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Both research and practice have demonstrated that what youth need to succeed is more engaging, rigorous and supportive learning environments. The Denver Afterschool Alliance recognizes that schools and afterschool programs share responsibility for young people’s educational, social, and emotional development and supports collaborations focused on improving outcomes for Denver youth. In this section we will address the following areas that impact schools:

The discussion of student success in school is frequently limited to academic achievement. However, data shows that when examining student success, it is vital to think more broadly. Afterschool programs not only provide students with academic support, but a safe, nurturing environment that can help bolster the social and emotional development that are critical to academic success. Further, afterschool offers students important enrichment activities that they might not otherwise have access to, but that can help promote engagement, such as art, music, world cultures and sports.

To learn more about how afterschool programs support student success by preventing drop outs, promoting middle school improvement, supporting English Language Learners and more, visit The Afterschool Alliance website.

What is the Community Partnership System?
Launched in the Fall of 2013, the Community Partnership System (CPS) is a new, dynamic data platform that will provide DPS school leaders with greater access to the community providers serving students. The CPS will also help school leaders have a deeper understanding of all the services partners provide. At the same time, CPS may provide partners access to data about the DPS students they currently serve in order to improve the quality of their programming and better align with each school’s mission and vision. 

In addition, the CPS fills a vital community need by providing parents access to a searchable Afterschool Program Locator database of available afterschool and summer programs in Denver. DPS Parents can find the Afterschool Program Locator in the parent portal.

Why Schools Should Become Part of CPS

Marketing and collaboration 
  • Help families find afterschool programs in your building. Schools are encouraged to reach out to all afterschool programs that operate within in their building to become a part of CPS.
  • Quickly and easily post requests for community partners to provide services in your building.
  • Allow access to CPS for other users within your school who work most closely with Community Partners.
Better connections to schools
  • Search for organizations that offer academic supports and enrichment programs that could benefit your students.
  • Easily access a list of all organizations that are currently serving your students 
How to Become Part of CPS
  • In the Fall of 2013, DPS school leaders received an email from The Denver Afterschool Alliance partner, the Civic Canopy with a user name and password
  • Use that information, to go to to log in
  • To authorize additional users in your school or to have your login information resent, email the name and email address to Heather Intres, DPS Community Partnership Coordinator at

With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards underway, afterschool programs can play a role in supporting student learning related to the standards because their flexible environment encourages more active and hands-on learning, with direct connections to workforce and college access opportunities. To learn more about the role that afterschool programs can play in supporting the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and how to work collaboratively with the afterschool programs in your building check out the following resources:

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #17: The Common Core Standards: What do they Mean for Out-of-School Time? - This brief shares examples of out-of-school time (OST) programs and systems responding to the Common Core, and recommends how the OST field might think about alignment opportunities.

Building Mastery of the Common Core State Standards by Expanding Learning With Community Stakeholder Partnerships – This article highlights how the promotion of opportunities for combined professional development and sharing among afterschool staff and school staff is critical to the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Afterschool and summer programs can play a major role in combating both childhood hunger and obesity by offering healthy meals and snacks and encouraging physical activity.
To ensure that Denver children and youth don't experience hunger due to a lack of food, many afterschool programs participate in the Summer Food Program and the After School Meals and Snacks Program. Snacks and meals are low in fat, preservative free, always come with fresh fruit and provide children with up to 5 food groups. Meals can be breakfast, lunch, supper, or a snack.

To find food summer and after school meal program locations:  Contact Hunger Free Colorado - 1-855-855-4626 (toll free) or

Afterschool Programs: Bureaucratic Barriers and Strategies for Success -  This after-school toolkit from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)  is complete with resources and tools that school leaders and their staff can use to plan, implement and sustain a quality after-school program.  The toolkit also contains a DVD, which features urban, suburban, and rural superintendents commenting on barriers to afterschool programming, promising practices, and advice to other superintendents on overcoming these barriers.

Afterschool Alliance Issue Briefs - The nation’s leading voice for afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments.  They have created a variety of briefs that demonstrate the connections between afterschool and education topics such as extending the school day and how afterschool supports academics.  Each brief presents the research available on the topic, provides examples of promising afterschool programs and makes the case for greater investment in afterschool.

Beyond the Bell® Start-Up Guide – This guide is a practical resource that provides a roadmap to help create an afterschool program that is geared toward addressing the unique needs of the children in your community. It is intended to help you think through the beginning stages of creating an afterschool program.  A variety of tips, tools, and resources are provided and discussed.

Collaborating to Build a New Day for Learning: A Toolkit for Principals, Afterschool, and Community Leaders – Developed by the National Association of Elementary School Principles (NAESP), this tool kit is designed for principals, out-of school time providers, and community leaders to promote effectively collaboration by providing ideas and strategies for discussing the major issues surrounding time and learning in today’s world.

Leading After-School Learning Communities: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do - This resource offers a new perspective on the purpose of afterschool, encouraging principals and collaborators to reinvent programs to focus on creative, productive supplementary activities. In addition, the guide provides suggestions for how to implement such programs, how to involve the community and culture of the school, and how to evaluate the current and future effectiveness of afterschool programs. The information is practical and clear and encourages a broad vision of afterschool success.

Learning In and Out of School in Diverse Environments - This report highlights set of four principles that educational practitioners, policymakers, and future researchers could use to understand and build on the learning that occurs in the homes and community cultures of diverse students with the hope that the achievement gap between marginalized students and mainstream students can be reduced. Informal learning environments like those similar to what is found in afterschool programs are highlighted. 

Thinking Outside the Clock: Planners Link Afterschool Programs to Classroom Curriculum - This brief overview of afterschool and out-of-school time addresses the current state of afterschool, common barriers and provides guidance for creating and strengthening the link between school and afterschool programs.