3. Madison-area Out-of-School Time (MOST)
How does it work?
Local interest in developing an Out-of-School Time (OST) system in Madison began to gain traction in 2012. The City's Education Committee had expressed interest in testing an OST system for two elementary and middle schools in Madison. A turning point came during the 2013 budgeting process when a new position in City of Madison's Community Development Division was created to assess youth needs and opportunities in the Brentwood Neighborhood. The idea was that this new position would start in Brentwood, and then become a broader role, looking at OST needs throughout the City.
The Madison OST project really began to take shape toward the end of 2012 however, when Mayor Soglin met with a host of neighborhood center directors. Together, they envisioned a Madison in which all children and youth were within walking distance of out-of-school-time activities. The Mayor encouraged center directors to take a lead role in developing a system that would fulfill this goal throughout the city. To that end, a broad group of community center directors and other OST providers came together throughout the next few years to outline and implement a plan. There was extensive research on other city OST systems done during this process, along with crucial community conversations to get feedback. In addition, a coalition of City and community stakeholders attended a conference hosted by the Wallace Foundation in Baltimore on building OST systems.
After countless hours of work among many partners, MOST was finally launched in June 2016 with a one-stop-shop program finder on their website.
- Collective Vision and Goals – Develop a common vision and shared goals across Madison-area out-of-school time organizations, schools, local government, families, communities, and funding organizations in order to:
o Facilitate stronger coordination and collaborationo Support diverse, high-quality youth out-of-school time programming
- Information Collection and Sharing – Develop information systems for sharing data in order to:
o Improve access to existing programs and resources for youth, families, and communitieso Identify barriers to program accesso Provide real-time data for better decision-making and support to youth
- Program Quality Improvement – Develop a system that supports out-of-school time program quality improvement in order to:
o Establish collective definitions of effective practices and program qualityo Build the capacity of organizations that offer out-of-school time programso Improve positive outcomes for youth, families, and communities.
- The MOST Coalition consists of a broad array of stakeholders invested in children & youth success and working to create and sustain a city-wide Out-of-School Time system. This includes representatives from Out-of-School Time program organizations, MMSD, the County, the City, and other community stakeholders.
- OST stakeholders serve on several workgroups to address issues in the areas of elementary access, program quality and continuous improvement, data and management information systems, communications and strategic planning. It works between Coalition meetings to advance the MOST Initiative. Other subgroups form as needed. It also acts as a liaison between the Coalition and the City of Madison Education Committee.
- The City of Madison Education Committee supports the efforts of MOST as the formal link to elected bodies and local government for policy and resource recommendations.