About AOSN

Arkansas Standards for Out of School Time Program Quality

The Arkansas Out of School Network (AOSN) is a sponsored initiative of Arkansas State University Childhood Services and is a network of Out-of-School Time (OST) programs and youth development professionals from across the state. The mission of AOSN is to ensure that children and youth ages 5-19 have safe, healthy and enriching learning experiences during the out-of-school time hours. AOSN seeks to provide opportunities and supports to program leaders and policy makers as they work to strengthen and expand the OST field. AOSN recognizes that building and sustaining an infrastructure of quality programs is essential to providing access to high quality, age-appropriate OST opportunities.

Formulating an operational definition of OST Program Quality is also essential to strengthening programs at the point-of-service (POS).  Current research suggests that quality programs develop and implement intentional strategies for providing comprehensive educational and developmental learning opportunities (Peterson, T. K. 2013).   According to the Afterschool Alliance’s 2012 publication entitled Principles of Effective Expanded Learning Programs: A Vision Built on the Afterschool Approach, those intentional strategies and practices include: School-Community Partnerships, Engaged Learning, Family Engagement, Intentional Programming, Diverse and Prepared Staff, Participation and Access, Safety, Health, & Wellness, and Ongoing Assessment & Evaluation.

We would love to hear your feedback concerning the standards after you click here to download them and share your thoughts....


Posted by Kristin Koenigsfest on November 25, 2013
A special thank you to the AOSN Quality Committee for all of the hard work they put in to revising the Standards over the past several months! According to Dr. Charles Smith of the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, these standards are simple and easy to follow and represent one the best standards documents that he has reviewed. All of the indicators within this latest Standards document have been cross walked with the quality indicators of Better Beginnings and the Youth Program Quality Assessment as well as the Minimum Licensing Requirements for OST Facilities. They also include information from the most current research on out-of-school time programming conducted by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), the Afterschool Alliance, the National Afterschool Association (NAA) and the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP). It is our hope that these Standards will serve as a framework for any type of program (center-based, community-based, school-based) of any size. Please have a look at the Standards and give us feedback !!! Thank you! Kristin Koenigsfest ASU Childhood Services/Arkansas Out of School Network
Posted by Jonathan Wallace on November 22, 2013
AOSN Team - love the new webpage layout - it's very convenient, user friendly, and easy to navigate. I also love the blog space which will hopefully engaage OST stakeholders in ongoing conversations. The quality standards you are presenting are excellent - they really speak to the key areas involved with OST time and programming. I specifically love the intentionality of engaging youth in leadership, internal buy-in, and youth voice. These are crucial aspects in having youth adopt program changes and develop as young leaders. I appreciate the emphasis on youth development - having the right environmental and physical factors to support learning and engagement in young people is immportant. I would love to see additional standards in the future that focus on health and wellness, and would be happy to assist in developing these. Great work AOSN!
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