In April, when the Centers on Reinventing Public Education conducted an initial review of large urban districts’ summer plans, slightly more than half had not shared any information at all, and of those that had, nearly two-thirds were missing critical components like tutoring, assessment and communication plans. The situation has changed dramatically in the last two months; our latest review found that 97 of 100 reviewed districts have now announced some form of summer school programming.
As of May, the majority of the districts — 85 percent — shared detailed plans on their summer learning programs, up from 35 percent in April and 32 percent at this point last year. In addition, 12 districts articulated a broad vision. Only three of the 100 districts have yet to share a vision or plan.
The number of districts detailing both in-person and remote learning options has increased from 13 percent to 46 percent since our April survey; in-person-only options have increased from 8 percent to 29 percent. A handful of districts (5 percent) are offering remote-only instruction this summer.
Of the 81 districts that included duration in their released plans, their programs will provide on average approximately five weeks (25 days) of summer learning and enrichment. This is on par with the pre-pandemic recommended five-week minimum of programming to maximize effectiveness. While this is promising, we question whether five weeks will be enough, given the tumult and disruption of the last year and a half for many students.
Forty-four of the 100 districts will offer less than 25 days of summer learning. This, layered with the typical challenges of enrolling students and maintaining high attendance, may mean that program duration is not sufficient to truly accelerate learning for fall 2021.
Most districts we surveyed are focused on reengagement through enrichment but lack personalized programming for vulnerable learners. Of the 100 districts, 78 percent have been explicit about offering summer enrichment opportunities, 73 percent about credit recovery and 71 percent about support in math and English language arts.
Read the full article about summer learning options by Christine Pitts at The 74.
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