Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program
Title IV, Part B, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant program includes several areas of evaluation that are typically divided into the following categories:
- Federal Evaluation
- Statewide Evaluation
- Local Evaluation
- Local Program Self-Assessment
The US Department of Education conducts an Annual Performance Review (APR) of the 21st CCLC program, from which a report is generated and shared with the US Congress on the progress the program has made in meeting the Government Performance and Results Act Measure Indicators (GPRA). Information about the GPRA indicators and the annual federal reports can be found on the US Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
In order to meet the reporting requirements for the APR, grantees and state education agencies are required to submit program data according to the reporting window established by the US Department of Education. Typically this occurs three times a year (summer, fall, and spring). In an effort to streamline the process for WI 21st CCLC grantees, DPI contracts with CAYEN Systems AS21 and the Consortium of Applied Research at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay to collect the necessary data and report it to the federal APR system.
For additional information related to the Annual Performance Report process, visit the 21st CCLC Annual Performance Report page.
The DPI 21st CCLC grant program is united through a series of State Goals and Objectives that align to the 21st CCLC Guiding Principles for Quality. The statewide evaluation measures the State’s progress towards achieving these goals and objectives. In partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Consortium of Applied Research, DPI collects WI 21st CCLC grantee data through the Cayen Systems AS21. This data is used to assist DPI in measuring the impact of program services statewide, monitor program activities, identify areas for program improvement, and target technical assistance efforts.
DPI 21st Century Community Learning Centers Annual Report
All granted 21st CCLC sites are required to track and measure progress towards established objectives for program performance. The purpose is to assess the program impact on students and families, inform practices and services, and adapt targets as needed. The local evaluation process is key to implementing a high quality program and assuring accountability towards the grant program goals and purpose.
Each site targeted by the grant is required to produce and publish an annual evaluation that demonstrates progress towards the objectives and summarizes the program improvement efforts. Data submitted to the CAYEN AS21 data collection system can be used to assist with measuring progress as appropriate.
The Local Evaluation Guidelines and Template may be helpful when creating a local evaluation report.
Investing in continuous improvement efforts is a key component for high quality programs. WI 21st CCLC grantees are required to participate in a self-assessment process during the five year cycle of funding. This process is intended to be an opportunity for site program staff to reflect on what they do well and what they can improve to best meet the needs of the students and families served by the program. A quality self assessment process should be completed by a team, representative of the stakeholders for the program. The self-assessment is a living document and process that can be used to guide program priorities, reflection processes, and identify additional opportunities to generate program support.
The self-assessment is not the formal local evaluation of progress towards measurable outcomes, but rather an opportunity to take stock of program operations as a whole and often requires intentional program observation as part of the process. Grantees report on their progress on self-assessment during the annual Yearly Program Report (YPR) submission.
For more information about the required self-assessment process, visit the 21st CCLC Self-Assessment page.