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21st Century Community Learning Centers

Bloom District 206

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The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program at Bloom District High School District 206 is, from a national perspective, of special interest in that (according to recent data) only about 10% of programs are targeted at the high school level. Consequently, the Bloom District 206 program has an unusual opportunity to show effects at those grade levels that only rarely are realized by such activities.

In our evaluation of CCLC, we view OTL as having two components: attendance and affect (attitude). The primary dependent measure here is the Prairie State Examination Achievement Examination which provides a common metric for assessing academic outcomes. Assigned teacher grades in Reading/English and in mathematics also are of interest but as shown in the research literature typically lack dependability in terms of cross-class, cross-school generalizability.

The CCLC program is now in its second five year cycle. Findings for the various aspects of the District’s After School Program continue, in general, to be very encouraging. Attendance in the CCLC program maintains its general pattern of improvement each year at both of the high schools as well as at Bethel Community Center. Correspondingly, the number of regular attendees tends to be on the increase year by year.

In terms of attitudes, the majority of teachers/volunteers at all sites report that the students have a positive attitude toward the CCLC program. The majority of high school parents indicate that as a result of CCLC, their child looks forward to school. At the high schools, the students are nearly unanimous in stating that CCLC helps them do better in school while at the community center the students are positive but not as uniformly so in reporting (that CCLC helps them in school).

Achievement data in terms of a common metric (PSAE, The Prairie State Achievement Examination) are encouraging at both high schools. In mathematics at Bloom, the proportion of CCLC regular attendees in Meets/Exceeds is near that of all juniors at the school. At Bloom Trail, while this proportion is somewhat less, it is nonetheless ‘in the ballpark’ of all juniors. For reading, while the proportion of CCLC regular attendees is lower at both schools, it is still ‘good news’, given the relatively lower achievement profiles of these students. As a reminder, it is noted that the relatively small number of regular attendees who are juniors makes strict comparisons tenuous.

An important component of CCLC project is the summer Reading Ensures Future Success (REFS) initiative that enrolls the Bloom entering freshmen who are two years below grade level in Reading or Mathematics. Our evaluation of effects of REFS has identified positive outcomes in that nearly 90% of the students report that the program will help them do better in school.

The Bloom CCLC project objectives are largely aligned with those of the State. Increases in attendance and the positive attitudes of program participants have already been noted. The involvement of parents in CCLC activities is especially encouraging. School report data in terms of such measures as AYP and socio-economic status help to document that the Bloom High School District CCLC initiative is addressing needs for expanded learning opportunities.

From Fall 2009 to Spring 2010 the Bloom High School District After School Tutoring/Homework Program took place at 4 sites: Bloom High School, Bloom Trail High School, Bethel Community and the FUTURE Foundation. Starting in Fall 2010 the number of sites was reduced to three: Bloom High School, Bloom Trail High School and Bethel Community Center.

The number of regular attendees at Bloom Trail increased impressively over the five year period 2006 to 2011.

As the chart below indicates, there is high general agreement among the CCLC students that the program helps them do better in school.

As the chart below shows, the vast majority of teachers at all three sites have agreed that the CCLC students have a positive attitude toward school. This trend is especially the case for the two recent years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

 

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