There are tons of great charter schools in New York and Connecticut going above and beyond for their students. This means staving off the summer slide, either with an extended year or a robust program to keep their students engaged in these summer months. New Beginnings Family Academy is using its Summer Boost Academy to help students make big gains between school years.
New Beginnings Family Academy (NBFA) educators realize that their students benefit from an extended school year, and that’s why they offer their Summer Boost Academy for two weeks in August. It’s not required, but it is highly recommended and it’s free for students to attend. Forty percent of students in grades 1-8 do, and Academic Dean Valore Turner says the results and benefits are immense.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to provide academic support during the summer months,” she said. “We have many working families that just can't routinely carve out enough time to engage students in meaningful conversations that support learning and as a result, many children end up spending this non-instructional period endlessly watching TV or playing video games."
“Studies show that students who are not engaged in constructive programs that strengthen their cognitive abilities during the summer suffer up to two months worth of academic loss. We recognize that summer learning and time in the classroom helps bridge those gaps.”
Turner said that students need time with adults for conversation about learning and that bringing students in for school during the summer months is critical in providing this support.
"Our program seeks to lessen summer regression by providing literacy and numeracy instruction. As a result, we teach and re-teach the fundamental skills that students will need in order to be successful in the upcoming school year."
The program consists of a two-hour academic block that is dedicated to language arts and math instruction, and an hour of enrichment in the form of art, science or movement.
At the completion of the program Turner anticipates that students will be "prepped and ready to come back to school in the fall." However, because of the dedication of NBFA educators, stuents are already leaps and bounds ahead of where they would have been without Summer Boost Academy.
For more information on the program, click here.