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.

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Light blue box with text inside that reads SCRI Insider, December 17, 2020

SCRInsider: Building Bridges During Challenging Times

Almost immediately after we launched, the world as we knew it turned upside down and we had to wrestle with the pandemic and the unforeseen challenges it presented for young people, families, educators, schools, and summer and afterschool providers. One constant during this turbulent time was our approach to tackling tough challenges: we began by asking questions. What do our partners need most from us? What are we uniquely positioned to learn and do? How can we use what we know to make things easier for others? Our answers have guided us to use the practical knowledge we’ve accumulated over the years to address big (and timely) topics.

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SCRInsider: Quality Can’t Wait

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last two decades of out-of-school time (OST) research, it’s that quality matters in summer programs. SCRI’s latest report, “Quality Can’t Wait: Cultivating Continuous Improvement” looks at what we’ve learned about designing and implementing rapid-cycle quality improvement, while our expert interview with Wendy McClanahan of McClanahan Associates, Inc. gives a broader look at QA in OST.

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Quality Can’t Wait: Cultivating Continuous Improvement

Central to BellXcel’s approach to summer learning is its commitment to rapid-cycle continuous improvement because quality can’t wait. This brief presents SCRI’s review of BellXcel’s quality assessment process and its dedication to guiding partners through continuous quality improvement.

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SCRI Asks: Q&A with Wendy McClanahan

In 2020, BellXcel engaged McClanahan Associates, Inc. (MAI) to conduct a literature review to learn more about quality assessment (QA) in Out of School Time (OST) programs and understand the research support for BellXcel’s quality standards and indicators. SCRI talked with Wendy McClanahan, president and founder of MAI, to distill the findings and share her unique perspective on QA in OST.

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SCRI Asks: Q&A with Christina A. Russell and Corey Newhouse

This SCRI Asks features Q&A with Christina A. Russell of Policy Studies Associates and Corey Newhouse of Public Profit, editors of Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time. They reflect on BellXcel’s chapter, Thinking Outside the Logic Model, written by our own Brenda McLaughlin and Bryan Hall, and share practical tips and guidance.

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