School may be out, but the work continues for many charter schools throughout New York and Connecticut! These schools are putting in overtime to beat the summer slide, offering an extended school year and/or programs aimed at keeping students engaged as the temperatures rise. Here's how Brass City Charter School in Waterbury is beating the summer slide... at home!
At Brass City Charter School in Waterbury, CT, we see huge potential and opportunity for continual learning during the summer. We also highly value family communication about what their children are learning and what their specific needs are. This year, we hoped to utilize the summer months and relationships formed with our families to launch an individualized online-based academic summer program that will run throughout July and August.
Students in pre-kindergarten were provided a selection of books that their families would be able to read to them over the summer. All students also participate in daily instruction through i-Ready, an online program that offers individualized reading and math lessons based on their performance on end-of-year diagnostics. In addition, students in grades 2-4 chose a book series on their reading level to read throughout the summer. Teachers then created reading comprehension questions specific to the books students selected that can be answered as they read. All student work is monitored weekly and students can earn points towards exciting prizes such as bookmarks, toys, books, and even a celebratory pizza party!
We also recognize the need for computers and internet access for our community. Families without internet were provided with resources to obtain it while families without computers were sent home with Chromebooks.
Studies have shown students, regardless of background, learn at roughly the same rate during the school year. Yet, the achievement gap is shown to continue to widen from first grade to high school. Many believe this is due to the well-documented "summer slide." By providing our students with an online program that they can access wherever they go, we aim to reverse the effects of the summer slide. Students are provided with opportunities to review fundamental skills as well as challenge themselves with extension work.
We are extremely optimistic of the program that we have created, which caters to the needs of every child at BCCS, and the investment from parents to support this work at home. Based on their enthusiasm and investment when the program was introduced, we anticipate students will return in September excited and prepared to tackle the challenges of the new year, armed with skills they practiced over the summer.
To get more of our Overtime series, be sure to check us out on Instagram at @necharters!