A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Montana State Evaluation Report: 2015-16 Annual Report

Year Published: 2017

A statewide evaluation of Montana’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs examined the impact of 21st CCLC programs on student academic performance, student behaviors, and positive youth assets. Surveyed teachers reported that 69.3 percent of students regularly attending the program maintained or increased their in-class math grades, while 71.2 percent increased their in-class reading grades. In addition, teachers noticed an increase in the socio-emotional skills of their students, improvements in conflict resolution (64.6 percent) and peer-to-peer relations (62.8 percent).  

Program Name: Montana 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Program Description:

Montana’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program, which is federally-funded through the 21st CCLC Initiative, provides academic enrichment opportunities for children at high-poverty and low-performing schools. Across the state of Montana, 79 grantees operated 149 centers serving approximately 12,559 students during the 2015-16 school year and 5,879 during the summer. 

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: Montana

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

All schools served by Montana’s 21st CCLC programs are Title I eligible, meaning more than 40 percent of students qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch. In Montana, 57 percent of program participants qualified for free or reduced price lunch, 7.1 percent of program participants were identified to have special needs, and 1.4 percent had limited English proficiency. With regard to race and ethnicity, 70.9 percent of students identified as White, 21.5 percent as American Indian, 3.2 percent as Hispanic, 1 percent as African American, 0.8 percent as Asian or Pacific Islander, and 2.6 percent as two or more races.

*Demographic characteristics were made available on a semester basis rather than a yearly basis. Since the majority of participants are represented in the spring 2016 data, the spring semester data is used to represent the school year. 

Program Website: https://opi.mt.gov/Leadership/Academic-Success/After-School-Programs

Evaluator: Resendez, M. JEM & R, LLC

Evaluation Methods:

This evaluation is based on information from the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Performance Report (APR) as well as academic outcomes data from teacher survey results. Academic outcome indicators for regular attendees are solely based on teacher surveys since academic state assessment data were not available for the 2015-16 school year. Participants who attend a center for 30 days or more are considered to be “regular attendees.” 

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

The evaluation of Montana’s 21st CCLC programs showed improvement in the academic performance of regular program participants. Surveyed teachers reported that 69.3 percent of program participants maintained or increased their class grade in math, while 71.2 percent increased their class grade in reading. Teachers also reported that overall, 72.2 percent of students regularly participating in 21st CCLC programs improved their academic performance. The majority of regular program participants were also better able to complete homework to their teacher’s satisfaction (63 percent) and participate in class (62.1 percent).

In addition, teachers noticed an increase in the socio-emotional skills of their students. More than half of students improved their overall behavior in class (59.9 percent). More specifically, 67.4 percent of students improved on seeking assistance when needed, 64.6 percent of students demonstrated improvements in conflict resolution, and 62.8 percent improved in peer-to-peer relations.

Teachers reported that a strong majority of students regularly participating in 21st CCLC programs saw improvements in their level of engagement in school, such as coming to school motivated to learn (60.5 percent), being attentive in class (59.2 percent), and their involvement in school activities (56.2 percent).

Overall, classroom teachers perceived 21st CCLC programs as valuable. The vast majority of teachers felt the program is good for their students (93.1 percent), would recommend their 21st CCLC program to other principals (90.3 percent), and agreed that the program supports student academic success (86.1 percent).