Five Things That Will Derail Your Summer School Program

Oct 23, 2023
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Summer sessions come with their own set of challenges, such as shorter timelines, special student populations, and the limited time teachers have for preparation. With the stakes being so high for students enrolled in summer learning, how can educators make the most of the short time they have with students, and set them up for summer success?

Sometimes knowing what pitfalls to avoid for can be just as important as knowing best practices! Here are a few things to watch out for in your summer school program:

1. Not adhering to summer school timelines

Make sure you have a timeline, and stick to it. Summer school is short, and nothing will derail your program faster than getting off track. To make sure your students have the best shot at success during summer session, follow these five tips to keep them on track!

2. Students assume summer courses will be easier

Before students start summer school, make sure you set the expectation that this will not be an “easier” version of the courses that take place during the normal school year. Point out that due to the shortened timeframe, summer courses can be more demanding. Adjusting to summer classes at the end of the school year can be a little tricky, so check out these five tips to help make the transition smoother for your students.

3. Students fail to check in daily with teachers

Falling behind in summer school can be devastating with the aggressive timelines that many schools put forth. So, make sure you and your teachers stay out in front by keeping in contact daily with students. Just because the session may be shorter doesn't mean that building good relationships with students matters less.

4. Students are not fully committed to summer learning

Make sure students understand why they are involved with summer school and why it is important. Is it to catch up, get ahead, or graduate on time? Get them excited about the goal, and you will find it easier to get them to commit to summer school. Looking for tips on sparking student motivation? Here are six strategies you can put to work in your classroom!

5. Insufficient planning and training

This is no surprise, but if you do not prepare properly and have appropriate training, you will be in for a long few months. High-quality, engaging summer school programs can go a long way in preventing learning loss and can even accelerate student achievement and performance. As you plan, be sure to incorporate these five best practices for an effective summer program!

Want more summer school tips? Augment your in-person (and virtual) summer school plans with helpful resources, blogs, and worksheets aligned to your specific summer goals. Check out Edmentum's Summer Planning & Success Toolkit!

This post was originally published April 2014 and has been updated.

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