Boosting Education Equity by Combating Summer & COVID Slide

A young boy is sliding out of a water slide in red swim shorts.

Schools that combat summer & COVID slide are bound to boost education equity. Summer slide has traditionally been an education equity issue because poorer students and those with learning disabilities are more at risk of falling behind in their learning over the summer. This fall teachers have to face yet another school year helping students overcome the combined effect of summer and COVID slide. Luckily, ESSER funds, including additional funds for special education give schools an unprecedented opportunity to boost summer programs that can accelerate learning and give more students a chance to thrive in the fall. Here are 3 tactics schools are employing to combat summer & COVID slide.

Congress also earmarked additional Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)  American Rescue Plan funds to bolster special education programs that can aid learning recovery.

  1. Summer School

Federal requirements stipulate that schools must spend a minimum of 20% of their ESSER funds on mitigating learning loss. Summer school is one of the most popular strategies schools are using to make up for lost instruction time caused by the pandemic. One school in Texas is running a Jump Start program for all students for 2-weeks before the academic year begins. They’ll include traditional academics, but also fun activities, including swimming to get the kids excited about returning to school. Since the digital divide threatens education equity more pervasively in the summer time when some students lack internet and device access,  some schools are expanding 1:1 to include summer time and summer programs.

  • After-School Programs

Increased instruction time is a huge trend that will continue from the summer into the school year with additional after school enrichment programs.

  • After-School Tutoring

Traditionally tutoring helped struggling kids grasp core concepts during. With the influx of ESSER funds, tutoring is no longer relegated to school hours and only for remediation. Schools are now expanding tutoring to include all students, and after school and/or week-end tutoring hours.

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