After-School Bulletin | July 28, 2020
Toolkit Offers How-To Guide for OST and School Reopening Plans
As Michigan school districts prepare for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year, big decisions are being made regarding the educational needs and safety concerns of K-12 schoolchildren. Many of these are being made at the district level regarding plans for in-person lessons, virtual learning or a hybrid of the two.

Michigan Out-of-School Time (OST) providers have been examining those questions since the prior school year ended abruptly, and stand ready to assist with school district planning efforts.

To help, the Michigan After-School Partnership , working with the Afterschool Alliance, has created An Outreach Tool for Michigan: Connecting Out-of-School Time with Return-to-School Plans. The toolkit identifies ways OST providers can leverage their community assets to assist in engaging students and families this fall. The document provides a guide on reaching out to local districts, talking points, templates of letters to send decision-makers (available in English, Spanish and Arabic), and other online resources to help make the case for engaging OST in school reopening plans.

"Parents need to feel confident that there are options for safe and supportive learning environments for their children during the time they are out of school or learning at a distance when they return," said MASP Executive Director Mary Sutton. "OST programs and school-age child care can be critical partners in helping to support local schools in achieving equitable plans that ensure all kids have access to learning opportunities and the supports they need to emerge from this crisis strong, resilient and hopeful."
New One-Pager is Handy Resource for Meetings with School Leaders

As Michigan schools grapple with finalizing reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year, Out-of-School Time programs have been innovating, learning to adjust during the COVID-19 crisis, and finding new ways to assist youth and families. To advocate for your program, the Michigan After-School Partnership has created “Partnering with Schools to Reopen and Meet Students Needs,” to help you raise important points with key decision-makers in your area. Read it today.
Final Version of 'Learning at a Distance' Document Available in August
The Michigan After-School Partnership (MASP) and QTurn Consultants have assembled resources for Out-of-School Time providers working with students and families at a distance during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Guide is intended to provide a quality lens through which to evaluate promising practices for learning at a distance and includes a self-assessment tool for getting specific about what and where supports are needed. This document has been a work-in-progress, with a final version due out next month. Access the current version of "Guidance for Afterschool Learning at a Distance, Standards and Self-Assessment Manual" here or by clicking the image on the right.
Sign-on Letter to Congress Highlights MI Priorities

Out-of-School Time (OST) programs are essential to Michigan and America’s recovery. To bring the case to members of Congress as they decide funding priorities, the Michigan After-School Partnership's Policy Committee is urging OST partners in Michigan to sign on to a joint letter to members of the U.S. Senate and House.

The letter raises up priorities for 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, nonprofit aid, K-12 support and state government aide. Read it here. The document will be shared this week with the state's entire federal delegation.

Due to the COVID crisis, additional federal funding will be needed to help programs operate safely and cover the costs of lower staff ratios, longer hours, and enhanced cleaning protocols and equipment. The Afterschool Alliance reports that without without support from state and local government, 3 in 4 programs nationwide are in jeopardy of closing permanently or laying off staff.
The Michigan After-School Partnership is a statewide network developing a shared vision and influencing others to believe in the power of afterschool programs to help all children and youth succeed .
Michigan After-School Partnership | Website