Learning from the Best: Strategies Gained from Teacher Feedback to Recruit and Retain Educators for Out-of-School Time Programs

SCRI analyzed staff survey responses from the BellXcel 2021 Summer program and identified key strategies and recommendations for finding and retaining high quality staff: stressing the importance of strong relationships and collaboration, promoting a positive teaching environment and culture, ensuring flexibility and autonomy for staff, providing supportive leadership, prioritizing the opportunity for personal and professional growth, and having materials and resources readily available and accessible.

Read More

The Power of Partnerships:
Exploring How a Partnership with BellXcel Influences Systems Changes

In 2021, BellXcel commissioned the Sperling Center for Research and Innovation (SCRI) to study the potential effects of its partnership model on its partners’ internal systems (for example, practices, policies, operations) and external community ecosystems (relationships, power dynamics, funding). While this exploratory study was on a small qualitative scale, the ultimate goal is to develop a multi-year research strategy to understand and capture the impact and influence BellXcel has on its partners. This longerterm study will include developing a robust logic model and rigorous measurement strategies.

Read More

Families Are Key to Building Back Better: Unpacking Elements of Effective Engagement in Remote Learning

Tasked with planning and implementing remote learning for over 55 million children in the U.S. in the wake of COVID-19 school closures, districts and teachers relied heavily on families to support youth learning. SCRI discovered that remote summer programs using the BellXcel model were able to established supportive and consistent relationships between staff and families which empowered families to support their children’s learning. Staff integrated high-quality family engagement strategies throughout the program which included frequent communication and meaningful outreach to support participants.

Read More

In Their Own Words, 2nd Edition: What Scholars Say about Social-Emotional Skill Development while Learning Remotely

SCRI conducted a mixed-methods analysis to learn about the scholar experience in a remote learning environment with the revised SEL focus and to see how scholars, in their own words, described their SE growth over the summer. The analysis revealed a wealth of insights about how BellXcel Remote’s SEL programming positively impacted scholars and showed how participation in BellXcel Remote led to improved relationships, increased confidence, strengthened growth mindset, improved self regulation and engagement, and better routines and schedules.

Read More

Boosting Technology Confidence Through Summer Learning

SCRI uncovered an unexpected effect of participating in a summer program: Families, staff, and youth reported that participating in the 2020 BellXcel Remote summer program increased confidence in remote learning and technology, improving preparedness for potential shifts and uncertainties in the school year, and in some cases repairing negative perceptions of remote learning from the spring of 2020. This brief explores this theme and looks to uncover why the experience of BellXcel Remote resulted in these findings.

Read More

Building Bridges During Challenging Times: How BellXcel Remote Summer Programs Kept Youth, Families and Staff Engaged in Learning During COVID-19

SCRI found evidence that BellXcel Remote did help to bridge the gap between a disrupted 2019-20 school year and the new 2020-21 school year and was able to engage youth in summer distance learning. Analysis of end-of-program stakeholder surveys demonstrates that the program kept scholars, families, and staff engaged in a myriad of academic, enrichment, and SEL activities.

Read More


SCRInsider