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Learn 24

OST Commission

The Commission is a public body composed of engaged residents and representatives from government agencies to support equitable access to high-quality OST programs for District of Columbia youth through coordination among government agencies, targeted grant-making, data collection and evaluation, and the provision of training, capacity building and technical assistance to OST providers. The Commission will provide resources and support to ensure a citywide system of high-quality OST programs.

The Commission shall consist of no more than 21 members who represent key community stakeholder constituencies or are District agency administrative heads or their designees. The Commission members are:

  • Margot Berkey, Specialist, Out of School Time Programs, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)
  • Marcus Coates, Chief, Community Recreation, Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Hillary Desir, Special Projects Manager, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education
  • Mat Hanson, Chief of Staff, DC Action for Children
  • Kierra Jenkins, Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator, DC Public Charter School Board
  • Andrea Jones, Parent/Community Member
  • Joanne Seelig Lamparter, Artistic Director of Education and Theatre for Change, Imagination Stage
  • Walter Peacock, Data Specialist Department of Insurance Securities & Banking, Bank on DC
  • Kelly Rudd Safran, Director of Special Populations and Programs, Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Bijan Verlin, Legislative Policy Advisor, Office of Chairman Phil Mendelson
  • Dr. Shontia Lowe, Executive Director, Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (ex-officio)


All youth across the District of Columbia have the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary to achieve and thrive in school, the workplace, and their communities.


  • Youth Voice: Youth contribute directly to decisions that impact their lives.
  • Equity: Decisions are made recognizing structural racism with a determined focus on dismantling those systems and achieving equitable outcomes for youth.
  • Commitment to Learning: Continuous improvement and learning leads to stronger and more effective systems, organizations, and programs.
  • Mutual Respect and Responsibilities: Respecting the unique insights, resources and contributions of all stakeholders leads to the realization of a collective vision.

Strategic Priorities

Over the next three years, the Commission and the OST Office will focus on the following strategic priorities to achieve our vision. Each strategic priority must remain anchored in our values of youth voice, equity, commitment to learning, and mutual respect and responsibilities.

  1. Implement the Vision of Afterschool for All in support of Universal OST access: Provide and expand access to quality, in-demand afterschool programming through continued grantmaking, the launch of 'My Afterschool DC,’ and through improving families' access and experiences with OST programs.
  2. Expand Summer OST Programming: Expand access to quality, in-demand summer OST programming, and improving OST families’ access and experiences with summer programs.
  3. Improve Access for Students with Special Needs: Ensure students with special needs have access to and can participate in out of school time programming.
  4. Implement Continued Commitment to Quality and Capacity Building: Across all opportunities and efforts, prioritize the continued commitment to high quality and strong OST programming and experiences, and the capacity building of OST program providers.
  5. Improve OST Systems and Processes: Improve provider experience through centralized and refined systems and processes.
  6. Strengthen the OST Office: Strengthen and build the capacity of the team to deliver on the OST vision in support of the Afterschool for All vision through continuous growth and improvement.

Download the Strategic Plan below.

2023-2026 OST Strategic Plan

The Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Office) Strategic Plan is grounded in the umbrella vision of Universal Out of School Time (OST) access inclusive of Afterschool for All, the findings from the DC Policy Center’s OST Needs Assessment, and ongoing stakeholder input collected by the OST Office, including but not limited to community members, the OST Commission, the OST Commission Committees, and the DME and OST Office staff. NOTE: At the request of the OST Commission, this plan may be subject to updates on an annual or biennial basis, based on the current and evolving needs of children and youth across the District of Columbia.

For additional questions, or concerns please email [email protected]

Interested in Serving as a Commissioner?

The Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Commission) is currently accepting applications from stakeholders who are committed to supporting equitable access to high-quality OST programs in the District of Columbia. Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to apply. The OST Commission focuses on providing resources and support to ensure a citywide system of high-quality OST programs. Interested parties should complete this brief application