Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (PA-OST) 13: Programming and Activities: Homework Help and/or Tutoring

Children and youth receive support that enables them to complete their homework and succeed in school.
NA Homework help and/or tutoring is not a core element of the programs run by the agency.
2020 Edition




Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.
Note: Agencies that provide only homework help will complete PA-OST 13.01 through PA-OST 13.03. Agencies that provide only tutoring will complete PA-OST 13.03 and PA-OST 13.04.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Daily schedules for past month
  • Documentation of collaboration among teachers, parents, and program personnel, if applicable
  • Qualifications of tutors, if applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Children, youth, and families
  • Observe program activities
  • Review files of children and youth


PA-OST 13.01

Personnel collaborate with school day staff to develop a system for facilitating communication among teachers, parents, and program personnel regarding: 
  1. homework assignments given;
  2. materials needed to complete assignments;
  3. the amount of time expected to be spent on homework; and
  4. the ongoing progress and needs of children and youth.


COA recognizes that it may be challenging for agencies to establish systems for communicating with school-day staff regarding homework, especially when agencies serve students who attend different schools. However, agencies are expected to demonstrate that they have at least made an effort to facilitate communication with school staff.
NA The agency does not offer homework help.
Examples: Some agencies and schools may have children and youth maintain Homework Planners to record their daily assignments. These planners can also be used as tools to help children and youth prioritize their assignments, manage their time, and assess their progress.


PA-OST 13.02

Personnel play an active role during homework time by: 
  1. checking in with children and youth to make sure they understand their assignments;
  2. modeling a positive attitude towards homework;
  3. encouraging children and youth to do their best;
  4. assisting children and youth who need help; and
  5. monitoring homework quality and completion.
NA The agency does not offer homework help.
Note: When extensive one-on-one assistance is necessary a child may be in need of tutoring, as addressed in PA-OST 13.04.


PA-OST 13.03

Children and youth are helped to develop organizational and study skills that support school success, including skills related to: 
  1. organizing materials;
  2. managing time, including setting goals and making plans for accomplishing work;
  3. accessing needed information and resources;
  4. reviewing materials and taking notes, including skimming, active reading, and summarizing; 
  5. preparing for and taking tests; and
  6. evaluating their own work and progress.
Examples: One way for children and youth to learn and practice the organizational and study skills referenced in the standard is through the completion of homework.


PA-OST 13.04

Children and youth in need of extra help are connected with tutors who: 
  1. provide special assistance and instruction in specific subject areas; and
  2. are knowledgeable about both the subject area in question and strategies for helping students.
NA The agency does not offer tutoring.