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Strategies Clearinghouse

Summer Learning

What is it?

Students’ skills tend to decline during the summer, which is often referred to as summer learning loss. This decline is usually greater for lower-income children. To address this, summer learning programs can help students to maintain or sharpen their academic skills and remain engaged, focused, and out of trouble. There is a wide variety of summer learning programs, but many involve a combination of academic and enrichment activities designed to engage and support achievement. 

What is the evidence base?

High-quality summer learning programs are beneficial when there is individualized instruction, small class sizes, effective teachers, alignment of school year and summer curricula, regular student attendance, parent involvement, inclusion of content beyond remediation, and tracking of effectiveness. Summer learning programs help students avoid learning loss, improve their academic skills, and experience a smooth transition from elementary to middle school. Summer program students also demonstrate high and sustained school day attendance rates. 

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