Summer learning loss, also known as “summer slide,” has historically been a significant issue for families across the country. A new study by the American Educational Research Association shows that over half of U.S. students experience summer learning losses for five years in a row. Teachers and staff at Quest Charter Academy are working to combat this issue by offering a month-long Summer Remote Learning Program, an online course taking place throughout July.
Two teachers from each grade level are leading the program, which allows students to focus on English language arts (ELA) and math curriculum. The program, which began in early July, includes daily sessions Monday through Thursday in which students meet for one-hour sessions on Google Classroom. Students are then challenged with completing follow-up activities and assignments to further hone the new information.
“It is important for our students to have access to continued education throughout the summer to avoid learning loss,” said Jessica Radcliff, eighth-grade English language arts teacher at Quest. “We have had an especially difficult year and we wanted the students to be able to keep up with what they have learned remotely.”
A number of Quest’s students are taking advantage of the extra offerings, with 147 registered participants. A variety programs and learning tools are being utilized in the school’s Remote Summer Learning Program, including Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Kahoot. Students are keeping their skills sharp by practicing read-alouds, testing their knowledge with flashcards, and interacting with math-related games, and interactions on Whiteboard, all focusing on the priority standards that were taught last school year.
“The live instruction helps keep them in touch with their teachers and peers while also providing them with instruction that will be beneficial come fall,” said Radcliff.
The program includes providing students with supplemental material to expand on the information that was taught during each day's lesson. These materials include interactive pieces such as a worksheet or additional reading practice, and the assignments, which are differentiated by specific grade-level, are available for students even if they missed the live instruction portion.
Radcliff shared that the students are excited to join their lessons each day to share their good news. She expressed that many turn in their assignments before or after the instructional hours, and some even continue their work on the weekends. Families also have the ability to get involved, one parent noted; "I love the live instruction. It helps me be able to see how the material is taught so I can help my child at home in the same way."
The instructors who have been leading Quest’s Summer Remote Learning Program include Ms. Holly Hamilton and Ms. Jessica Radcliff. The kindergarten through second-grade teachers are Ms. MaryBeth McGrail and Ms. Tamara Patterson; the third- through fifth-grade teachers are Ms. Marlene Kazzi and Ms. Marie Lance; and the sixth- through eighth-grade teachers are Ms. Nada Charafeddine and Ms. Cheyenne Hicks.