Each After Zone, or Z, is managed by a Coordinating Agency with a strong presence in that geographic area. The Coordinating Agency hires a full-time Zone Director with NAZA funding. Although each Z will reflect the unique characteristics of its population, there are shared key elements:
Each program site within the Z offers a balanced menu of appealing activities in safe and structured environments.
- Academic supports (homework help, tutoring, project-based learning) are core.
- Students can participate in sports and fitness, fine arts activities, digital-learning experiences and life skills lessons.
- Activities support leadership and character development.
Coordinated scheduling, marketing, recruitment, transportation and tracking, within each zone and across NAZA, increases access for the students and efficiencies for the providers.
Continuous improvement in program quality reflects NAZA’s Standards and Indicators of Program Quality. The process uses two nationally recognized models of quality assessment and professional development, the Youth Program Quality Assessment developed by High/Scope and the Y of the USA Youth Assets Survey developed by Search Institute.
Shared use of reliable information drives decisions about the students, the programs, and NAZA as a whole. All programs enroll students and track their participation using a NAZA data system which links directly to Metro Schools’ student management system. Sharing this data means that:
- Schools can identify students who will benefit the most and can facilitate NAZA’s connections to them.
- NAZA programs can review how their participants are doing at school (their attendance, behavior, and academics) in order to support them individually.
- Programs can demonstrate their participants’ progress in the key areas of school attendance, school behavior, and academic performance.
- NAZA can demonstrate the benefits of its work and can use real-time information to make both logistical and strategic decisions