K-5 Summer Academy
Southington School District
Grade level/Age Range of Students in Program: PK-7 (Entering K-8)
Primary Student Needs Program is Designed to Address
The primary purpose of the program is to identify elementary students who may experience serious academic regression over the summer if they do not engage in a continuing academic program in Literacy or Mathematics or both and provide that programming.
Most Innovative or Successful Elements of the Program
Teachers in the program are all experienced, local, veteran elementary teachers. They have access to all data on each student from the district data base. Many teachers know the students in advance of the program. Crafting individualized instruction based on student needs is one of the strengths of the program. Pairing an academic session with a highly engaging enrichment session is attractive to many parents and students.
How Are the Outcomes of the Program Measured
Daily exit tickets are issued to each student by the teacher, so parents are aware of progress. In addition, at the end of the program an assessment is administered to each student aligned with assessments utilized in the district (I-Ready for Mathematics and STAR for Literacy) to measure progress since enrollment in the program.
Plans are being considered to compare the progress of students in the Fall who attended the program to students who were selected but chose not to attend.
The program runs from July 5 through July 28, four days per week (M-Th), for a total of 16 days.
The program runs from 9am to noon. This time is divided into two blocks. Block 1 is 9am to 10:30am and Block 2 is 10:30am to noon. Each block is focused either on Mathematics or Literacy. Students may enroll in either or both blocks. Transportation is provided free of charge at the beginning of the program (9am) and the end of the program (noon). If a student chooses to attend only one block, parents must transport one way. There is no transportation provided between blocks.
In addition to the math and literacy sections there are 10 enrichment sections (Coding, Digital Design, Sports/Games/Skills, and The Magic of Fairy Tales). Students may enroll in a literacy block and an enrichment block or a Mathematic block and an enrichment block or the Literacy and Mathematics block.
There are some students who only attend the enrichment block(s).
There are no community partners.
There are 170 students enrolled in the program this year. (39% are enrolled in both literacy and math blocks; 37% are enrolled in a literacy and enrichment block; 33% are enrolled in a math and enrichment block and 4% are enrolled in 2 enrichment blocks.
Staff Selection/Recruitment Procedures
A general posting of summer positions is done districtwide. Applicants are reviewed by the directors of the program. Final selection is at the directors’ discretion. Since payment for summer school is based upon the teachers pro-rated daily salary, a high number of experienced/veteran staff applied and were selected. A four-hour professional development day was held for all staff prior to the commencement of the program run by district literacy and mathematics specialists. In addition, teachers had time to review each student’s performance profile.
Student Selection/Recruitment Procedures
In the spring each elementary school created a list of all students identified as receiving Tier II or Tier III instruction in Literacy, Mathematics, or both. This list was reviewed by the Math and Literacy specialists in each school and a priority list was created of students most in need of summer attendance. An email was then sent to this priority list of parents encouraging enrollment in the program. Follow-up phone calls were made to these parents by school staff. This process resulted in an enrollment rate of 40% this year*. After this cohort was selected, schools were free to recommend any other students they felt would benefit from the program.
*Due to a late change in administration of the program, planning was delayed from the usual January/February period to April/May. By this late date many parents had made alternative summer camp or vacation plans that conflicted with the summer academy calendar. This resulted in a lower than usual attendance rate and an unusually high absence rate within the program as families went on vacation. Daily attendance is averaging approximately 65%. (This was a dramatic demonstration of the need to plan summer programs as soon as possible.)
Thomas Hinman Jr., Summer Academy Program Director | Thinman@southingtonschools.org