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.
One of the most complicated and critical issues facing post-secondary district leaders today may be hiding in plain sight. Literacy rates among secondary students are staggering with millions of high school students struggling to read at grade level, and at least 70 percent of these struggling readers requiring some form of remediation to successfully complete grade level content.
Summer school programs now offer far more than credit recovery alone. Many districts are expanding summer learning opportunities to a wider range of students, both those who want to accelerate their learning and those who need to get back on track for graduation.
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.