Guidance for
Out-of-Shool Time
Learning at a
Distance

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I. family centered engagement

6 indicators

Family- and caregiver-centered engagement is about shaping OST services to fit the needs, resources, and routines of young people and their family or other caregivers. During a crisis like COVID-19, many young people and caregivers experience hardship and require a primary focus on basic needs. Because these hardships fall disproportionately on communities that are already most at risk, an equity focus may require novel responses and new areas of emphasis.

II. Individual Learning Environment

The individual learning environment includes the resources, routines, and participants where the individual student is learning. For each individual student, non-virtual and virtual learning supports must be integrated as they are received from both the school day and OST programs – wherever the student is at. Successful connections to caregivers and students require reliable exchange of information and planning. Supporting each individual’s successful connectivity (e.g., access, tech, apps) may become part of the OST service.

III. Distance Programming

High-quality distance programming blends virtual and material resources and methods to meet developmental needs and engage children, youth, and caregivers. Programs that focus on socio-emotional learning (SEL) skills will need to connect with young people via video or phone on a regular basis to achieve relational depth. The transition to a new type of school will be a challenge for both young people and their caregivers. OST programs may want to increase their focus on supporting school day learning and guiding caregivers to school day supports.

IV. Planning with Children, Families, Caregivers, and Schools

School districts are planning for resumption of in-person school programs. Changes to school day structure required to achieve social distancing (e.g., reduced cohorts, staggered schedules, temperature checks) or renewed shutdown (e.g., return to blended learning) will require integration between schools and OST services (e.g., afterschool, childcare, teen centers) around schedules, guidance to families and caregivers, maintenance of personally protective equipment, and check-ins with children.