Preventing the Summer Slide

By: Ginger Shea   Susan Tracz  

There is an academic trend in schools, where students who do not attend a summer program, lose skills between the end of the academic year in May/June and the beginning of the next academic year in August/September. Since summer is a time when students do not typically attend school, this loss is commonly referred to as the Summer Slide and has been considered a major factor in the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers. Summer programs enable low-income students to access experiences and learning during the summer months when they have limited resources to maintain academic skills. Additionally, summer programs assist parents of these students by providing activities to keep their children engaged during the summer. The programs of the three large school districts in California, United States, will be discussed in detail. This mixed methods study examines pre- and post- test scores of students attending and not attending summer programs, along with parent perspectives and teacher reactions related to student achievement.

Summer programs,Summer Slide, Student achievement, Achievement Gap, Low-Income, Mixed Methods
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ginger Shea

Manager Special Programs and Services, Educational Services, Oxnard School District, United States
United States

Ginger Shea has worked in education for 20+ years, 10 with afterschool and summer programs in a Title I district in Oxnard, California. Title I status means the schools recieve federal funding for students from low-income families and she provides high quality programs for these students. Mrs. Shea participates on committees with the California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division and the California Afterschool Network. Mrs. Shea co-chaired the Summer Learning Implementation Committee with the California Afterschool Network. Ginger Shea has been published in Ed Forum and accepted for publication in Afterschool Matters through the National Institute for Out of School Time. Mrs. Shea began her career teaching middle school and is now a district level administrator advocating for afterschool and summer programs. Mrs. Shea is a doctoral candidate at California State University, Fresno and California State University Channel Islands. Mrs. Shea's dissertation is focused on closing the achievement gap for students from low-income families during the summer months. 

Susan Tracz

Professor, California State University