Our central database, Cityspan, provides the infrastructure for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on these data across out-of-school programs in Boston. This interactive platform allows us to document on a citywide level the number of programs providing expanded learning opportunities and participating in a coordinated system of measurement and evaluation. Similarly, this database allows us to track indicators of program quality, student enrollment, attendance, demographic data, and academic and social-emotional outcomes, in addition to supporting digital badges. From this work, BASB aims to extrapolate conclusions about the current reach and impact of the out-of-school time field in Boston as well as inform our continuous improvement strategies.
Closing the opportunity gap is a big–but achievable–goal. The suite of measurement tools adopted by all of Boston Beyond’s program partners provides a common, quantifiable language to validate progress toward meeting this goal. There are several ways for programs to get involved that are tailored to the readiness and capacity of the program to take on measurement work. Each program will receive reports with their summary data, and year-round professional development and peer-learning opportunities are available to all partners. It is expected that program partners will be active members in this community of practice.
Benefits to getting involved in this work include:
- Join a Learning Community of fellow program providers to share best practices, and collaborate to address collective areas of improvement.
- Gain access to experts in the fields of expanded learning, youth development, and social-emotional learning.
- Receive dashboard reports that benchmark your performance against the previous year and the community as a whole.