How effective are summer schools in today’s K12 climate?


A chance for schoolchildren to explore their creative side and adventurous spirit, summer schools allow students to step out of the classroom during summer vacation and reconnect with their peers on campus or in spaces events nearby.

For some students, that can feel like extra tuition over the holidays and just another pile of homework to do. Yet for others, it is an engaging experience that allows them to work on their study skills, improve their communication skills and, most importantly, have fun!

What is the impact of summer schools? Source: Wheaton Simis / Unsplash

Recently published in the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ), author Angela Johnson of NWEA, a nonprofit assessment organization, produced a study focusing on the impact of summer programs on learners of Secondary English (EL).

Using student-level data from a large urban district in California, Johnson investigated the effectiveness of a summer credit clawback program to expand newcomer high school ELs’ access to an academic subject.

Focusing on a summer school that hoped to help English learners improve their performance in subjects such as English Language Arts (ELA), Science and Math, the data collected showed that the skills Listening, speaking and writing skills increased among participants, as well as overall proficiency.

“The results show that the program had positive effects on the number of English and math courses students took during their four years of high school, including the college preparation ELA. And although students did not take a significant number of science and social studies courses during the summer, enrollment in these during the school year increased, ”adds Education Dive.

From this data, we can assume that exposure to summer school broadens students’ desire to explore different disciplines.

As a summer school program is often designed to inspire participants’ passions and encourage them to try something new, effectiveness can be measured by engaging students in various lessons once school has passed. was over.

And in this case, the study illustrates the increased engagement of students in science and social studies.

Are summer schools here to stay?

Are summer schools here to stay? Source: JR Sham / Unsplash

Another effective attribute of summer schools is their free flow structure.

Tailored to the individual interests of learners and the involvement of parents, there are no rules on how these schools should be structured.

For example, the MIT Center for Real Estate (CRE) collaborated with the nonprofit NEXUS Summer Programs to produce a 12-day residency course this summer, which hosted 28 high school students and seniors on the MIT campus.

Hailing from high schools in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, participants in the summer program learned the fundamentals of the school. real estate, received SAT preparation and introductory coaching from industry experts, and were introduced to numerous career opportunities.

“We exist to provide college teens with the tools to thrive on campus. Along with a focus on academic and professional development, NEXUS also offers immersive experiences of self-discovery, including opportunities to build confidence and empowerment away from home, ”said the founder of the programs. NEXUS summer, Ric Ramsey.

Despite the differences in form and structure, it is clear that there is common ground shared by summer schools.

All aimed at inspiring students, unleashing new talent, and helping learners build brighter futures, summer schools are an integral part of the K12 climate and diverse high school journey.

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