Debrief of the City Summer Programs 2017

September 11, 2017

Meeting at 500 Market Street to debrief the evaluative findings of the City Summer Programs 2017, Friday September 8, 2017 11 am - 12 pm 


In attendance: 

Mollie Parsons, Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Matthew Contos, SITE Santa Fe
Molly Timmins, VISTA leader, Santa Fe Birth to Career/Mayor’s Cabinet
Adria Winfield, Extended Ed VISTA, Santa Fe Birth to Career/Mayor’s Cabinet
Lisa Noriega, Water Conservation Office
Shannon Bay, Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Julie Sanchez, City of Santa Fe
Kathleen Doll (via phone)
Katherine Courtney, Santa Fe Community Foundation
Elysia Poon, School for Advanced Research  
Leslie Fagre, Museum of International Folk Art


  1. Kathleen Doll began by giving a review of the summer project:

  • Planning of the programs began in April

  • Gathered much data

  • Evaluated new educated program put in place by city of Santa Fe

  • The purpose reviewing the summer program is exploratory, not punitive in any way, all about improvement

  • Implementation

  • Youth participation during 6 weeks of programming

  • Engagement level, knowledge retention

  • Attendance – if the program impacted attendance, future career ideas

  • Surveys to all program sites, and weekly at Sweeney Elementary

  • Three different time points, groups of students

  • Satisfaction surveys

  • Kathleen gave a shout out to VISTAs for their work on the program and also to Mollie Parsons

2Findings of report, which went out this week

  • Report is 70+ pages so only high-level findings were presented

  • Program implementation – on paper vs. what actually happened

  • Curriculum planning – done ahead of time

  • Inconsistences in ages of participants; org 9-10-11-12 two groups 9-10; 11-12. Not as planned – students young as 7 and old as 13 created strain on educators

  • Attendance inconsistent – hoped for same students every week but sometimes students only came two days/week; this created chaos

  • Communication issues between Sweeney and CEN – emails sent, unclear of expectations of CEN, times, etc.

  • Professionalism issues with Sweeny site staff noted by CEN and VISTAs.  Staffing issues a concern

  • Participation – didn’t get as rich data as hoped; didn’t take attendance in each class every day; students may not have gone to program they were supposed to

  • Why youth are coming – parental influence – cost effective for activities/care while parents are at work

  • Students left during field trips to do other activities, not educational ones

  • Sweeney schedule and CEN schedule had discrepancies

  • Youth experience – great data – youth engagement – pretty high in activities once students actually involved; CEN facilitators excellent in engaging students if not on track

  • Students seemed to highly enjoy the program across all levels and learned new things each week – weekly breakdowns in each level/organization

  • Interviews showed low levels of knowledge retention – Qs could have been more exploratory and gleaned more pertinent info

  • Students shared memorable experiences – interesting to read through – showed high fidelity to what CEN intended

  • Richest data: positive facilitator/student relationships formed. Students felt supported, safe, cared for, treated fairly; 70%, sometimes 100%

  • Positive peer relationships formed – came out in interviews. One student felt terrified, anxious @ beginning; interviewed during final week, totally different -- new friends, more confident

  • Mollie suggested reframing knowledge retention Qs. Specific goals we want them to reach/remember

  • Youth attitude – unfortunately, no conclusions about how youth felt; survey design pre-imposed – measured at begin and end – Sweeny site didn’t fill out post-survey – the group we’re really looking at

  • Better attitude toward school, future careers – overall – but no data from Sweeney regarding this

  • Communication needs to be better with Sweeney in future – they didn’t give out surveys

  • Molly suggested perhaps VISTAs could do surveys Sweeney next time; at minimum – pre and post surveys

  • Kathleen didn’t have a parent photo release for students –  look to do next year

  • Julie said there will be a different city supervisor for summer program next summer. This person will also oversee after-school programs

  • Graphs, charts, percentages, etc. are in report


3. ​Recommendations for future

  • Program implementation

  • Post-feedback survey

  • More comprehensive curricula should be employed. Pre-plan activities and key concepts to share with students

  • Learning objectives

  • CEN facilitators shouldn’t count on having same students each week – so many inconsistencies – fam vacations, e.g.

  • Site staffing – improve training. Some issues at Sweeney staff site – lack of professionalism – training could focus more on engaging students/engaging with students

  • How to partner with and support outside organizations

  • Interpersonal skills – how facilitators/VISTAs were greeted/checked in – troubling at Sweeney

  • Some CEN folks said prefer to bring own staff – may not be feasible for all organizations

  • Communication – as mentioned, Julie says there will be a dedicated person next summer – also need to be a CEN liaison who can work directly with the site. Could insure smoother program implementation, relationships with sites

  • Schedule ahead of time to align/integrate school and CEN schedules; seemed antagonistic at Sweeney

  • How do people feel about comprehensive theme for next summer (Mollie)?  Matthew: perhaps overarching broad theme (e.g. nature) – could be hard to meet goals/learning objectives

  • What is feasible with attendance issues?

  • Shannon – How was attendance communicated to parents? Stress being there M-F (of one week) instead of entire six weeks. Rather than own volunteers important to ensure site members role model good behavior. (Matthew) – Can do trainings together to get on track; more collaboratively

  • Mollie – be clear on activities and not repeat them; Could have a topic to incorporate embedded skills – e.g. writing

  • Matthew implemented some behaviors that carried through during the entire program

  • Journal activity could do this ^^

  • Younger kids struggle with writing (Matthew); clarity to follow through; age appropriate

  • 12/13-year-olds bored when at younger age level; vice versa – middle school counselors in training could help 12/13 year-olds feel empowered and responsible rather than bored. Mentorship

  • Youth participation – put into group activities – may or may not have been interested. Youth should intentionally sign up – all six weeks or week by week – would help with activities planning.  Students could sign up for what they’re interested in – help with engagement

  • Final recommendation – more evaluations – necessary to see year by year improvements. How played out – effect to which they were delivered. Better access to same students at all stages – better to track

  • Observation protocol adjusted

  • Targeted evaluations at all sites to improve results

  • Pilot years hard – Kathleen impressed

What went well – VISTAs taking on the evaluations instead of CENs.  Thinking about what you’re being evaluated on – being thorough – documentation valuable

What could be Improved upon – figure out what knowledge students are retaining – Students lump all activities together – should separate.  Kids were interviewed who didn’t do program – lessened validity of data.  Only interview students we know are doing the program for sure. Can solve with pre-registration option.


Mayor Gonzalez has been a big proponent of summer program but he’s not running for reelection. Unsure how next Mayor will be

Julie – would like to do with program again; recognize problems at Sweeney. Would like to explore again for next year. Themes, make note to allow young people to select sites. Large amount of families served are low-income; incentivize parents to have kids go all week.  Could explore refund to parents if students attend a set number of days

The position for a dedicated person for the program next summer and after-school programs is posted on city website.  

Let’s have a preliminary planning in November for next summer.

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Santa Fe Community Educators Network is a project of the Santa Fe Birth to Career Collaboration, a collective impact initiative supported by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.