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Step 1. Identify Local Needs and Assets

Begin by identifying the specific needs of your students and community and building awareness of the resources available to design and implement your out-of-school time program. We recommend taking the steps below, including:

  • Consult existing data and needs assessments to help define your program's purpose
  • Meaningfully engage stakeholders
    • Identify community stakeholders and consider how the stakeholders are aligned with the program or system goals. Consider:
      • Students, families, and caregivers
      • Teachers, other educators, school staff, principals, and other school leaders
      • Child advocacy organizations, including those representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, and children are involved with the juvenile justice system
      • School and district administrators, including superintendents
      • Charter school leaders, if applicable
      • Education organizations and advocacy groups, including teacher and staff unions
      • Community and elected leaders, including tribal leaders, school boards, and leaders representing business and industry
      • Other potential partners, including other community-based organizations, university faculty and staff, and faith communities
  • Prioritize relevant outcomes to focus your program's activities
    • List the outcomes identified through needs sensing and data review
    • Consider other potential outcomes that have been explored in research related to out-of-school time programs.

    Additional Resources from the U.S. Department of Education

    Other Additional Resources (non-U.S. Department of Education)