Combating the Covid Slide with Summer School
by Brianna Richard, on May 12, 2021 12:26:34 PM
With summer just around the corner, many schools are beginning to bring up the “summer slide.” It is pretty typical to discuss the summer slide around this time of the school year. But unfortunately, educators are worried about more than just the summer slide. The Covid-19 and learning loss are massive challenges on top of the summer slide that school districts are attempting to tackle.
But what is the Covid slide and what can parents and educators do to stop it? According to NWEA or The Northwest Evaluation Association, on average students will only retain 70% of the school year’s reading and 50% of math. School closures, distance learning, and not being in the classroom have all contributed to this slide which is similar to the loss of learning students experience in the summertime. So with summer rapidly approaching, what can be done to help students with the summer slide and the Covid slide? (Irving, 2020)
Many school districts are hoping that summer school is the answer. Organizations like SAIL Alabama are helping school districts to come up with programs for summer to tackle learning loss and help prepare students for the upcoming school year. Summer school programs need to be engaging and a mixture of camp and school. If summer school is too academic for kids they may not want to attend. If it is too camp-like, it won’t be enough academics to help against the slide. (Zalaznick, 2021)
SAIL provides 3 great tips to help districts and camps prepare effective summer programs.
1. Find a great partner
Combating learning loss and the Covid Slide isn’t something that can be done alone. Districts need to look for partners in the community. A great starting point would be to find a summer camp in the area that already has an academic program. School districts can partner with these camps and provide any material to help with academics. Classrooms, technology, and materials can all be used during summer school and districts can help camps provide these resources.
2. Share test scores and data
Summer programs are going to need the latest data in order to help students be successful. Schools can share areas that students are lacking in and areas students have mastered. This will tailor content to the students attending and ensure gaps in the school year are covered over the summer.
3. Spend time and effort
A summer program that is going to combat Covid Slide will take quite some time to prepare. School administrators, teachers, parents, and summer camps can all come together to discuss what kids need to prepare them for the next school year.
The Covid Slide and the summer slide are very real problems that need to be dealt with. Hopefully, academically focused summer school can help make up some of the learning that has been lost and prepares students to be successful for the upcoming school year.
- Irving, D. (2020, July 9). The COVID Slide: How to Help Students Recover Learning Losses. https://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2020/07/the-covid-slide-how-to-help-students-recover-learning.html.
- Zalaznick, M. (2021, March 17). 3 steps for beefing up summer to counter learning loss. District Administration.
- Photo by CDC on Unsplash