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City Profile and Statistics

» Students identified as limited-English-proficient : 13.7%

» Students receiving Special Education Services: 13.8%

» Students eligible for free / reduced price lunch: 85.6%

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Chicago's After School Matters (ASM) is committed to improving the effectiveness of after-school program providers in the city. The organization has increased the accountability of the after-school programs it manages by conducting research and evaluation, collecting student data, and using program standards.

Research and Evaluation

ASM staff conduct observations of high-school apprenticeship programs - which are designed to teach teems a specific skill - at least twice a semester. These observations gauge the effectiveness of the program structure, classroom management techniques, and the tone set by instructors. Additionally, at the beginning and end of each semester, ASM apprenticeship instructors use a Skill Development Rubric to measure student fluency in the specific skills the program teaches, including teamwork, communication, critical thinking and job preparedness.

ASM also works with external evaluators. Through a partnership with The Chapin Hall Center for Children at The University of Chicago, ASM has collected extensive data on student outcomes garnered through program participation. Large-scale evaluations from Chapin Hall have shown positive outcomes for teens who participate in ASM programs, including higher rates of school attendance, fewer course failures, and higher rates of graduation (with a lowered risk of dropping out). Additionally, researchers from Northwestern University are currently studying whether ASM participation results in marketable job skills for teens.

Tracking Student Data

In partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, ASM is developing data-collection systems that will improve the accountability of its after-school programs. These systems include:

  • A participant tracking system, which will be available to all teen program providers in Chicago and will track teen's utilization of after-school programs.
  • Annual survey and interview research from Chapin Hall that identifies what teens (including those not involved in after-school programs) do with their out-of-school time. Researchers study what activities teens like and dislike, and what family configurations and attitudes shape student activity choices.

Working in collaboration with the Parks Department, and with the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services, ASM will use this data to identify gaps in after-school services by pinpointing where services are being offered and where children and youth go after school. By gaining a better understanding of youth participation patterns and family program preferences, ASM and its local partners will be able to provide even more targeted, relevant opportunities to Chicago's young people.

Quality Standards

While ASM does not have its own internally developed quality standards, the organization follows standards developed by the Chicago Public Schools for working with children aged 13-18. This helps to ensure consistent high performance from Chicago's after-school providers at ASM and beyond.