Summer learning programs are distinctively different from traditional summer school programs. For Nazaneen Khalilnaji-Otto, the Summer Matters campaign director at the Partnership for Children and Youth, one word sums up the difference between the summer learning model and summer school: “fun.” Summer learning takes on a “camp-like culture,” and these programs are generally open to all students, rather than only students seeking remedial or advanced coursework.
Research indicates that summer learning can be an effective approach to closing opportunity gaps for students from low-income families. Many county offices of education and school districts offer summer learning as part of a complete educational strategy: two-thirds (66%) percent of respondents to a 2013 CSBA survey reported offering some type of summer learning program.
This is the first in a series of articles focusing on strategies to promote student learning and wellness during the summer break from school. This installment presents an overview of the topic and the importance of effective summer programs in helping to close the achievement gap.
A three-stage planning guide for boards developing summer learning programs.
Summer can be a costly time for low-income families. According to Jennifer Peck, Executive Director of the Partnership for Children and Youth, “While middle-income children retain knowledge or, in many cases, make gains over the summer, low-income children fall behind.” Summer learning programs are a cost effective way to prevent summer learning loss and close the opportunity gap. In order to better understand the cost of such investments, Summer Matters conducted a small survey of partner organizations offering high quality summer learning opportunities in California.
This guide is intended to better acquaint school board members and superintendents with summer learning, and to help them establish or expand programs that result in greater learning and enrichment for the students they serve.
The California School Boards Association and Partnership for Children and Youth are pleased to offer this free workshop to help Boards of Education plan effective summer learning programs that promote student achievement and wellness. The interactive workshop is designed to engage School Board members, key leadership staff, and community partners in exploring, discussing and strategizing about the role of summer learning in their districts.