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Professional Development & Events

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Professional Development & Events


ND Afterschool Quality Coaching

April 15 – May 13, 2024

Announcing a Spring 2024 cohort of Afterschool Quality Coaching! For any supervisor overseeing staff who work with youth in out-of-school time settings, this 5-week series is offered FREE for ND programs! Mondays from 10 – 11am CT via zoom from April 15 – May 13, 2024. Interested? Contact Kristin.Knorr@k12.nd.us


ND Out-of-School Time & Early Childhood Summit

July 29 – 30, 2024

Registration open now through July 15, 2024! For early childhood & out-of-school time programs serving youth birth through age 18.

Learn More

Previously Held Events

Ready, STEM, Go! 2024

FREE virtual STEM conference for OST professionals hosted by six statewide afterschool networks, including the ND Afterschool Network

March 27-28, 2024

Gateway to Afterschool

ND Afterschool Network & North Dakota’s Gateway to Science will hold an afterschool family event as part of Lights on Afterschool, a nationwide celebration of afterschool programs. Event is free + open to youth of all ages + their favorite adults.

  • Hands-on activities from afterschool programs in the greater Bismarck/Mandan area
  • Gallery open from 4-6pm and free for all to engage in hands-on exploring
  • Free snacks from 3andMe

STEM After Hours

Are you interested in adding high-quality STEM lessons to your out-of-school time program? Join the ND Afterschool Network and the Northeast Education Services Cooperative for an interactive, research-based professional learning opportunity from September 2023 – March 2024.

2023 ND Out-of-School Time & Early Childhood Summit

The ND Afterschool Network is joining efforts with Child Care Aware of ND to host the ND Out-of-School Time & Early Childhood Summit on August 1-2, 2023!

The Summit will provide two days of in-person learning and connecting, with keynote workshops and breakout tracks for afterschool, summer learning, and early childhood providers working with youth from Birth through Grade 12.

ND Quality Standards Revision Workshop

The ND Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs are due for review in 2023. Any out-of-school time stakeholder in ND is invited to join this work session to:

  • Condense similar indicators
  • Provide feedback on what works well
  • What could be stronger?
  • Define self-assessment ratings
  • Create targeted training needs list

ND Afterschool Professional Learning Community 2022-2023

ND Afterschool Network will host a monthly, virtual series during the 2022 – 2023 school year for afterschool professionals across the state framed by the ND Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs.

Any level of program staff and any type of out-of-school time program is welcome: 21CCLC, community-based, faith-based, club-based, summer camp, school-age licensed childcare, director, site coordinator, teacher, youth professional, etc.

NOTE: ND 21CCLC grantee program sites who are receiving TARGETED SUPPORTS (new 21CCLC sites, high-risk sites, and self-selected sites) are required to attend at least 5 of the 10 sessions. Any staff is welcome, but content will be geared toward site directors. 

Access all session recordings & resources here. 

Info Session: Pilot Opportunity - Literacy Supports in Afterschool with Waterford, May 2023

Flyer: Waterford Pilot Summer 2023

The ND Afterschool Network is partnering with Waterford.org to provide afterschool programs in ND with access to high-quality digital curriculum for reading, math, and science. There is no cost to programs to participate and stipends will be available on a first come, first served basis. Join this informational session to learn about the pilot opportunity to take place in the Summer of 2023 for OST programs working with students PreK – Grade 2 (or up to 4th Grade if students reading below grade level).

Ready, STEM, Go! - Virtual Conference - March 2023

A national alliance of afterschool networks partnered to host a two-day virtual conference, shining a spotlight on resources, strategies and inspiration to boost out-of-school time (OST) STEM programming. Sessions elevated resources available through the Million Girls Moonshot Initiative, unique STEM program models and provided actionable steps for OST professionals to:

  • Introduce high-quality curriculum options that challenge youth to problem solve with curiosity and creativity
  • Increase equity in STEM programming
  • Implement facilitation methods to promote an engineering mindset and positive STEM identity in youth

Check out our Youtube page to access all session recordings below!


Empowering Kindhearted Kids - November 2022

In today’s world, providing Social Emotional Learning in all youth settings is more important than ever, as children struggle to develop healthy identities and emotional stability. Please join Two by Two Character Development to explore the latest research regarding Social Emotional Learning and the importance of explicitly teaching core values. Plan on loading up your “toolkit” with lots of fun and engaging ideas to immediately use with your children and walk away feeling empowered and rejuvenated for the important work you do.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Present and identify current research and social trends that have led to the critical need for Social Emotional Learning in all child-centered settings.
2. Immerse participants in activities and strategies that support adult Social Emotional Learning.
3. Transfer adult social and emotional learning strategies to helping children make good decisions and maintaining healthy relationships.

– Elementary Level Educators (Before/After School: PK – 5th Grade)
– School Counselors

Kristin Vaassen, Director of Business & Curriculum Development, Two by Two Character Development

Session is aligned with ND Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs Relationships & Interactions Domain.


