Communities that fall in the category of middle to low class economics are in critical need for Out-of-School Time (OST) programs to supervise students while parents are working; however, these numerous communities do not qualify for OST government funding. The purpose of this study is a needs-assessment for a middle school that does not qualify for government funding. Of 974 parents, 325 participated in a comprehensive survey. Eleven school personnel—including top administrators, teachers, and staff—and 6 community members including the city mayor, director of an OST program, president of school board of education, a business leader, and 2 library administrators participated in long open-ended interviews.
Primary findings were that only 14% of middle school students are attending OST program(s), though 93% of parents and all interviewee participants believed there is a need and supported an OST program for the school site. Financial limitations are the main barriers for 43% of parents, and 85% agreed that their children would like to participate in OST activities.
All interviewees and 85% of parents believed in diverse programs (academic enrichment and recreational), 67% of parents prefer OST period from 3-6 p.m. 35% of parents committed to $7 a day, 45% were willing to contribute to OST materials, 38% committed to volunteering 1 day a month, and the business community is willing to provide one individual daily in support of OST program. Based upon the results of this study, the following 6 conclusions were made:
Parents, school personnel, and community members are concerned about adolescent activity from 3 to 6 p.m. as they await rides home; Stakeholders believed an expanded OST program is needed; Strong support existed for a district-housed convenient and affordable OST program; Stakeholders desired a combination of academic, sports, and cultural enrichment activities; Stakeholders were unaware of the need for and avenues for collaborative effort toward an OST program; The study developed 3 needs assessment instruments and a 4-step model for developing an OST program and recommended gathering students' opinions for future studies.
|Adviser||Diana B. Hiatt-Michael|
|Subjects||Educational leadership; Middle school education; School administration|
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