In my latest EdSurge piece, Students Need Summer Learning That Doesn't Feel Like School (~ 5 min read), I explore ways public schools and districts can rethink summer school to better support kids' health, healing, and positive development. Federal recovery funds allow districts to do summer school more flexibly and creatively. Schools can design summer learning opportunities that focus on play, active learning, and relationship-building.
I interviewed three different summer programs for this piece: Live Oak summer camp is the best for intentional relationship-building and letting kids be kids. ReSchool Colorado has put power in the hands of families and kids by giving them "learning dollars" to spend on any summer learning program in their area. Tulsa Public Schools runs "Ready, Set, Learn," a citywide experience where school sites become summer camps and school staff turn into counselors.
"Live Oak, ReSchool, and Ready, Set, Summer illuminate three different ways to meet students' learning and developmental needs this summer. These examples also make it clear that schools can't and shouldn't do this work alone. Partnerships with summer programs and out-of-school time providers will distribute the workload, better ensure quality programming and adequate staffing, and provide students and staff with the experiences they need to thrive this summer, and be ready and well next school year."
I have watched students and staff limp toward the finish line of this school year. To have them extend schooling is like asking them to perform on an injury without rest and recovery time. Course requirements can wait. Our kids' and school staffs' health and well-being cannot.
Click here to read the full piece.