ND Afterschool: Arts in Afterschool Funding Info Session - August 2022

The ND Afterschool Network, in collaboration with ND Council on the Arts, is pleased to offer funding to afterschool and other out-of-school time programs to increase opportunities for students in grades K-12 to engage in arts programming during the 2022-2023 school year.

Join this virtual info session to learn more about the types of activities that can be funded and how to access the funds. Applications accepted starting August 23. Find application here. 


Using the Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs - August 2022

The ND Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs are designed to acknowledge the work afterschool programs do and help take your program to the next level.

Join this virtual training to learn about how the Standards were developed, what each of the four quality domains look like, and how to use the Program Self-Assessment Tool accompanying the Standards as part of your continuous quality improvement process.

Tuesday, August 16
1:00 – 2:00pm CST


Afterschool STEM with KEVA Planks! - March 2022


Afterschool STEM with KEVA Planks!

March 31, 2022

DESCRIPTION: Bring fun and meaningful STEM learning into your afterschool or summer learning program with KEVA Planks! KEVA Planks are a versatile tool for teaching STEM concepts to any age or skill level. This hands-on virtual training will provide activities and lesson ideas including basic instruction for building, team building and engineering challenges.

COST: This opportunity is provided to ND out-of-school time programs at no cost with support from the Million Girls Moonshot Initiative. The first 20 afterschool program sites to register will receive a 1000 Educator KEVA Plank Pack at no cost ($450 value)! We encourage multiple staff per site to attend this training and learn how to use KEVA Planks in your program. A follow-up workshop will be held on May 6 to share how you have used KEVA Planks in your program and learn additional ways to use them in STEM learning.

Impactful Facilitator Tips: 8 Simple Strategies for Classroom Management - October 2021


Impactful Facilitator Tips: 8 Simple Strategies for Classroom Management

October 13, 2021

“How do I manage kids?” Do you wonder where to begin? Whether you are in the classroom or working in an afterschool program, explore, learn and engage in hands-on activities, personal connections, and strategies to utilize with youth from all backgrounds. We will facilitate dialogue about how to develop strong relationships with youth, lead by example, and inspire your students.

Audience: Afterschool Program Staff, Directors, Site Coordinators and Teachers

Facilitator: Julia Gabor, Mindful Founder of kid-grit

ND ACRES: Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM - Spring 2021


ND ACRES: Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM

April 9 – May 21, 2021

DESCRIPTION: We have created a special lunch and learn virtual professional learning for you to participate in. Participants will come together to learn and to practice two skills. We’ll reflect on how you support youth as they expand and clarify their thinking by diving into the skill of Asking Purposeful Questions and Modeling the Engineering Practices. Our questions create a path towards discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. We’ll talk about how we can confidently bring engineering into our programming and support youth as they engage in problem solving.

By join these ACRES coaching sessions you will gain first-hand experience with and reflect on ways to incorporate more hands-on activities into your Out-of-School and virtual programs.

DELIVERY: Series will be delivered over 4 live Zoom sessions. Sessions will not be recorded and participants must attend all 4 sessions to receive credit and stipend. Links to join Zoom sessions will be sent out prior to first session.

AUIDENCE: Series is intended for afterschool professionals, STEM teachers, and other out-of-school time educators.


  • Educators: Up to 8 hours of cafeteria credit available.
  • Early Childhood/Afterschool Professionals: Approved for 8 hours of Growing Futures credit. (Must attend all 4 sessions)

ND Afterschool Virtual Forum - October 2020

ND Afterschool Virtual Forum

October 28, 2020

The ND Afterschool Network is helping to shine a light on the important role of afterschool programs in our community by hosting a special Virtual Forum.

Afterschool and summer learning programs have been integral in responding to the diverse needs of young people as a part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please join us for a conversation around how afterschool has stepped up to support North Dakota’s students, families, and communities. Speakers will include students & parents, along with the following special guests:

Rebecca Eberhardt, ND Department of Public Instruction
Candida Braun, Cheney Middle School, West Fargo
Beth Demke, Gateway to Science, Bismarck
Kayla Erickson, ENCORE, Grand Forks

We invite afterschool programs, businesses, policymakers and the education community to the Virtual Forum to hear from students, families and afterschool program staff about how they are supporting learning and why it’s now more important than ever to keep the Lights on both during and after school.


Afterschool Quality Coaching

Afterschool Quality Coaching

OBJECTIVE: The Afterschool Quality Coaching Book Study has been developed for program supervisors who support staff working directly with students in out-of-school-time settings. Book Study will support supervisors in learning about the coaching process to improve support for staff in the areas of lesson delivery, classroom management, behavior management, and student engagement.

DELIVERY: Book Study will be delivered in 6 – 1 hour virtual Zoom sessions. Sessions will not be recorded and participants must attend all sessions live. Participants will be expected to complete reading and practice coaching sessions between each session.

AUDIENCE: Afterschool Program Supervisors & Directors


  • Educators: Up to 6 hours of Cafeteria credit.
  • Early Childhood/Afterschool Professionals: Approved for 6 hours through Growing Futures if all sessions attended and final reflection completed.