Seven Questions to Answer When Planning for Your Summer School Program

Oct 20, 2023
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Summer school can present its own set of challenges unique from the typical school year. Shorter timelines, special student populations, and the limited time teachers have to prepare can cause stress for even the most seasoned professionals. We understand the challenges that you may face surrounding teacher shortages and budget constraints, and we know that these limitations can make planning a summer school program difficult. Ask these questions as you go through the planning process to create a summer program that is effective, engaging, and affordable:

1. Do you have the content you need?

Make sure that you are delivering content that is high quality, state standards–aligned, and proven to be effective. Partnering with a digital curriculum provider like Edmentum with a program like Courseware can help ease the stress of having to create new content just for the summer. Plus, you can offer students courses that you may not be able to provide during the school year.

2. Do you have the variety of options that your students need?

Students have many reasons for attending summer school. Consider what will meet these diverse needs this summer, and offer a range of courses in a variety of academic areas, including credit recovery, advanced courses, world languages, electives, health, and more.

3. Are you staffed appropriately?

Ensure that you have the staff to handle the number of students and variety of courses your summer school program will offer. Working with a virtual school partner like EdOptions Academy can help solve staffing challenges and expand course offerings by providing high-quality digital curricula paired with state-certified virtual teachers.

4. Is your program going to keep students engaged?

Be sure that all of your programs provide elements to engage your students, such as interactive, media-rich content, activities, and learning tools. Look for opportunities to engage students in real-world experiences like project- or community-based learning as well. Student engagement must be a priority in running a successful summer school program.

5. How will you personalize learning for each student?

By offering your students a personalized approach to learning that works for all of the different types of learners in your program, you can promote increased motivation, engagement, and achievement. Consider a mastery-based approach this summer that allows students to pre-test and exempt out of already known material so that they can focus only on units and concepts where they need the most help.

6. How will you track student progress?

Give your program administrators easy-to-use tools and resources to monitor and track student progress and growth. Look for online tools that are interoperable and that offer meaningful reports for both administrators and instructors.

7. Is your summer school program going to fit within your budget?

Help your bottom line by investing in solutions that will allow you to provide more for your teachers and students for less of your budget. Digital curricula and virtual courses can offer flexible options to stretch limited resources.

Looking for more ideas to implement a summer school program that will help your students reach their goals? Check out these 4 Instructional Best Practices to Support Credit Recovery.

This post was originally published April 2019 and has been updated.

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