Summer loss of knowledge and skills is real, and decades of studies prove it.
Fortunately, experts agree there is a remedy: filling the summer with hands-on, enriching and fun activities that support learning, such as the ones offered in summer school or summer programs through community organizations.
Dallas ISD offers a variety of enrichment summer programs with emphasis in the arts, science, technology and other areas that will help prevent summer loss by reinforcing what students learned during the year in fun and interactive sessions.
“We want to expose our students to engaging academic and enrichment activities during the summer,” said Lori Griffin, director of Dallas ISD’s Extended Learning Opportunities. “We need to change the dialogue from summer learning loss, to affording students access to a rich array of diverse summer programming that provides additional exposure and learning opportunities that enhance academic growth.”
On Saturday, April 7, Dallas ISD will hold Discover Summer PREP U Super Saturday and Resource Fair—in collaboration with Big Thought, Dallas City of Learning and the City of Dallas— to offer families access to free and low-cost summer programs offered in the schools and the community. Several of the organizations that will take part will offer summer programs appropriate for students with special needs. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emmett J. Conrad High School, 7502 Fair Oaks Ave.
Through the years, education experts have studied students’ achievement scores before and after summer and noticed that, in general, they decline during the break by one month’s worth of school year learning. According to the Brookins Institution, this loss is greater in math than in other subjects.
The loss can happen at all ages, but studies have revealed that it can be more pronounced at the higher levels. And its effect is cumulative. According to the National Summer Learning Association, by fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave students from low-income homes two-and-a-half to three years behind their peers. But at least two to three hours a week of a learning activity can prevent the summer slide.
In addition to enrolling children in quality summer programs to avoid summer loss of learning, The Harvard Graduate School of Education recommends parents:
- highlight the math in every day activities during trips to the grocery store, while cooking, when watching sporting events, etc.;
- read every day with their children especially short math stories or focusing on math and numbers in other stories; and
- play math games like Yahtzee, Racko, Blokus, Monopoly, and Set, which rely on skills necessary for math, such as counting, categorizing, and building.
For more information about Discover Summer PREP U Super Saturday and Resource Fair, call (972) 925-3916 or visit www.dallasisd.org/prepudiscoversummer.