The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 requires that states assure all children have a fair and equal opportunity to reach proficiency on state academic achievement standards and assessments by providing high-quality instruction to students most in need of these services. To meet federal requirements set forth by NCLB, the Louisiana Department of Education provides academic, recreational and enrichment services that promote social development to students at risk for academic failure by providing a safe and nurturing environment during non-school hours.
From 2005 to 2008, the Louisiana Department of Education contracted with the Picard Center to evaluate the state’s after-school programs, with the Picard Center providing research, implications and recommendations regarding best practices for after-school programs. Research methodologies included a quasi-experimental design of quantitative and qualitative measures for evaluation. Also included in the evaluation design were measures for both academic and behavioral impacts of students who attended after-school programs.
Since 2006, the Picard Center has collaborated with other agencies that have similar interests in providing quality after-school instruction and enrichment to students in need of additional services.