May 08, 2020

Afterschool To-Go | Resource Nook: Summer Planning

By Holly Phillips |  

Working in afterschool, we all know the term ‘summer slide’ and what it means in the lives of the youth we serve, but what about a combination spring and summer slide? COVID-19 stormed through our schools, offices, and social doors in ways none of us could imagine. In Utah, as we continue down the road to recovery, we all have a lot of questions about summer learning. Not only have academics been impacted, but COVID-19 has taken a social-emotional toll on youth as well. While the light for us in Utah isn’t completely green yet, we have been given guidance on what the summer recovery phase will look like. Now that we have guidelines on group size, health screenings, sanitation, and COVID-19 case reporting, our summer planning can begin. Many of us stand at multiple forks in the road having to make the hard decision to reopen, offer virtual learning, or do a hybrid. Remember to take a deep breath and spend some time reflecting on the following information as you begin down your individual summer programming preparation path. Know that you are not alone. 

19 Summer Resources

The resources provided were hand-picked based on the quality of content. These resources are broken into three key areas for summer planning: Utah’s COVID-19 Information and Resources, Summer Planning Resources, and Virtual Field Trip Information. They represent a few of the many resources we provide in our digital library.

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UAN Sumner Planning Tools 

We are working hard to bring you relevant and timely resources for summer planning. Check back often as our summer resources page on our website will be updated weekly.

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Guiding Tools

After reviewing the list of resources, the following guiding tools can be used to help lay out and plan your summer program. These are not restrictions, but suggestions and ideas that can help enhance your work. Ensuring that youth continue to receive quality programming, virtually and in-person, is a responsibility we must all share moving forward.

IMG_2754.jpgThe Utah Afterschool Program Quality Assessment and Improvement Tool              (Quality Tool)

The Quality Tool was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders and is supported by the Department of Workforce Services, Office of Child Care and the Utah State Board of Education. With all of the changes and uncertainty around summer 2020, the Quality Tool is more important than ever. Although this tool is typically utilized in the fall, dust it off to help guide your new structure by helping you identify your current strengths and areas in need of improvement. Use the Quality Tool for summer planning with your whole staff to set a strong foundation.  

Program Quality Assessment (PQA) Tool 

The PQA is a validated instrument designed to measure the quality of programs and identify staff training needs. It’s crucial that you stay up to date with Utah’s COVID-19 Information and Resources; there’s a reason a safe environment on the PQA is the first of many key areas. Utah’s current guidelines will help you determine whether a virtual, in-person, or hybrid program is achievable. 

PQA Key Areas:

  • Safe Environment
  • Supportive Environment
  • Interaction
  • Engagement 

Utah Core Standards

When it comes to combating spring and summer slide, remember that a powerful resource in your toolbox is the Utah Core Standards. Broken down by grade level, these powerful descriptions are your roadmap to understanding where your youth should be academically. Planning all or some of your activities using this resource will surely steer your in the right direction. 

Copy_of_IMG_7484.JPGActivity Structure and Planning 

Whether your summer program will be virtual, in-person, or a hybrid, there are a variety of aspects to consider with structure and planning. Things are going to look and feel different this summer and that’s okay! What a powerful mantra to keep as we move forward. Creative outside-the-box thinking is going to stretch your minds and emotions. Keeping the goals of your program for your youth at the center will help you stay on course. When it comes to planning, include your staff early and often. 

You may still be feeling the effects of your summer field trip plans falling in the sky like a sunset, but don’t forget that a variety of Utah organizations are offering virtual experiences. How can you turn your summer program into an aquarium for a day? From life-sized sea artwork to virtual tours, with a pinch of creativity, watch your space transform. 

Final Thoughts 

COVID-19 knocked on all of our doors putting us in this together. Please reach out to your Out-of-School Time Specialist or to our office, , for additional tips and resources. Don’t forget to reach out across organizations to bounce ideas and gather inspiration. Be sure to also reach out to your local school district(s) to see if there are ways you can collaborate and/or align goals. Let’s plan what we can for the summer to help Utah’s youth prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.