A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Montana State Evaluation Report 21st Century Community Learning Centers: 2017-18 Annual Report

Year Published: 2019

A 2019 evaluation of Montana’s 21st CCLC programs found that students participating in the programs made academic, behavioral, and social and emotional gains. Based on teacher reports, 95 percent of students participating in the programs maintained or improved their academic performance, and a majority of students improved their class participation (62 percent), homework completion (59 percent), and conflict resolution skills (59 percent). Overall, 98 percent of program participants advanced to the next grade level or graduated on time. Both students and parents reported overall positive perceptions of the program’s impact on engagement in learning.

Program Name: Montana 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Program Description:

Montana’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program, which receives federal funding through the 21st CCLC Initiative, provides afterschool and summer academic enrichment opportunities for children at high-poverty and low-performing schools throughout the state. During the 2017-18 program year, 79 grantees operated 142 centers across the state, serving 13,915 students during the school year and 6,110 students during the summer.  

Scope of the Evaluation: Statewide

Program Type: Afterschool

Location: Montana

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Program Demographics:

During the 2017-18 program year, 65 percent of students were eligible for the Free or Reduced Price Lunch program, higher than the state average of 45 percent. 9 percent of students were identified as receiving special education services. Regarding race and ethnicity, 70 percent of participants identified as White, followed by 23 percent who identified as American Indian, 3 percent who identified as multiracial, 3 percent who identified as Hispanic; and 1 percent who identified as African American. 

Evaluator: Resendez, M., JEM & R, LLC.

Evaluation Methods:

This comprehensive evaluation includes both process measures—program implementation, program quality, and program intensity—and outcome measures—measures of behavior and performance. Types of data collected include program attendance, activities offered, frequency of activities, satisfaction, standardized test scores, grades, school attendance, and rates of disciplinary infractions. Outcome data was collected from students, parents, staff, administrators, and teachers, as well as academic and program records.  

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Summary of Outcomes:

A statewide evaluation of Montana’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers found that students participating in the programs made academic, behavioral, and social and emotional gains. Teacher reports indicate that 75 percent of students improved their academic performance, and overall, 95 percent of students either improved or maintained their performance. Additionally, teachers reported that 98 percent of students were promoted to the next grade level.

Teachers reported improvements in student engagement, behaviors, and social and emotional skills among 21st CCLC participants, with 62 percent of students improving their class participation, 59 percent improving their homework completion, and 52 percent improving their classroom behavior. Further, 59 percent of students improved their conflict resolution skills based on teacher perceptions.  

Based on student perceptions, it was found that 90 percent of students felt supported by staff in their program, 86 percent of students felt safe, and 79 percent of students felt connected to their peers. Seventy-two percent of students felt that they had personal control over their behavior and the future. Students also noted additional program impacts, including helping them feel happy (69 percent), getting along well with others (61 percent), and doing better at school (57 percent).

The evaluation examined the impact of participation levels on student achievement. It was found that students who regularly attended (30 days or more) had significantly higher rates of reading and math proficiency compared to non-regular attendees.

Parents of 21st CCLC participants view programs in a positive light, with strong majorities reporting that since their child began their 21st CCLC program, their child has become interested in new areas (74 percent), has a more positive attitude toward school (67 percent), is better able to get along with other children (66 percent), gained insight about themselves and their future goals (61 percent), and improved their school grades (54 percent). 

Date Added: June 30, 2021