As we move forward through the pandemic and its impact on learning during the 2020-2021 school year, districts are reimagining their summer programs. How can they balance the need to help more students, provide more classes than usual, bridge learning gaps across skills, concepts, and sometimes courses, and address the social and emotional needs of exhausted and frustrated students and teachers? It is a lot to tackle, but it is doable. We are all walking a new path forward, and there are no right answers. There are, however, lessons to be learned from years past.
Many districts are well aware of summer slide, which is the loss of academic knowledge during the summer, typically around one month’s worth of learning, according to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). That number can be even higher for disadvantaged students who have less access to academic programs over the summer.
Summer programs have grown in complexity as student needs have expanded from requiring remediation to advanced opportunities. Yet the challenges to designing cost-effective, feasible summer educational opportunities remain.
Not Your Father’s Summer School: How Districts are Reinventing Summer Programs to Increase Opportunity and Achievement
Back in the day, summer school was just for students who needed to recover lost course credit. Today, innovative districts are expanding their summer programs beyond traditional remediation of course failure to meet a wide range of student learning needs, including options to earn initial course credit, prepare for college entrance exams, and remediate gaps in the prerequisite knowledge needed for success in the upcoming grade level.
Not Your Father’s Summer School: How Districts are Reinventing Summer Programs to Meet Diverse Learning Needs
Back in the day, summer school was just for students who needed to recover lost course credit. No one actually wanted to go to summer school. Today, the outlook for summer programs is much sunnier. Districts are using summertime to expand learning opportunities for all their students, from struggling to high achieving.