Guidance for Out-of-school time Learning at a Distance (GOLD)

The Guidance for Out-of-School Time Learning at a Distance (GOLD) is a program quality assessment for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) and other community-based programs (e.g., school-age childcare, YMCA, 4 H, Boys & Girls Clubs) that have transitioned virtual, socially distanced in-person, and blended service models. For these new models, the GOLD will:

Help staff document local standards for quality and make improvements

Help leaders to assess organizational readiness and demonstrate accountability

Help funders and intermediaries target supports

By explicitly engaging family or caregiver strengths, assuring flexible supports, and sharing accurate information about the future (e.g., plans for school and OST in the coming months), the GOLD was specifically designed to address both the young person’s socio-emotional wellness and the conditions of academic learning. The four GOLD domains of quality are: I. Family Centered Engagement, II. Individual Learning Environment, III. Distance Programming, and IV. Planning with Children, Families, Caregivers, and Schools.


Tool Introduction, Protocol, Standards and Indicators, FAQ, Promising Practices, Method for development and Contributors.


Self Assessment Form

All 27 indicators and self-assessment rubric form. This document can be an be completed digitally or manually.


Database of resources

These resources provide additional information and offer insight and best practice for educators.


These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.


Citation: Smith, C., Roy, L., Smith, L., Sutton, M., Peck, S. C., & Porter, K. (2020). Guidance for Out-of-School Time Learning at a Distance: Standards and Self-Assessment Manual. Lansing, MI: Michigan Afterschool Partnership and QTurn LLC.

Subjective Well-Being (SWB)

In OST organizations that focus on student’s socio-emotional skills and wellbeing, pandemic conditions created new urgency to staff’s desire to know how students and caregivers were doing. While many OST organizations know how to ask families about basic needs created by the pandemic – health care, housing, food, transportation – sometimes staff are less comfortable checking in on mental health issues.

The concept of subjective-well-being (SWB) has traditionally been assessed using measures of happiness and satisfaction with life. Most of the measurement instruments developed to assess SWB use several items to assess each of several dimensions. However, for simplicity and efficiency, we recommend using only one item for each of the three dimensions: positive feelings, negative feelings, and life satisfaction.

Positive Feelings

On a scale of 1 to 10: During the past month, how often have you had positive feelings (e.g., happiness, joy, interest, calmness, and love)?

Negative Feelings

On a scale of 1 to 10: During the past month, how often have you had negative feelings (e.g., sadness, fear, boredom, anxiety, and hate)?

Life Satisfaction

On a scale of 1 to 10: During the past month, how satisfied have you felt with your life?

Management Practices Self-Assessment (MPSA)

The Management Practices Self-Assessment (MPSA) is a measurement instrument created to empower Michigan 21st CCLC Project Directors, who manage at least one program site. The MPSA provides Project Directors with the opportunity to check-in with themselves and their team by identifying practices and policies that are well-documented and working well, or that could be updated or improved, and areas where they need additional assistance to reach their full potential.

Citation: Smith, Thoreson, Smith, Peck, Sipes (2020). Management Practices Self-Assessment (MPSA) for Project Directors in Michigan’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Michigan Department of Education and QTurn LLC.

These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.