✎PROGRAM GOALS BELL, YMCA of Greater Boston, and the Boston Public Schools worked together to eliminate the summer opportunity gap, accelerate students’ academic achievement, and close the achievement gap. Students were called “scholars” to demonstrate high expectations and were encouraged to “Be Extraordinary,” the program’s motto. Program goals included: Increase scholars’ literacy and math skills and help them avoid summer learning loss. Strengthen scholars’ self-confidence, social/emotional development, and physical health and well-being. Increase parental engagement.
✎ ACADEMIC GROWTH Gains in reading and math skills are an important indicator of student success because they provide a measure of how much a student has progressed up the proficiency ladder at a time when most children are not engaged in structured learning activities. A full grade level contains ten months of skills development (i.e., based on an average school year of learning from September – June). To put it another way, a gain of one month is equal to what an average student learns in 10% of a school year. Teachers utilize formative assessments from the start of the summer to understand each scholar’s learning needs and to inform individualized learning plans. Assessment data from the end of the BELL Summer program shows that scholars gained an average of one month of reading skills and one month of math skills. Scholars’ academic growth suggests that participating in summer learning activities could have a positive impact on academic achievement and eliminate summer learning loss. The data also hints that summer learning opportunities may have the greatest impact on scholars who stand to benefit the most: those who are struggling academically and who need more time-on-task the most.
Please see the full Summer Program Report produced by Power Scholars.