The After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program is the result of the 2002 voter-approved initiative, Proposition 49. This proposition amended California Education Code (EC) 8482 to expand and rename the former Before and After School Learning and Safe Neighborhood Partnerships Program. The ASES Program funds the establishment of local after school education and enrichment programs. These programs are created through partnerships between schools and local community resources to provide literacy, academic enrichment and safe constructive alternatives for students in kindergarten through ninth grade (K-9). Funding is designed to: (1) maintain existing before and after school program funding; and (2) provide eligibility to all elementary and middle schools that submit quality applications throughout California. The current funding level for the ASES program is $550 million.
Purpose and Objectives
The ASES program provides an opportunity to merge school reform strategies with community resources. The goal is to support local efforts to improve assistance to students and broaden the base of support for education in a safe, constructive environment. It is the intent of ASES program legislation to encourage schools and school districts to provide safe and educationally enriching alternatives for children and youth during non-school hours. The program creates incentives for establishing locally driven before and after school education and enrichment programs.
The ASES program involves collaboration among parents, youth, representatives from schools and governmental agencies, such as local law enforcement and local parks and recreation departments, and individuals from community-based organizations and the private sector. Programs are created through partnerships between schools and local community resources to provide literacy, academic enrichment, and safe, constructive alternatives for students in grades K-9.
The ASES program must be aligned with, and not be a repeat of, the content of regular school day and other extended learning opportunities. A safe physical and emotional environment, as well as opportunities for relationship building, must be provided. After school programs must consist of the two elements below and ASES program leaders work closely with school site principals and staff to integrate both elements with the school's curriculum, instruction, and learning support activities.
- An educational and literacy element must provide tutoring and/or homework assistance designed to help students meet state standards in one or more of the following core academic subjects: reading/language arts, mathematics, history and social studies, or science. A broad range of activities may be implemented based on local student needs and interests.
- The educational enrichment element must offer an array of additional services, programs, and activities that reinforce and complement the school’s academic program. Educational enrichment may include but is not limited to, positive youth development strategies, recreation and prevention activities. Such activities might involve the visual and performing arts, music, physical activity, health/nutrition promotion, and general recreation; career awareness and work preparation activities; community service-learning; and other youth development activities based on student needs and interests. Enrichment activities may be designed to enhance the core curriculum.
All staff members who directly supervise pupils must meet the minimum qualifications, hiring requirements, and procedures for an instructional aide in the school district. School site principals approve site supervisors for the after school program and ensure that the program maintains a pupil-to-staff member ratio of no more than 20 to 1.
A nutritious snack is provided daily to students participating in the program. The snack provided must meet the standards identified in EC Section 49430.
After School Program grantees are required to operate programs a minimum of 15 hours per week and at least until 6:00 p.m., beginning immediately upon conclusion of the regular school day. Programs must plan to operate every regular school day during the regular school year.
After School Program Attendance
It is the intent of the Legislature that elementary school pupils participate in the full day of the program every day during which pupils participate and that pupils in middle school or junior high school attend a minimum of nine hours a week and three days a week to accomplish program goals. Priority for enrollment of pupils in middle school or junior high school shall be given to pupils who attend daily.
Before School Programs
Elementary and middle school before school programs must operate for a minimum of one and one-half hours per day, or may operate up to two hours. Pupils must attend at least one-half of the daily program’s hours of operation to be counted for purposes of attendance. Middle schools may choose a flexible before school schedule designed to meet student needs and interests.
Before and/or after school programs participating in the ASES Program are required to submit annual student outcome data to the California Department of Education from local program evaluations. Data must include research-based indicators and measurable student outcomes for academic performance, attendance, and positive behavioral changes. The California Department of Education may consider the results of these evaluations when determining eligibility for three year grant renewal.