NDPC Now Offers Virtual Program Assessment (VPA) for Alternative Schools and Programs

With school shutdowns and re-openings, alternative schools will become more important and leaders should consider virtually reassessing those programs. The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) now offers a Virtual Program Assessment (VPA) of alternative schools and programs. The NDPC Virtual Program Assessment provides expert analysis, consultation, and direction for the local school system to improve alternative programs at a lower cost than through an on-site Program Assessment and Review (PAR).  The Virtual Program Assessment process consists of the following steps:

  • Pre-visit consultation and planning with system and school leaders 
  • Pre-visit collection of data and contextual information
  • Online pre-visit survey of program staff, leaders, and designated stakeholders on perceptions and activities relative to Focus Areas of Improvement
  • Analysis of data and survey findings by NDPC alternative school consultant
  • Virtual interviews with selected leaders to refine conclusions from online surveys
  • Development of draft VPA Report to address findings, areas for further investigation, recommendations, and next steps 
  • Review of draft VPA Report with system leadership
  • Delivery of VPA Report to address findings, areas for further investigation, recommendations, resources, and suggested next steps.

The Virtual Program Assessment joins the NDPC’s longstanding on-site Program Assessment and Review (PAR) for alternative schools and programs which is also conducted by a team of NDPC alternative education experts. The on-site PAR process is customized to local needs and context but typically consists of the following steps:

  • Pre-visit consultation and planning with system and school leaders 
  • Pre-visit collection of data and contextual information
  • On-line pre-visit survey of program staff, leaders, and designated stakeholders on perceptions relative to Focus Areas for Improvement
  • Pre-visit analysis of data and survey findings by NDPC Team
  • Site visit by NDPC Team for observations, interviews, and to collect data to inform identification of improvement areas and recommendations (typically 3 to 5 days)
  • Exit conference by NDPC Team with leadership to review and verify preliminary findings 
  • Post-visit analysis of observations and findings by NDPC Team
  • Post-visit conference with leadership to review draft final report
  • Delivery of PAR Report to address findings, areas for improvement, recommendations, resources, and suggested next steps.

The cost of on-site PAR service for alternative schools and programs is dependent on the size, location, and complexity of programs to be assessed.  Contact Todd Daggett at tdaggett@spnetwork.org to discuss your school or districts need for a  Virtual Program Assessment or an on-site Program Assessment and Review for alternative schools and programs or email the National Dropout Prevention Center at ndpc@dropoutprevention.org.