As students hang up their backpacks and head into Summer, educators worry about how their students will spend this time away from school. We fear that our students that have made progress during the school year will return to school in the fall without retaining all skills from the prior year. Knowing that students will regress due to inconsistent learning activities is difficult, especially since this year has been somewhat average compared to the past two years. With distractions in learning and burnout, students need continued support this Summer to ensure future success.
Before students end the school year, they are likely given a battery of tests. The generated data indicates student achievement and growth during the school year. However, after summer vacation, students are tested again. If a student has regressed from their end-of-year or spring data, this is termed “Summer Slide.” There are vital factors that could lead to this, such as inconsistencies and lack of learning opportunities. However, as educators work together with parents and caregivers, find resources, and develop strategies, we can help foster a love of learning all year.
As a team, determine the course of action your school or district will take. This takes thoughtful planning and should not be haphazardly thrown together. The “why” is to help students maintain or continue academic growth this Summer. Together brainstorm the answers to the following questions.
- Who do we need to target or include?
- What resources do we have/ need to purchase, and what content areas will be targeted?
- When should we hold events or send information?
- How do we ensure information is sent to parents and caregivers?
- Do students and parents have access online or in-person?
Other Ideas to consider during planning and implementation:
Hold a Summer Kick-Off Event-
This is a fun way to engage families and provide summer reading materials or packets that students are expected to work on.
Allow students access to online resources during the summer months. Provide login/help sheet to ensure access. This could be subscriptions or consider opening the library for a few hours a few times a week.
Involve Other Community Organizations-
For example, explore public library summer reading programs and lunch programs. You can develop a plan and work together through advertisements to encourage reading. Involving parents and caregivers in the process encourages attendance.
In the past, summer school has been for specific students who either failed classes, didn’t earn the required credit, or are struggling students. This Summer, our district is offering enrichment for all students in addition to core learning. The focus will be on academics in the morning, while the afternoon will consist of enrichment activities. This encourages interaction with others and learning ALL Summer!
Enrichment activities also promote lifelong learning. As an educator in the intermediate grades, I have discovered that these formative years are critical to helping students develop learning habits and ideas. By now, students have learned how to read; now, they are reading to learn. As we engage students and allow them to explore new topics, their thirst for knowledge will hopefully prevent summer slide.
We Need YOU
Working together with ALL stakeholders can help prevent the summer slide. You offer resources, insight, and support to educators, parents, and caregivers. You are a valuable asset, and we need you as we navigate the third Covid summer!
Agile Education Marketing is the leading data intelligence provider focused exclusively on the education market. With us, our clients accelerate their reach into colleges, universities, K12 schools, and districts through innovative programs built on database intelligence, data services, targeted outreach, and multi-channel optimization. We offer high-quality data, flexibility, and cost-effective solutions, so our clients’ businesses grow. We are a partner who delivers on your terms. Reach out to see how we can help you!