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Not Your Typical Summer School: A Summer Camp Fights Learning Loss Using The Common Core

July 8, 2013 | 10:46 AM

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Researchers are watching the Duval County program to see if it can effectively prevent summer learning losses. Karelia Arauz

Researchers are watching the Duval County program to see if it can effectively prevent summer learning losses.

It’s summertime and Angela Maxey, principal of Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School, is observing a classroom of 9- and 10-year-olds draw and identify different kinds of triangles.

“Remember this is fourth grade—they’ve just finished third grade, but they’re learning fourth grade curriculum,” says Maxey. “It’s all Common Core.”

This is not your traditional summer school. The kids in this classroom are part of Duval County Public Schools’ Superintendent’s Summer Academy. They’ll be voluntarily spending their summer here, at Sallye B., learning math and science lessons in the classroom and on field trips—with the explicit goal of preventing summer learning losses.

In the three months that they’re out of school, most kids lose some of what they learned in the school year. On average, students start school in the fall about a month behind where they left off in the spring. Research shows that kids from low-income, minority schools lose disproportionately more over the summer. Those losses build up and, down the road, can keep a kid from graduating.

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