Part Two – Unique aspects of managing after school programs

Excerpts from Part Four of ‘Mastering Your Role as a Nonprofit Manager in the 21st Century’.

” Oversight and joint management.

• There is an oversight role for the institution’s on-site managers. This is due to the agency’s after school program having an on-site (recipient of service) manager to whom the agency’s staff are accountable.

In the case of afterschool programs it’s either the principal or staff the principal identifies as the school liaison.

It is a Best Practice for the after school site manager to have professional relationships with all administrators, teachers and key staff and to have positive, engaged connections with after school site staff (agency, school). Ongoing regular communications that include a focus on problem identification and are solution oriented are a best practice example for this section.

The agency’s on site senior manager should work to maintain partnerships with all the school’s administrative staff. Since the same principals may not be at the site (replacement, retirement) each year.

New principals may not have experience with and an understanding of the nature and the afterschool program at that school. Without these other administrative relationships, the site manager becomes the primary advocate for the program’s ability to continue at the school.

Chain of Command. To be effective, managers need to have clear understanding of principal v. agency manager’s roles related to the after school program at the school, to minimize conflicting messages to agency and school staff.

This can be addressed in any partnership agreement/M.O.U. but it is the responsibility of the site managers to ensure clear, consistent communication and accountability issues are identified and addressed quickly. Any significant delay in responding to these types of concerns may negatively impact the agency’s ability to provide programs/services to the school site.

As an example, principals will usually have the authority to remove any program from their site. While the specific process will vary in different districts, the agency providing services to the school must understand that they have been invited and can be uninvited by the principal”.

After school site manager’s external partnerships.

I believe that critical thinking and thought leadership opportunities are present for managers of after school  programs.

One example of these partnerships is the contracting for activities for the three main components (academic, recreation and enrichment) of after school programs.

After school site managers have an the ability to engage the community as they shape the projects and activities that are provided through the after school program.

One big picture question for these managers is ‘ what is their vision for these connections and partnerships’?

Understanding your managment philosophy along with your vision can provide you with a foundation as you ‘work out the details’ and craft your approach.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this…

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