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Summer Break is Almost Here!

Wow! Where did this school year go? It's hard to believe that we began this year with the challenge of the ongoing pandemic. We end this year dealing with the aftermath of what will be a historic pandemic and experience for educators. Hang in there, friend! We only have a few more weeks until summer break.

Before celebrating this needed break, consider what a halt in learning means to the students you work with. Research proves that all children can experience achievement setbacks from the lack of routine and educational stimulation during summer break. Students with disabilities are at an even greater risk of losing academic skills and compromising social and behavioral gains during this time frame.

Although the educational systems need a much-needed break, and the students require a break to alleviate school overload, much of what is learned during the school year can be lost without reinforcement during the summer months. In addition, experts believe summer reading loss is cumulative, meaning children may not catch up once class resumes in the fall. So, by the end of sixth grade, children who lose reading skills during the summer can be about two years behind their peers.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, 9-in-10 teachers spend at least three weeks re-teaching lessons at the start of a new school year to get kids back on track. And this effort comes at a high price — literally. According to estimates, re-teaching forgotten material following summer costs more than $1,500 per student each year, or more than $18,000 throughout a K–12 career.

Even though you are tired and want summer break to get here soon, I urge you to speak with parents about keeping their students engaged in learning activities during the summer months. You must exercise the brain to keep it in tip-top health, just like any other muscle in the body. And this brain stimulus does work! Data from the Colorado Department of Education found that students who read or engaged in another form of learning 2-3 hours per week during the summer prevented summer academic loss. Scholastic Parents Online suggests that reading just six books during the summer is one way to combat regression.

Today, I would like to support your efforts in preparing your students for summer break. Attached is a list of activities that will assist parents in keeping students engaged over the summer.

I hope this research helps you prepare for the end of a successful year and celebrate that educators across the country have had the most challenging year ever in my 30+ years of experience. You are not alone, friends! This is a needed refresh for educators everywhere.

Summer Progamming Ideas
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