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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET tion, and program improvement. The instrument has been used in a wide variety of settings, including school-age, community-based, camp, drop-in, and peer/adult mentoring programs. The Youth PQA is a dual-purpose instrument, effective for high-stakes accountability and research purposes, and user friendly enough to be used for program self-assessment. It is both an evaluation tool and a program learning tool. The tools areas are listed as follows: 1. engagement 2. interactions 3. supportive environment 4. safe environment 5. youth voice and governance 6. professional learning community Quality Assurance System (QAS) QAS was developed by Foundations, Inc., to help school-age programs conduct quality assessment and continuous improvement planning. It is an online tool designed to be general enough for use in a range of school and community-based programs serving children grades kindergarten through twelve. It focuses on quality at the site level. Programs using the QAS start with an initial assessment from which observers identify areas of strength as well as those that need improvement. Once the assessment is fin- ished, the tool helps develop specific improvement strategies. Foundations recommends that the QAS be conducted twice a year, at the beginning of the program year and midway through the year. The tool is based on seven building blocks: 1. program planning and improvement 2. leadership 3. facility and program space 4. health and safety 5. staffing 6. family and community connections 7. social climate National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Standards for Quality School-Age Care This assessment describes the practices that lead to stimulating, safe, and supportive programs for children and youth ages five to fourteen during their out-of-school time. The NAA Standards for Quality School-Age Care contains concrete examples, guiding questions for staff discussion, a glossary, and an appendix. The NAA Standards can be used to guide a program through a quality assessment, setting goals, and determining need for staff development and provides a plan for continuous improvement. For information about the ASQ self-study process, contact the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Appendix C • 271