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Read Dr. Larson's earlier Community Columns below or here.

Given that students who attend summer school are poised for greater academic success during the regular school year, it is encouraging to see a growing culture of students taking summer school classes.

In Glenbard District 87, nearly 40% of our students enrolled in summer school this year. They took classes in math, English, social studies, science, Mandarin, consumer management and more. They also explored areas of interest through enrichment courses and prepared for the next level of rigor through Bridge classes. These classes align with our priorities related to students:
  • Enrolling in Algebra 2 with Trigonometry or higher and Physics or higher
  • Pursuing an area that they’re passionate about
  • Earning a college-ready score on the ACT or SAT exam
  • Passing at least one Advanced Placement exam during their time in Glenbard.
Impact of summer slide
Students who do not take advantage of summer school lag behind their classmates when the regular school year begins. Research shows that students who take a 12-week break from learning need several weeks to get up to speed. For example, in the area of math, students lose about 2 ½ months in their grade-level equivalency in computational ability over the summer, according to a Duke University study. In addition, the achievement gap between students from low-income families and those from middle- or upper-class families widens, according to the study.

Global differences in school calendar
Compared to students in other developed countries, students in America have the most time off from school. While it’s healthy for children to enjoy free time, taking a class during the summer is critical to keeping students in the learning mode.

Simple step to boost reading skills
Something as simple as encouraging students to read 20 minutes each day will make a difference when the regular school year resumes. A great choice is the Glenbard Parent Series’ community read selection, “Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother.” After reading the book, come hear the book's author, Sonia Nazario, discuss the book at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Glenbard East High School.

Activities can prevent learning loss
In addition to taking a summer school class, the following activities can prevent the summer slide:
  • Journaling about summer experiences
  • Visiting your local library
  • Exploring an aquarium, arboretum, zoo, museum and/or forest preserve.
  • Cooking – enhances math and reading skills
Summer school is a valuable opportunity for students who are doing well and want to go further academically, as well as for students who are struggling and need to catch up.  It also provides structure and purpose to students’ summer. It’s encouraging to see summer school becoming the norm, rather than the exception.

David F. Larson, Ed.D.

Read Dr. Larson's earlier essays below

2016-17 Community Columns

Education is not just another commodity here

Public schools benefit from richness of diversity here

Be wary of snake oil salesmen in education here

Characteristics of Strong Education Systems here

Leveraging the election for growth here

Glenbard emphasizes importance of service to others here

Challenging courses prepare teens for college, careers here

High School Parenting is Gardening, Not Carpentry here

Fight the Summer Slide here

2015-16 Community Columns

Equity in Advanced Placement here

Growth Mindset Makes a Difference here

Send Consistent Message Opposing Underage Drinking here

Hold Hands and Stick Together here

The Value of Rigor in the Classroom here

Studying the Arts Enhances Student Achievement here

Parent Involvement is Important here

Making America Great Again here

Property Tax Freeze Would Harm Students here

Teachers Advance Their Craft During Summer here.

2014-15 Community Columns

Be Wary; Education Cuts Never Heal here

Increasing Responsibilities of Public Education here

The Governor's Playbook for Compassion here

Important Partnership here

Strategic Planning Key to Success of iPad Implementation here

The "Year of Over Testing" here

School Funding Reform Act Senate Bill 16 here

Watch the Screen Time here

2013-14 Community Columns

Attack Season here

Impressive Community Support here

Referendum Focus here

New Year's Resolution here

Celebrating Diversity here

Shrinking Middle Class here

Future Ready here

Fight Summer Learning Loss here

2012-13 Community Columns

Public Education is Inclusive, Diverse here

Transparency Builds Community Trust here

Technology Will Transform Learning here

High Levels Of Communication here

Pension Reform Observations here

Key Habits of Fiscally Responsible Districts here

Doubly Impressive here

High Expectations For All here

Democracy here

Those Special Teachers here

Football Start here

Freshman Transition here