The Youth Program Quality Assessment measures program quality through observation and interviews. Performance scores are given in the categories of safe environment, supportive environment, peer interaction and youth engagement based on specific indicators in each category. Two versions of the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) are given locally, with the YPQA measuring quality of programs serving youth in grades 4 - 12 and the School Age Program Quality Assessment (SAPQA) measuring programs serving children in grades K - 6. Each indicator is rated from 1 to 5, where 5 is the best possible score.
While afterschool programming can offer children opportunities for social, academic and physical development, these opportunities are dependent on the quality of individual programs. High-quality programs are safe, supportive and foster positive relationships among peers and staff. Measuring these qualities in afterschool programs allows staff to recognize and address deficiencies in program effectiveness.
Among participating classes or program units in Rochester in 2016, the average score was 4.0 for earlier grades and 3.5 for later grades. The average scores were higher in the categories of safe environment and supportive environment, especially for earlier grades (4.6 and 4.4), and a bit lower in engagement (3.0 for both levels). On interaction, scores rose from 2016 to 4.0 for early grades and 3.6 for older grades.
The scores represent a sample of afterschool classrooms or program units that participated in the assessment. In previous years, scores for both YPQA and SAPQA were aggregated together; in 2015 and 2016, the Children's Institute broke out the scores for earlier and later grades.