On-site after-school programs are provided at all public elementary and middle schools in Sioux Falls.
"While many activities occur similarly in both settings, schools and after-school programs offer unique strengths towards fulfilling developmental needs of children and youth. Beyond sharing space there are many ways that children and youth's school and after-school experiences may connect ... working together school and after-school can potentially make powerful connections that mutually support learning and positive development goals for youth and children."
The After School Corporation, guided by research from the field, has arrived at 10 essential categories that define a quality after-school program:
A quality program provides a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for all participants.
A quality program has a well-developed infrastructure and sound fiscal management to support and enhance worthwhile programming and activities for all participants.
A quality program develops, nurtures and maintains positive relationships and interactions among staff, participants, parents and communities to support the program's goals.
A quality program recruits, hires and trains diverse staff members who value each participant, understand their developmental needs, and work closely with families, school partners and co-workers to achieve the program goals.
A quality program provides a well-rounded variety of activities and opportunities that support the physical, social and cognitive growth and development of all participants.
A quality program has its staff work closely with school staff to ensure that after-school academic components and activities are aligned with and enrich school standards and curriculum.
A quality program provides opportunities for participants to participate in planning, to exercise choice and to engage in a rich variety of offerings and opportunities.
A quality program establishes a strong partnership with families and communities in order to achieve program goals.
A quality program has a coherent vision/mission and a plan for increasing capacity that supplies continuing growth.
A quality program has a system for measuring outcomes and using that information for on-going program planning, improvement and evaluation.