works and that young people who attend high-quality programs perform better in school.
Click here for a downloadable External Assessor Overview and Application.
Click here for External Assessor Protocols.
Important Dates For External Assessors
August 10: last day to sign up for online PQA Basics course for External Assessors
August 31: Last day to RSVP for Live PQA Basics workshop
September 10: Live PQA Basics workshop
September 11 & 12: External Assessor Reliability workshop
September 17 to November 16: Fall External Assessment period
November 13 & Ongoing: Signup.com notifications sent out
December 6: Fall External Assessments Debrief meeting
March 4 to April 30, 2019: Spring External Assessment period
May 16, 2019: Spring External Assessments Debrief meeting
School-Age and Youth PQA Tools
These tools measure the quality of children and youth’s experiences and promote the creation of environments that tap the most important resource available to any child-serving organization: a young person’s motivation to engage critically with the world.
Click here for the School-Age PQA
Click here for the School-Age PQA Observation Guide
Click here for Youth PQA
Click here for the Youth PQA Observation Guide
The website for Scores Reporter is https://portal.cypq.org/.
Once on the site, you will enter your Username (it is usually your email address) and your password that should have been sent to you from Weikart in an email. If for any reason you do not have the password, you may click on the “forgot your password option.” You will login and a screen will come up that says “Welcome to the CYPQ Online Portal.” You will have the option to click on Scores Reporter on the left side of the screen. You will select “New Entry” the first time you access the system. If you start on an assessment and have to come back to it, you will select “Saved Entry.”
External Assessor Recruitment
BLOCS is currently recruiting volunteers to serve as YPQA External Assessors to begin in September 2018. External assessors are an integral part of the BLOCS network and are responsible for the objective observation, scoring and reporting of program quality for all BLOCS out-of-school time sites. OST providers who serve as external assessors are not permitted to externally assess their own agency’s programs. All external assessors are required to complete mandatory training and a reliability test in order to become a Certified Reliable External Assessor through the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. All BLOCS external assessors are required to complete at least three external assessments in the fall and three in the spring (6 total per year). If interested in becoming an external assessor, contact TJ Delahanty at [email protected].
Click here to download an overview and application.
BLOCStar is an initiative of BLOCS intended to both improve the program quality and impact of OST programs on young people, and incite provider participation in the BLOCS network of programs. By adhering to the BLOCStar Best Practice Guidelines, OST programs will be identified and promoted as an official BLOCS program partner.
BLOCS program partners must identify as Youth Development organizations that provide programming for young people during out-of-school time hours. BLOCS defines Youth Developing as activities intentionally designed to include a learning objective and to transfer social-emotional learning (SEL) skills to young people. The tools described in the Best Practice Guidelines are designed for OST programs that are either currently practicing or have a desire to move towards Youth Development programming. In some instances, YPQA and/or SAYO-Y may not be an appropriate tool for certain programs due to the program structure or target audience. These exceptional circumstances do not preclude OST programs from participating in BLOCStar.
Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 help referral service directs people looking for resources to the appropriate service provider via phone call, text, or online database search. Make sure your program’s information is in the 2-1-1 database and up-to-date for parents to find. For any questions or edits, please contact Glen Powell.
Quality Out-of-School Time Tools
Having a safe place for young people to go before and after school, on the weekends, and during school breaks is important. Even more important is ensuring that these programs are high quality. Having highly-skilled and professional staff, supportive environments, and engaging programming are all characteristics of high quality programs. More and more, OST program administrators and youth work professionals want to be able to measure the quality of their programs in order to make improvements. BLOCS provides access, training, and technical assistance to programs on quality measurement tools including the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), Staff Rating of Youth Behavior (SRYB), and Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO-Y).
Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI)
The Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) system follows an ‘ASSESS-PLAN-IMPROVE’ process whereby youth programs first ASSESS the quality of their program through external and self-assessment, develop IMPROVEMENT PLANS to address program strengths and weaknesses, and then implement those IMPROVEMENTS. This process utilizes the Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA)®, a validated instrument designed to measure the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs.
Staff Rating of Youth Behavior (SRYB)
The Staff Rating for Youth Behavior (SRYB) is a tool to measure social-emotional learning (SEL) developed by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. It is a pre/post, observation-based assessment that is designed to assess the behavior of children and youth in OST programs and measure whether youth are making progress on SEL skills such as teamwork, emotion management, responsibility, and problem-solving. The tool is suitable for youth ages 5-18.
Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO-Y)
The Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO-Y) is a research-based tool developed by the National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST) to measure youth impact at out-of-school time programs.
Training for professionals in youth development is critical to providing quality out-of-school time programs. That’s why BLOCS partners offer a variety of training opportunities for our certified providers:
Youth Development Certificate
BLOCS has partnered with Jefferson Community and Technical College to offer a Youth Development Certificate (YDC). The Youth Development Certificate is a 60 training hour CEU certificate that is open to anyone who works with youth. The certificate is based on six skill areas or core competencies that are essential for adults who work with young people. The certificate encompasses 60 hours of trainings divided among the six skill areas.