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Afterschool Professional Learning Strands

ISSAP_Nov8Vermont Afterschool provides training and technical assistance to 21st Century Community Learning Centers via the Afterschool Professional Learning Strands (APLS). This intensive professional learning community brings afterschool leaders together around specific topics or “strands” for a focused experience. Each APLS is facilitated by an instructor with expertise in the area, and all strands incorporate both group experiences with individualized coaching that takes place between the instructor and afterschool participant. APLS require participants to engage in the material and group learning process by attending all sessions. Each strand expects participants to invest in program quality through a change in personal practice, policy, or completing a program pilot.


8:00-8:30 a.m. | Breakfast
8:30-9:00 a.m. | Morning Welcome
9:00-1:00 p.m. | Afterschool Professional Learning Strands
1:00-2:00 p.m. | Lunch (provided)
2:00-3:30 p.m. | Full Group: State Announcements & Quality Improvement


  • Workshop 1: September 21, 2018
  • Workshop 2: December 7, 2018
  • Workshop 3: May 10, 2019


All workshops will be held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. Each strand will meet during the workshop dates above as well as receive individual coaching support, access to online modules, and other teaching techniques according to each unique strand.

2018-2019 STRANDS:

1. STEM Pathways
Coach: Katrina Kretschmar and guests
This strand focuses on six identified rural 21st CCLC programs that will implement STEM Pathways. STEM Pathways is designed to engage teens in workforce development skills, STEM quality instruction strategies, and career exploration of teaching and engineering by being trained to lead STEM engineering lessons with elementary youth at local afterschool site.
Note: This strand is open to pre-selected participants only.

2. Youth Development and Business/Community Partnerships in Afterschool
Coach: Suzanne Birdsall-Stone
In this strand, participants will explore, and put into practice, key elements for community partnership building, authentic collaborations and deepening youth development pathways. The goal is to engage in foundational system building to support a culminating workforce development and afterschool project identified and developed by each program. Topics will include: businesses/community organizations/education partnerships, co-instruction, embedding social emotional learning into programming, the role of advisory boards, youth voice/leadership, youth development, and assessment. Local, regional and national presenters will share expertise in these key areas, including program models. This strand is appropriate for grades K-12 with the content being tailored to different ages. For example, a yarn store could partner with elementary school youth learn to knit blankets for newborns at the hospital; middle schoolers could co-plan their summer program with teachers and business partners; and high school students can link to anytime/anywhere initiatives for credit. Programs will receive ongoing TA and a site visit by the coach. Each session will include peer networking and shared expertise.

3. New Directors
Coach: Nicole Miller
In this yearlong strand, participants will take a dive deep into the roles and responsibilities of being a 21st CCLC director. The goal will be to provide a solid foundation for new 21C directors to ensure confidence in all areas required for high performance in the first year of directing a 21C program – staffing, program design, conflicts, data, assessment and more. Key elements of this strand include establishing or improving communication with your schools and community program design, staff management, administrative tasks and tools to build a sustainable program. In addition to clear skill-building work, participants in this strand will begin to develop relationships with other directors across the state, a critical strategy for peer networking and support.
Note: This strand is for identified new directors of 21C programs only.

4. Youth Voice and Prevention in Afterschool
Coaches: Guest experts; facilitated by Sara Forward
This strand will provide case examples from experts around our state who are leading prevention and youth voice efforts in various forms and at various levels. Guest coaches will lead us through specific topics and provide an overview of their work with children and youth in each live session at Lake Morey. Then coaches will be available for consultation around particiants’ specific needs as you make goals for your own staff and program. Potential topics include child and youth mental health, family and community engagement in prevention, adolescent sexual health and pregnancy prevention, inclusion and special education plans in afterschool, creating gender-affirming communities in out-of-school time, and acknowledging unconscious bias in working with diverse populations. Strand will also include networking and best-practice sharing with peers in the field at every session.  

Supporting Youth in Trauma
Coach: Dr. Marissa Coleman

LEAD 1.0
Coaches: Tricia Pawlik-York and Alissa Faber
Leadership and quality in afterschool programs are inseparable; for programs to succeed and become sustainable, they need strong leadership at all levels. This four-part series is for leaders of licensed programs in the afterschool field in Vermont and is specifically designed for experienced Directors and Site Coordinators who are looking for that next level of growth and development. The L.E.A.D. program will provide afterschool professionals with the tools to hone their strengths and develop new skills to take on more advanced leadership roles in the future. Participants will develop and improve their leadership skills, while enhancing their confidence in their abilities. Each session will include a training session, a guest speaker, lunch and time to network for a total of 16 hours of professional development.

NOTE: cost is $250 per participant. The group will meet September 19, 2018 and May 10, 2019 at Lake More; January 18, 2019 at Colchester; and March 18, 2019 at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

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