APAS is an assessment system that helps programs link quality and youth outcomes together in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. It was developed to help address the accountability challenge that faces afterschool programs.
NIOST will begin implementing the Afterschool Program Assessment System (APAS) in a dozen sites across two communities in 2007-2008. The APAS Evaluation System has been in development and use for over five years by the Massachusetts Department of Education in 21st Century Community Learning Centers across the state. The APAS system has been extensively piloted and scientifically tested. APAS may be one of the only assessment systems available that helps programs link quality and youth outcomes together in a comprehensive and integrated fashion.
APAS includes two measurement tools-the Survey of Afterschool Youth Outcomes (SAYO) and the Assessing Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT). SAYO measures outcomes in eight areas that research suggests are linked to long-term positive development, and academic and life success. SAYO uses brief pre- and post-participation surveys to collect data from day school teachers and afterschool staff in a "menu" approach. Afterschool programs collect data only on outcomes that are aligned with their goals and practices. APT is designed to complement SAYO by helping programs evaluate and strengthen quality practices that research suggests are linked with SAYO outcomes. APT looks at the overall afterschool program, homework time and activities with two comprehensive tools that combine observation and self-assessment. Together, these user-friendly and affordable tools are designed to help afterschool programs improve program quality and focus on appropriate and realistic outcomes for youth. These tools were developed to help address the accountability challenge that faces afterschool programs.
For further information on the APAS Evaluation System, visit NIOST's website.