Coronavirus Resources for Schools

COVID-19 and Summer Learning Scenario Planning

Contains resources from school districts and public health agencies.

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INTRODUCTION In March 2020, the COVID-19 crisis shut down nearly every school in California, with no clear date on when schools would reopen. Governor Newsom and state leaders have begun to lay out a plan for reopening schools and youth serving programs. Heading into June, one critical issue on the minds of educators, parents, students and community leaders is access to summer learning programs. Summer provides an opportunity to offer extra learning time and rich experiences to those students who need it most. Many school districts throughout California have used summer as a space to create engaging and innovative programs in collaboration with community partners, which are more cost-effective than traditional summer school and are more attractive to students and families. This brief provides school and district leaders with background and resources to inform planning for summer in the COVID context, using lessons learned over time and considering the urgent needs of students across the state. Given that schools and learning will look and feel different in the fall (as it does typically in summer programming), many of the strategies, considerations and scenarios below can also be applied to the reopening planning process. Summer learning programs are needed now more than ever It's well known that the typical three-month summer break from school has a detrimental and lasting impact on students who do not have access to organized learning opportunities over the summer. This phenomenon, often called "Summer Slide," is mitigated significantly by activities such as summer camps, internships, trips to experience different geographies and cultures, and other educational enrichment opportunities. For students whose families cannot afford or access these experiences, summer can be a bleak time — and can be damaging to students' academic success and health outcomes. The negative impacts for students who lack access to summer programming have been amplified during COVID-19. Summer programming is needed now more than ever for the following reasons: Learning loss emergency. Due to school closures and previous learning loss research, students could fall half a year to a year behind if schools remain closed during the summer, with the worst impact on vulnerable student groups. 1 Social, emotional, physical and mental health needs. Significant numbers of students have been completely disconnected from school and their support system. One survey found that nearly 50 percent of students are in need of mental health services. Summer programs can provide students a chance to play and connect to their peers and caring adults. These programs also offer meals, physical activity and connections between parents and schools. Necessary to reopen the economy. Parents cannot go back to work without safe places for their kids. In addition, thousands of school and community-based staff depend on the employment of summer programs for their livelihood. School readiness. To equip students and staff for success in the fall, students need to be reconnected to routines, structures and learning opportunities, as well as become familiar with new health guidelines. Even a shortened summer program can help prepare students for the new school year. Districts must plan for and adapt to multiple scenarios with uncertain timelines and moving targets to meet the urgent and growing learning and wellness needs of California students, especially our most vulnerable. Some school leaders and districts have already committed to virtual-only summer programs, and some are focusing only on credit recovery for high school students. Many are still making and shifting decisions week-to-week. No school district is restricted from adapting plans to serve kids in creative ways. With the Department of Public Health 2 and the Department of Education 3 releasing interim guidance for schools to reopen as soon as June 12, it is necessary that all schools and districts keep an open mind to consider/reconsider how, when and if to provide some level of in-person summer programming to best meet the needs of their students and families. 1 2 3 COVID-19 AND SUMMER LEARNING SCENARIO PLANNING 1 ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

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