A Combination of Enrichment and Clubs- Centered Programming All of the hybrid after-school programs researched offer students both a cur- ricularly rich after-school program and diverse club offerings. The hallmark of these after-school programs is their fun-focused, choice-oriented, theme- based programming, which connects with the schools’ missions. Curricular
programming is fundamental to the programs’ success for three reasons.
First, offering an array of fun- focused, choice- oriented activities gives children the opportunity to delve into activities related to their own skills and interests and, in so doing, poten-
tially develop what may become lifelong passions.
Second, a theme- based, experiential learn- ing-centered curriculum
— often rooted in the visual arts and in science-based activi- ties — not only offers children the opportunity to “learn while doing,” but also keeps after-school students excited and engaged, particularly those who may be enrolled in the same pro- gram for as many as seven years.
Third, when the programming is rooted in a school’s mission, it not only offers students a sense of continuity with the classroom portion of the day, but it also reinforces core principles that are the foundation of all of the learning that takes place at the school.
Most clubs programs at hybrid schools are as robust as their after- school programs. They tend to offer an extensive roster of diverse options from which students of every grade can make selections two or three times a year. What is noteworthy, though, is that directors of hybrid programs know their clubs’ costs and pay very careful attention to pricing. They also do market research to determine the fees for comparable clubs and activities at other locations. The pay structure for dub instructors is also important; at hybrid schools, the direc- tors tend to pay on a per-class, not on a per-student, basis. These directors also survey families and students regu- larly both to identify potential parent instructors and to determine in which
under pressure: on monsv and mission
activities children wotdd be interested in participating.
Finally, it is worth noting that nearly all schools with hybrid after- school programs offer financial aid, thereby ensuring that all members of the school community have access to the full spectrum of after-school expe- riences available to students.