U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona recently announced the April 2021 launch of a Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative, which will be open to all states. The Collaborative will support states in using new American Rescue Plan funding to build effective summer programs, particularly for underserved communities. To express interest in joining the Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative National Convening, scheduled to be held April 26, 1:30-3:30 EDT, and April 27, 3:00-5:00 EDT, complete the registration form.
REGION 5 STATE SUPPORT EFFORTS:
The states in Region 5 have already begun sharing their plans for summer learning and providing guidance to districts and schools on the best ways to accelerate student learning. The following list highlights just a few of their support efforts:
- Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) developed guidance resources for districts and schools that emphasize the importance of accelerating learning during the summer and continuing this work into the next school year. (COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Districts: Accelerating Student Learning During Summer Learning Programs and Through the Academic Year (ky.gov).)
KDE cites research-based practices and provides tips for curriculum design, enrichment activities, creating a positive climate, and managing costs:
- Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd Ed. | RAND; and
- Investing in Successful Summer Programs: A Review of Evidence Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (wallacefoundation.org)
- Tennessee’s recent legislation creates funding for districts to provide in-person learning opportunities and acceleration programs. These include summer learning camps and after-school learning mini-camps for students in grades 1-5, and a learning loss bridge program for students in grades 6-8. It also established a statewide Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps of qualified tutors for students described in the Summary of Tennessee Learning Loss and Student Acceleration Act for Teachers (tn.gov).
- West Virginia announced the Student Opportunities for Learning and Engagement (SOLE) grant program for counties to provide resources for summer learning and engagement. All students in grades K-12 will be eligible, with full-day programming required for students in K-8. Programs will offer transportation, meals, recreation activities, and academic support in reading, math, and STEM. High school students will have access to college prep or vocational activities. More details are available at Funding Available through Summer SOLE Grant Program – February 26, 2021 - West Virginia Department of Education (wvde.us).
- Virginia released a data dashboard and other resources to guide school divisions, highlighting key checkpoints and recommendations from its Virginia LEARNS workgroup of education stakeholders. The resources include information about equity, wellbeing, and instructional issues, including curriculum, assessment and remediation, recovery, and interventions. Log-on to VDOE: Virginia L.E.A.R.N.S.
NATIONAL SUPPORT EFFORTS:
The National Comprehensive Center Network also joined the support efforts and developed several openly accessible resources to support state and district efforts in developing effective summer learning programs. The resources are listed below: