Data Spotlight Award Winner: DC SCORES
DC SCORES inspires youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference through daily after-school and summer programming, which combines soccer, poetry, and service-learning. The model helps students improve their fitness levels, develop self-expression, and establish community connections through service projects. DC SCORES hires and trains DC public school teachers to run the program, providing each student with access to a trusted mentor. The first site of its kind, the organization has now expanded to 14 cities under the national umbrella of America SCORES.
THE RAISE DC GOAL
- Every child graduates from high school
With limited staff bandwidth to both operate existing systems and develop new sites, DC SCORES needed to align desired outcomes with user-friendly rigorous measurement tools, coach training, and coach supports to push performance improvement and ensure program quality as the organization scaled in size to serve nearly double the number of low-income youth.
DC SCORES addresses core factors that predict students most at risk of dropping out: poor attendance, social isolation/negative peer influence, and a lack of extracurriculars. Through a low-budget set of Google Drive tools, DC SCORES collects a unique mix of data, including physical fitness assessments, parent and coach surveys, and attendance logs. The organization utilizes student pre- and post-surveys to measure attitudinal changes based on its program model toward fitness and nutrition, school engagement, self esteem, and a sense of belonging and community. Evaluation takes place at the beginning and end of the spring and fall season and at the end of the winter and summer seasons. DC SCORES tracks daily attendance and ongoing program quality via an online coach portal, which is tied to its site visit/program support system.
DC SCORES also cross-references data daily, including student registration/attendance data provided by coaches with site visit and game day stats to make sure students are coming consistently. They also capture and use real-time program quality data by observing and sharing outputs such as field preparation, time of arrival to the field, and the presence of well-maintained equipment. This data informs how DC SCORES targets approaches to schools and supports they provide, using a red-yellow-green support category system. High-performing sites are singled out to provide models for training and mentoring lower-performing sites. DC SCORES also uses this data to provide resources and training to its coaches.
During the 2014-15 school year, 72% of participants enrolled improved their Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile, and 78% of participants categorized at the beginning of the program as "needs improvement" improved their BMI percentile. After 12 weeks of DC SCORES, 86% of participants said they liked school and 99% said they were confident they would graduate from high school. Additionally, after 12 weeks, 93% of participants said they had a positive attitude about themselves and 96% of participants felt a part of their community.