A comprehensive evaluation plan is critical to summer program quality and sustainability, and will provide you with a 360-degree view to identify program strengths as well as opportunities to improve in future summers.
Research recommends that you “plan to administer pre- and post-tests, observe instructors, collect staff views about the summer program, and share evaluation data after the summer ends to improve the program over time and to reinforce community stakeholders’ commitment to retaining the summer program.” (RAND, 2018*) Our deep experience suggests that youth attendance and engagement; program quality; youth achievement, social-emotional learning, and well-being; family satisfaction and engagement; and teacher satisfaction and development are all important indicators of a program’s success.
Use this guide to create evaluation plans that are aligned to research and evidence and better understand your impact, reflect on quality, identify program strengths and challenges, and develop processes for continuous improvement and long-term sustainability.
*Schwartz, Heather L., Jennifer Sloan McCombs, Catherine H. Augustine, and Jennifer T. Leschitz, Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd Ed., Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-366-1-WF, 2018. As of June 09, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR366-1.html