A Professional Learning Community extends classroom practice into the community and engages students, instructors and other staff in learning how to enhance student experiences. Through this professional learning community, After School Matters staff and instructors work together to help ensure the highest quality programs are being delivered to our teens. We are continuously working to increase the quality of our programming and instructor relations, and use the professional learning community to help:
Through participating in a professional learning community, we hope After School Matters instructors find opportunities to hone their expertise and share with each other. We invite you to use existing resources, contribute your own resources and provide constructive feedback to us and each other.
Click here to access the After School Matters Professional Learning Community.
After School Matters utilizes the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) continuous improvement process developed by the David P. Weikart Center of Youth Program Quality. You will see there is much alignment between YPQI and the ACT Now Quality Standards. To clarify, After School Matters will continue to utilize YPQI specifically for our programs. The ACT Now standards are being offered as a resource to provide an additional research-based framework for understanding quality, and to keep the program focused on striving towards excellence.
ACT Now is a statewide coalition that works to ensure that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool and youth development programs. They’ve developed the Illinois Statewide Afterschool Quality Standards to improve afterschool programming around the state. These standards capture the practices that have been demonstrated, through research, to lead quality programs and positive outcomes for youth.
The Standards provide afterschool programs with a common language for describing quality. These standards are not intended to dictate policy and practices, but instead are intended to suggest and encourage a strong baseline of quality. They can be used by programs and local communities to stimulate conversations about quality, what it looks like, and why it matters.
Read the complete ACT Now Illinois Statewide Afterschool Quality Standards here.
The Liaison and Instructor manual outlines all After School Matters policies that guide the daily work of After School Matters Liaisons. Refer to the Liaison and Instructor Manual for questions about Liaison responsibilities; program attendance and location policies; media and research policies, etc. The Liaison and Instructor Manual can be found on Cityspan under the “Documents” tab.
The Participant Manual outlines all After School Matters policies that guide the daily work of After School Matters Teens. Please refer to the Participant Manual if you or a teen have a question about policies such as attendance, stipend eligibility, or discipline. The Participant Manual can be found on Cityspan under the “Documents” tab.
The Liaison Quick Reference Guide provides an overview of the most common Liaison functions, as well as tips for completing specific Liaison responsibilities. Refer to the Liaison Quick Reference Guide when you have questions about teen enrollment, adding/dropping teens, attendance, changing program dates, or how to complete specific tasks in Cityspan. The Liaison Quick Reference Guide can be found on Cityspan under the “Documents” tab.
Only the Communications team may approve requests to visit, film, interview, or photograph After School Matters programs, teens or their families for media purposes. If you receive a request for a media outlet (e.g. newspaper, magazine, blog), you must submit a Media Request Form to:
Michael Crowley, Director of Communications
[email protected] | 312-239-5233
A complete Media Protocol is available in the Documents section in Cityspan.
Incident Reports are used to communicate information to After School Matters Chief Executive Officer, Chief Program Officer, General Counsel, Human Resources, Regional Teams, and other parties after an injury, incident, or illness has occurred. Events that call for an incident report include, but are not limited to: harm to a person (victimization, serious illness/injury, self-injury), harm to property (theft, destruction, auto accident), situations that require emergency response (police, fire department, EMS), hazards (fires, tornados, threats of bombs, shootings, etc.), and other problematic behavior (altercations, illegal conduct, suicidal plan/intent).
The following tools are available on Cityspan to assist you in responding to and reporting incidents:
The Crisis Management Plan explains how to ensure the physical and emotional safety of teens in emergency situations. The Crisis Management Plan can be found on Cityspan.
If a crisis occurs during an After School Matters program, follow the procedures outlined in the Crisis Management Plan and be sure to:
An adult that comes in contact with children (under 18 years old) in a professional or official capacity, is required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act [325 ILCS 5/4] to report reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect, by calling the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25ABUSE or 1-800-358-5117. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect may be grounds for a Class A misdemeanor. The following reference materials stored on Cityspan serve as reporting guides:
All Liaison documents can be found on Cityspan under the “Documents” tab.
The After School Matters Recruitment Guide includes tips for teen recruitment, interview and enrollment strategies, an interview sign-up form and recommend interview questions to help make the recruitment and enrollment stages of running your program easier.
If you have any questions about recruitment or enrollment, reach out to your program specialist for further assistance.
Our pre-approved flier template is an easy way for anyone to promote their programs. Swap out the sample information with your program’s information and distribute the fliers to reach teens. No graphic design experience required!
Access the editable recruitment flier template in Cityspan, under the Documents tab.
Use these general fliers to recruit for multiple programs, or to remind teens that several program options are available to them.