Norwich

Norwich Summer Program
Norwich School District
Grade level/Age Range of Students in Program:  The program serves students exiting grades K-7.
There are 775 students enrolled in the program.

Primary Student Needs Program is Designed to Address

The primary goal of the program is to prevent learning loss in literacy.

Most Innovative or Successful Elements of the Program

The most innovative element of the program is the structured curriculum that was written for the major components of the program – literacy, math, science and SEL.  This not only ensures a high degree of uniformity but reduces the need for extensive teacher planning and resource acquisition.  The common schedule also ensures that all students receive all the components of the program.  That being said, teachers have been directed to use their professional judgement as to how the materials are presented based upon the students in front of them each day.  In addition, teachers are reminded that this is summer and an air of “fun” should prevail in all classrooms.  Student attendance and engagement is most important.  Observation revealed this relaxed approach was being implemented.

The other major strength of the program is the intensity.  The program is running for 24 very full days.  Not only does this provide a significant structured day for a large number of students but also provides child-care for families who need it.

How Are the Outcomes of the Program Measured

All students are administered formal assessments in Literacy and Mathematics both at the beginning and end of the program to measure lack of regression or growth.  In addition, students who attended the program will be measured in the Fall assessments to determine if the program has had an effect on stemming learning loss over the summer

Location of the Program

The elementary program is located in 4 or the district’s 7 elementary schools.  The middle school program is located in the middle school.

Operational Features

The program runs from July 5 to August 5, M-F from 8:30am to 4:45pm.  Transportation is provided as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks. 

There is a common schedule for every classroom-Breakfast/morning meeting-8:30-9:15; Literacy block-9:15-10:00; Snack-10-10:15; Math-10:15-10:45; Projects-10:45-11:30; Recess-11:30-12; Lunch-12-12:30

Special Presentations-12:30-2; After Care-2-4:45. This schedule varies somewhat across levels but is generally followed.  The Morning Meeting time is for an SEL activity.  The Projects session is usually a hands-on science activity.  The Special Presentations time is when Community Vendors present engaging activities for students based upon their age.  Vendors are over a dozen local organizations who bring their programs to the schools.  Examples of Vendors include: Mystic Aquarium, Girl Scouts, Dance teachers, Art teachers, etc.  The After Care period is generally physical activity games and sports.

On Fridays, a field trip to local attractions are often planned.  

The mixture of academics and engaging/fun activities is purposeful in order to keep students engaged for such a long day.  

Attendance throughout the program is running at about 60%.

Staff Selection/Recruitment Procedures

Staff for the program were recruited via a general posting.  Final selection and assignment were at the discretion of administration.

The staff consists of the Director, two supervisors, 27 teachers, 42 paraprofessionals, 2 Registered Behavior Technicians, 2 social workers, 1 school counselor, 4 after-school coordinators and 5 nurses.  The administration at each school where the program is held is expected to assist with administration issues. 

All teachers in the program are Norwich teachers.  Many of the teachers are from the school where the program is located and many already know the students in the program. 

Teachers were provided with 3 full days of professional development prior to the beginning of the program.  During this time the teachers were exposed to the curriculum that had been written expressly for the program by district literacy and math coaches.  Lessons were planned for each day of the program in literacy, math, science and SEL along with necessary materials. 

Student Selection/Recruitment Procedures

In the spring of this past year, teachers at all schools effected were asked to nominate any student they felt was at risk of learning loss if they did not receive intensive programming during the summer for a significant period of time.  As a result of this request, 200 students were nominated for the program and these students became the first priority for enrollment.  85% of these students ended up enrolling in the program.  All communication to parents about the program was conducted at the school level. 

Following the enrollment of this priority group of students, the program was opened to any interested parent.  In response to this open enrollment 575 students were enrolled.  (Administration attributes this strong response to the full day nature of the program.)

Program Contact
Ashley Eichorn, Director of Academics   |   aeichorn@norwichpublicschools.org