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Summer Support Checklist

What to Look for in a Remedial Summer Support Program

If you've got school-aged children, you may already be familiar with the term "summer slide," which is when all the progress made throughout the long school year seems to disappear! Suddenly your fourth grader doesn’t remember how to divide or what to do to simplify a fraction. Perhaps your high schooler was texting and Snapchatting so much that the gains he made in essay writing seem lost. The academic slide that takes place over the summer months is common and expected, but it doesn’t have to be! Although the academic year has ended, summer is a critical time in a student's cognitive and social development, and can play a key role in addressing any residual achievement gaps in their learning. There are always ways to incorporate fun and learning into your child’s summer! Remedial summer support can also help students stay engaged and motivated, build essential skills, and prepare for the upcoming school year.

The research confirms that summer programs

  • Benefit all grade levels

  • Offer excellent support to focus on remedial skills, accelerated learning, or other goals.

  • Provide a positive impact on learning and skills, specifically when the instruction is individualized.

  • Must be student-motivated and voluntary! Students should have the desire to enhance skills, have a good relationship with their coach, and be engaged with the material (helpful AND fun)!

Summer support is beneficial for all students! Students can set themselves up for success in the coming academic year and beyond by engaging in summer learning. If you’re looking for more than at-home ways to incorporate learning into your summer, consider a summer support program.

Below, we've bolded 6-research driven standards or criteria that quality summer learning programs must have for students to learn and ways WeThrive Learning meets them:

Standard #1: Consider researched-backed components that must be integrated into the curricula and sessions to target goals.

  • Our curricula align with each student's needs AND interests.

  • We offer high-quality instruction with evidence-based strategies considering individuals' learning profiles.

  • We scaffold each intervention and quickly adapt.

Standard #2: Small class sizes or one-on-one support

  • We provide 1-1 support to differentiate instruction.

  • We pivot and adapt to meet the student needs in real-time (energy, stress, resilience, etc.)

  • Each session is planned and designed in accordance with your child's goals, interests, and strengths.

  • We offer engaging sessions that foster curiosity and critical thinking and provide the proper level of challenge and support for your child's needs.

Standard #3: Qualified coaches

  • We implement research-based interventions.

  • Our coaches are skilled in teaching multiple grade levels and consider the progression of the skill so the strategies can be generalized, applied, and built upon.

  • Our coaches have extensive training and education in learning differences, subject matter, evidence-based strategies, motivational interviewing techniques, and social-emotional learning to promote student competence and self-efficacy.

Standard #4: Include evaluations

  • We continuously monitor growth and provide immediate feedback.

  • Students have opportunities to evaluate themselves, reflect on their successes, and where they see room for growth.

  • Parents receive daily feedback within 24 hours of our sessions

Standard #5: Foster a trusting relationship between the learning coach and the student

  • We get to know our students beyond our sessions. We learn their interests, aspirations, values, and personality!

  • We cultivate a positive coach-student relationship! Our coaches understand that their relationship with their students is pivotal for growth and learning! It increases student confidence, impacts engagement, and affects their long-term learning.

Standard #6: Integrate summer learning with what students will see in the regular school year

  • We target skills and concepts that students will see in the upcoming school year so they enter the classroom as active participants!

  • We begin to frontload the next grade level content and skills to increase student confidence. For example, we know students in 4-8th grade write persuasive essays. We use a persuasive writing prompt as a vehicle to scaffold the writing skills that will be taught at the next grade level.

While we don’t recommend a total break from academic practice and learning in the summer, we do advocate for rest, rejuvenation, and time to recharge. Not only do adults need prioritized self-care, but our kids do too. Summer is a wonderful time to catch up on quality time with friends and family, get extra sleep, and enjoy new experiences and hobbies. Finding that balance is key. If you'd like to connect with us to learn more about how we can help your child maintain, improve, and excel in their learning this summer, we'd love to chat! Summer doesn’t have to mean a backslide in the progress they’ve made all year. Schedule a FREE call today!


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Written by Jenny Drennan (M. Ed., ET/P) and Geneva Walsh (M. Ed.)


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