Texas ACE is designed to improve student performance on state assessments, core course grades, on-time grade level advancement, school day attendance, discipline referrals, high school graduation rates, and college and career readiness.
Our Texas ACE sites currently include Clendenin, Whitaker and Sunrise Mountain elementary schools, as well as Ross and Magoffin Middle Schools. The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program is authorized by Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. The Texas 21st CCLC program operates as the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education, or Texas ACE. Texas ACE creates community learning centers that provide opportunities during non-school hours, particularly for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools and their families, for students to participate in supplemental academic and enrichment activities that help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities to reinforce and complement the regular academic program, and offers families of participating students opportunities for meaningful engagement in their children’s education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development.
All students enrolled at the Texas ACE Clubs, will participate in programming with our grant partner Creative Kids. Creative Kids Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational community-based art agency located in El Paso, Texas along the U.S./Mexico border region. Creative Kids is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that positively impact specific populations of children in the communities we serve through purposeful visual art education.
KEEP’s distinctive dance program utilizes the award-winning National Dance Institute teaching methodology and program model developed by former NYC Ballet principal dancer and MacArthur Fellow, Jacques d’Amboise. These time-tested teaching techniques are used around the country to inspire children to understand the meaning of excellence and strive to reach their full potential in everything they do. Kids Excel is a proud associate of the National Dance Institute, located in Harlem, New York.
Sylvan Learning’s STAAR Test Prep is a research-based program to improve student achievement on the STAAR test. The program includes a diagnostic test that assesses all TEKS, allowing for data driven instruction and review of specific skills in the TEKS with test-taking strategies. Practice in every lesson concludes with a times practice test that covers the skills and strategies taught in that lesson. Students demonstrate growth with comprehensive Mastery Test that matches the STAAR Assessment Framework, including the number percentage of questions representing Readiness and Supportive Standards. Our Texas ACE site coordinators will work collaboratively with school-day staff to identify students who will benefit from Sylvan’s proven methodology.
As part of our continuous improvement process, the Texas ACE clubs perform needs assessments and student satisfaction surveys, as well as an independent evaluation conducted by Helix Solutions. Helix Solutions provides an annual report or Executive Summary at the end of our grant year in July. Below are the main findings for 2019-20:
The Boys and Girls Club of El Paso (BGCEP) completed its second year of implementing the 21st CCLC program. While the program achieved some successes, it also faced some obstacles, both new and old. The program also underwent changes as it was implemented at middle schools for the first time. Specifically, Magoffin MS and Ross MS replaced Hughey ES and Crosby ES. Unfortunately, Ross MS recruited 66 students and, of those, only 14 became regular students—its regular student requirement was 100. The COVID-19 shutdown severely impacted the program, forcing it to transition from an in-person program to a remote learning one. The COVID-19 shutdown also prevented the evaluation team from analyzing the administrative data (such as grades, school day attendance, demographics, etc.) needed to compare student outcomes from this year to last year to determine whether the program had an impact. A comparison of data from a school year that was partly made of remote learning (i.e., this year) to that of a school year entirely of in-person programming would have lacked validity. While a year-over-year data comparison was not conducted due to the COVID-19 shutdown, it would not have been possible given that El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), BGCEP’s program partner, indicating early in the program year that they could not supply the evaluation team with any baseline data. That said, the Project Director is optimistic that this will not be an obstacle in the third program year, citing improved relationships with EPISD administrators. The Project Director also included the data request in the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the 2020-2021 school year (i.e., program year three)—as of this writing, the MOA was being reviewed by EPISD’s legal department.
-Attendance data suggest that at least two centers would have met the requirement of serving 100 regular students had programming not been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ross MS, however, would probably not have met its regular student requirement even if given until the end of the summer term.
-When assessing their program quality, Site Coordinators indicated that their programs are “on the right track” for the indicator of Appropriate Structure. Coordinators, however, noted safety issues, particularly unsupervised entrances and bullying.
-While the COVID-19 shutdown exposed the vulnerability of both students and families, Site Coordinators and staff became an important resource in supporting them.
-Across the cycle, the majority of student respondents believed that they benefitted from the program.
Please email our project director firstname.lastname@example.org for a full copy of the 2019-20 Executive Summary. The 2020-21 Executive Summary will be available August, 2021.