Bridging the Gap: Combating Summer Learning Loss with a Comprehensive Summer School Plan

Written by Amy Lehnert, Content Marketing Manager, FACTS, [email protected]

As the academic year winds down, educators and administrators face the perennial challenge of summer learning loss, a phenomenon where students lose academic skills and knowledge over the summer months. Research shows that the average student loses 17-34% of the previous year’s learning gains over summer break, with losses being more pronounced in math and reading skills. This can have a cumulative effect, widening the achievement gap and setting students back at the start of the new school year.

Addressing this issue requires a multi-faceted approach that not only reinforces academic learning but also engages students in enrichment activities and encourages at-home family involvement. Below, we outline a comprehensive summer school plan designed to mitigate summer learning loss and prepare your students for the school year ahead.

Planning a Summer Learning Program

FACTS understands that planning a summer learning program presents a unique set of challenges for schools, requiring careful consideration and resource allocation. That’s why we specialize in partnering with schools to plan a comprehensive summer school program that includes academic intervention, enrichment activities and family involvement, designed to mitigate summer learning loss while simultaneously enriching students’ educational experiences.

Academic Interventions »

  1. Targeted Academic Programs: Summer courses focus on core subjects like math, reading and writing. We use current assessment data to tailor content to student needs, helping to bridge achievement gaps.
  2. Blended Learning Environments: FACTS incorporates technology to create a blended learning opportunity. These online programs offer personalized learning experiences, enabling students to progress at their own pace.

Enrichment Activities »

  1. Arts and Culture: These enrichment programs boost creativity and global cultural appreciation. Students engage in immersive artistic activities, exploring art history and techniques or take virtual “trips” to countries such as Greece, Egypt, Kenya and Costa Rica, diving into each nation’s music, food, games and history.
  2. STEM Activities: Through engaging hands-on activities and labs with reusable materials ranging from building blocks to programmable robotics, these projects promote creativity and problem-solving, turning a curiosity in science and engineering into a lifelong passion.
  3. Academics Through Baking: This innovative enrichment program blends math, literacy and science with practical baking activities, enabling students to master STEM and literacy concepts through a series of lessons that culminate in a collaborative baking project.

At-Home Family Activities

  1. Promote Reading for Fun: Encourage students to read daily. Create summer reading lists tailored to students’ interests and reading levels. Partner with local libraries to inform students about summer reading programs, which often include incentives for meeting reading goals.
  2. Incorporate Math in Everyday Activities: Math loss can be more severe than reading loss over the summer. Encourage parents to integrate math into daily activities. Cooking, shopping and even playing certain games can reinforce math skills in a fun and practical way.
  3. Utilize Online Learning Tools: Digital resources can be a game-changer for keeping students engaged academically during the summer. Recommend educational apps and websites that offer practice in various subjects. Many platforms gamify learning, making it more appealing to students.
  4. Encourage Educational Trips: Museums, zoos and science centers offer educational experiences that can enrich students’ understanding of various subjects. Encourage families to plan visits to such places or organize school-sponsored trips.

Addressing summer learning loss requires a comprehensive approach that extends beyond traditional classroom instruction. By incorporating academic interventions, enrichment activities and family engagement, summer school programs can not only prevent the slide but also enhance the educational experiences ensuring students return in the fall ready to learn and succeed.

Contact FACTS to start planning a summer learning program that is both enriching and enjoyable for your students today.