Success For Each Child & Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity

Executive Summary

21st CCLC Program Background

The overarching goal of the Kent Community Success program is to support students’ academic achievement and social-emotional development. The program is located at Mill Creek Middle School, Neely O’Brien Elementary School, and River Ridge Elementary School and focuses on: 

  • Increasing academic achievement 
  • Improving attendance and behavior in the classroom 
  • Strengthening family engagement 
  • Providing high quality programming that prepares students for success 

Program goals and objectives focus on student academic achievement, regular program attendance, family engagement, and community partnerships. 

Program Structure and Activities

During the 2022-23 school year, Mill Creek, Neely O’Brien, and River Ridge offered programming during the Fall and Spring semesters that ran for 2-3 hours per day, four days per week over the course of 30-34 weeks.  21st CCLC Site Coordinators worked in each of the three schools to oversee staff and programming and develop partnerships to implement the program. The Kent School District served as the primary partner, Kent Parks and Recreation provided and facilitated recreational activities at all three sites, and each site also had additional partner organizations with which they worked.  Student activities included academic supports, sports/fitness activities, arts/music, cultural/personal identity clubs, games, cooking and community service. Each site offered a variety of family activities for program participants and their families, as well.  

Program Implementation

The Kent Connects program established goals related to program implementation in the areas of Students Served, Family Engagement, Community Partnerships, and Program Quality, as described below.   

Students Served:
The size of each of the three 21st CCLC program sites varied substantially, with 23 participants at Neely O’Brien, 45 participants at River Ridge, and 218 participants at Mill Creek. None of the 21st CCLC sites met the objective for regular attendees in 2022-23, which is that at least 10% of the total school population regularly attend program. At Mill Creek, 12% of paticipants (n=26) were regular attendees (3% of the school population). At Neely O’Brien 48% of participants (n=11) attended regurarly, which is 2% of the school population. At River Ridge, 40% of participants (n=18) were regular attendees (3% of the school population). 

Another objective is related to similar or equal demographic representation when comparing regular attendees to the overall 21st CCLC program participants. Each of the three sites served a diverse range of students, and when comparing regular attendees overall participants, the population of students served was relatively similar. For example, 26% of Mill Creek’s total participants identified as Hispanic or Latino, which was comparable to the 33% of regular attendees who identified as Hispanic or Latino. Similar trends were seen among most demographic groups including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and English Langauge Learner (ELL)/Multlingual Learner (MLL) students. 

Family Engagement:  
Kent Community Success included a wide range of family events during the 2022-23 school year, with an objective to reflect the interests of families in the events that were offered. Site Coordinators integrated feedback into family event opportunities. Mill Creek family event attendees reported interest in culturally centered programming and a game/bingo night, which translated into Bingo and Multicultural Nights. Neely O’Brien family event attendees reported interest in science-themed programming, and the program hosted a Brain Science of Language and Reading event.  

Impact for Students and Families

The program sought to positively impact both students and families in several ways, including increased student achievement in math and reading and social emotional development. For families, the program sought to increase families’ school connection and their knowledge and skills to support their children’s education.  

In terms of the impact on students’ reading achievement in the 2022-23 academic year, between 44% and 67% of regular attendees met typical growth standards for iReady reading, as defined by the Kent School District. Between 17% and 44% of students met stretch growth standards for iReady Reading. Neely O’Brien had the highest attainment rates of both typical and stretch growth standards (67% and 44%, respectively). 

In terms of the impact on students’ math achievement in 2022-23, between 19% and 50% of regular attendees met typical growth standards for iReady math, as defined by the Kent School District. Mill Creek had the highest attainment rates of typical growth standards (50%). Between 6% and 44% of students were able to meet stretch growth standards for iReady math. Neely O’Brien had the highest attainment rates of stretch growth standards (44%). 

Social Emotional Learning: 
Students shared their perspectives and experiences with the Kent Community Success program through a survey administered by OSPI’s statewide evaluation partner, American Institutes for Research.  Student respondents (n=42) indicated that the program helped them: 

  • Make new friends (63% of respondents) 
  • Find out what I like to do (35%) 
  • Feel good about myself (23%) 
  • With my confidence (23%) 
  • Learn things that will be important for my future (21%) 

Impact for Families:
During the 2022-23 school year, families provided feedback on family events, including overall satisfaction, how the event helped them feel connected to their child and the larger school/community, and preferences for future events. 93% or more of participants (n=82-85, dependent on the question) agreed that family events helped 1) them learn something new about their students’ school, 2) equip them with knowledge to support their students’ success, and 3) connect them to their child(ren)’s school and to their child(ren)’s education. 97% of family survey respondents (n=85) indicated that they would like to see identical or similar events in the coming years. One site used a different survey tool (n=85-91, dependent on the question), which reflected similarly positive results. 88% agreed they learned new information that was helpful to their child or family, 83% said they felt more prepared to help their child succeed in school, and 93% indicated that they would like to see similar topics in the future. 

Program Strengths and Challenges

Program strengths from the 2022-23 school year included: 

  • Accessibility and responsiveness: Systems and organizational practices helped support each 21st CCLC site’s ability to provide students with support through programming. 
  • Partnerships: While all three sites shared the same primary partnership with the Kent School District, each of the sites also established connections with community-based organizations that represented opportunities and access to a variety or resources and experiences for 21st CCLC participants. 
  • Student Activities and Family Events: The range of activities provided to students and families through 21st CCLC programming demonstrated a commitment to diversity and reflected the interests and curiosities of participants. 

Opportunities for improvement from the 2022-23 school year included: 

  • Operations: There were some operational challenges that each of the sites navigated during the first year of the grant. Staffing posed a challenge to several sites at the beginning of the program year. Additionally, as Site Coordinators began developing partnerships with community organizations and establishing roles and responsibilities, community partner meetings continued to be under development. 
  • Data measures: In terms of grant goals/objectives and data availability, there was misalignment between some of the grant objectives and the reality of available and accessible datasets.  
  • Regular Attendance: As regular attendance continues to be a primary goal of the 21st CCLC program, data from the 2022-23 school indicated that this may be an area of opportunity moving forward. None of the 21st CCLC sites met the objectives for proportion of students enrolled or proportion of regular attendees among program participants. 


Evaluation results inform several recommendations for future programming: 

  1. Review staffing resources for the upcoming year: All 21st CCLC Site Coordinators shared that staffing served as a limitation during the start of the program year. Whether related to having physical staff present or staff capacity in relation to program size, each site should consider how to retain or recruit staff early on to support smooth programming in 2023-24. 
  2. Continue to develop and create new community partnerships: While each site established community partnerships in 2022-23, it is imperative that programs continue to nourish and develop these relationships. Additionally, site coordinators should continue to structure and facilitate community partner meetings moving forward. 
  3. Realign objectives and data measures: Due to misalignment between available datasets, several analyses to track progress towards objectives could not be completed. Site Coordinators and the Expanded Learning Program Director should consider reevaluating the objectives in consultation with available datasets. This will help support consistent analyses and allow for year-to-year comparisons. 
  4. Connect with and encourage students to attend program regularly: Regular attendance is a key program objective for students to benefit from the program. Because of this, Site Coordinators should deepen their understanding of what attracts students to attend the program.