Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment (RIPQA)
The RIPQA tool created primarily by the Providence After School Alliance with the assistance of other youth-serving organizations, measures programs in relation to the following four areas: safe environment, supportive environment, interactions, and engagement. There is also an administrative checklist (also known as Form B), which is designed to track organizations’ abilities to support family and civic engagement, staff development and professional development, and administrative functions. The RIPQA is based on the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality’s school age and youth PQA tools. You may download a copy of either on their web site.
Created in 2005 by PASA, with help from RIASPA and other field representatives. These standards, in five major categories, also have indicators that highlight program excellence. Afterschool and summer programs using and adopting these standards are committed to high-quality experiences for the children and youth in their care.
The state’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), BrightStars uses an intensive framework that includes all aspects of programming, including teaching and learning and staff qualifications. Launched in 2014, all licensed, standalone school-age programs serving CCAP children in grades K – 5 now receive a star rating. Ratings reflect the overall quality of a program and highlight where improvements can be made.
A true community effort, the “Core Comps” are observable skills and dispositions needed by professionals in order to provide high-quality care for children and youth. Competencies are concrete, observable, achievable, and establish standards of practice that strengthen the profession. Ultimately, these core competencies are used to define the content of professional development curricula, set goals and outcomes for training, and design mechanisms for the demonstration and assessment of a practitioner’s skills. Read about Newport Family COZ’s experience with the Core Competencies via a yearlong pilot, as penned by their Director of Quality Initiatives, Samantha Brinz.
RIASPA led a working group that met over the course of 14 months to make suggestions for the updating of these school-age regulations, which will occur in late 2013.