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Quality Improvement Services

School’s Out Washington offers an array of supports to expanded learning programs – all designed to increase program quality, build staff capacity, and help create positive environments for youth.  

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Youth Program Quality Intervention

SOWA guides programs through the year-long Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) process – an assess-plan-improve cycle of continuous improvement. First, programs undergo self and external assessments to take stock of their strengths and growth areas. With that information, programs develop a plan for how they want to improve. Program staff receive training and coaching from School's Out Washington and put what they learn into practice. The cycle doesn't end there: programs re-assess their needs, develop a new plan, and further develop staff knowledge and skills to achieve the highest level of quality.

This process was pioneered by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and is shown to improve quality in youth development programs.  

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Assessments

Using a research-validated program observation tool called the Program Quality Assessment, SOWA gives programs a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement. This can also include a management interview that provides a structured framework for tracking progress on organization-level standards. These tools provide an objective, structured framework to help organizations discuss, set baseline scores, and track progress on each of the quality standards.

An assessment is the first step of the YPQI process and can also be done independently.

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Coaching

SOWA’s professional coaching services help transform youth programs and build staff capacity. Our coaches meet youth-serving professionals where they are and guide them through a mindful process that facilitates learning, strengthens programs, and leads to positive youth outcomes. SOWA’s coaches have deep knowledge of the youth development field, equity, and practices that lead to high-quality programs.

SOWA’s coaching philosophy centers three core guiding principles that are woven into our coaching practice: 

  1. Racial Equity and Cultural Responsiveness
  2. Relationship-Based
  3. Facilitating Learning and Improvement

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Data Management

Through in-person assessments, online data collection, and customized reports from our comprehensive database Elevate Washington, SOWA can help programs obtain the data and information they need to strengthen their programs, develop a powerful case for funding, and more.

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Trainings & Workshops

SOWA offers myriad trainings across the state, all grounded in quality principles. Our workshops include Social-Emotional Learning, Structural Racism and Cultural Responsiveness, Youth Work Methods, Emotion Coaching, Harnessing the Power of Your Staff, and more.

All-day symposiums and our 2-day Bridge conference give providers in-depth opportunities to learn,  rejuvenate, and connect with each other.

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Support for the Field