Bridging the Gap Between Educators and After School Programs

What is the most common complaint of After School Coordinators? “It’s impossible to communicate with teachers and  school administrators!” What’s the most common complaint of Principals and Teachers with regards to after school programs? “After school programs  just don’t align with what we teach during the day!” We hear it over and over again,  it’s difficult to align what students are learning during the school day to what they are learning after. Here are 3 ways ways you can align the two at your school.

Find Balance

Afterschool programs often struggle to find a balance between being fun and engaging and supporting students academically. Focusing too much on academics and not enough on fun activities can cause afterschool program’s enrollment numbers to drop. Students are more likely to skip after school programs frequently when they aren’t being engaged. When they focus too much on entertainment, teachers get frustrated. Oftentimes, students who attend afterschool programs need extra academic support. Afterschool programs need to find the right balance in providing academic support in a fun and engaging manner.

Bridge the Gap

A constant struggle teachers face is that the students in afterschool programs aren’t being taught the same thing they are learning in the classroom. In order to really support students in after school programs content and teaching styles need to be aligned. One thing that has helped bridge the gap are the Common Core standards. Now teachers and after school coordinators know exactly what students need to know in every grade level.

Improve Communication

The best way to make sure students succeed is to have open lines of communication. Communication between afterschool coordinators and teachers/principals to discuss student progress and how to best meet the needs of each student. It can be extremely challenging for after school coordinators to schedule meetings with school administrators. The best way to secure a meeting is to be prepared to discuss something of value. It is always easier to have a thoughtful and productive conversation when you are prepared with concrete examples of what you would like to discuss.
Want to learn more about how Sokikom helps bridge the gap between educators and after school programs? Check out this video from Lynnette Lomeli in the Fresno Unified School District.