Advancing Student Learning and Opportunity through Voluntary Academic Summer Learning Programs

Jennifer McCombs | RAND
Catherine Augustine | RAND

Advancing Student Learning and Opportunity through Voluntary Academic Summer Learning Programs at a Glance

Duration
Programs that last at least five weeks and include at least three hours of academic instruction per day have been demonstrated to generate significant and lasting effects on student achievement. Optimally, programs will be offered to students for multiple summers.

Class Size
Small classes capped at 15 students per teacher support stronger individualized instruction and help build relationships in academic and enrichment periods.

Attendance
Attendance is strongest when programs communicate the benefits of high attendance during recruiting, establish an enrollment deadline, and create an engaging site climate with positive adultstudent relationships.

Enrichment Activities
Engaging enrichment activities that take place alongside academics can help fill the "opportunity gap" and have been shown to reinforce regular attendance.

Academic Curriculum
High-quality curriculum materials, including lesson plans that align with school-year standards and student needs, maximize the effectiveness of instruction. Summer programs are short in duration and provide little time for teachers to plan their own lessons.

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