ASCD Poll: Promoting Student Success During the Summer Break

In the ASCD Poll, we asked you to vote on the most effective way for schools to maintain student success over the summer. If you haven’t voted yet, please vote now.

How does your school or district promote student success during the summer break? Let us know by posting a comment.


  1. My school and district don’t do much to support student success over the summer. I put together a summer challenge packet for my students, including daily math activities, writing assignments, and a reading log. Students who complete the summer challenge will join me in a party this fall to celebrate their hard work.

  2. Any of the activities listed the poll would be helpful. There is another one that is not listed. I become the student’s pen pal during the summer. As their teacher, I give them a math assignment to complete within a week and an envelope with postage to mail to me. When it arrives, I send them another assignment. In this way we keep in touch all summer and they keep up to date on a weekly basis.
    I have found that summer projects are done at the beginning of the summer or at the end and not throughout.
    I found that my students [all African-American and all free and reduced lunch] do not have the summer loss in math that is experienced in most urban areas. It only cost about $8.00 per students. About 80% of my students complete all the assignments throughout the summer.
    Most enjoy getting their own mail. It can be sent whereever they go in the summer. So there is no excuse for not doing it.

  3. None of the choices are exactly what I would pick. I would say offer inviting summer school programs that are so attractive that students want to participate. Invite students to participate rather than mandate their participation. Offer struggling students the same kind of enrichment projects offered to gifted students.
    Way to go Linda Eberhart- – what a great idea!

  4. We have a summer school program which includes enrichment activities. Many of the teachers send home or make available through the office, summer packets.
    I like the idea that Jayme uses. Keep up the good work and the relationship building with your students.

  5. Our high school offers a math refresher class for incoming freshmen to address the basic skills they will need for algebra. We provide a free summer on-line math clinic where we post worksheets that concentrate on skills for 2 purposes: parents know what we expect; students keep fresh. Those completed sheets must be handed in to the math teacher in September for a grade. Those without computers may pick up a packet in the school office.
    Of course we assign the ever present summer readings that combine classic as well as lighter readings.
    We have field hockey and basketball camp as well as dance classes to promote healthful activities.
    For classes and camps we charge just enough to cover costs and give teachers summer work if they choose, and we “scholarship” those who need financial help.
    We continue some of our community service activities.

  6. Our school encourages reading by offering a reading program over the summer. The Media Center is open from 6:30-8:00 every other Tuesday evening. Students may browse and check out books, hear guest readers read their favorite books, have cookies and punch, and participate in other literacy activities.

  7. I teach deaf/hard of hearing children. During the past few years, I send home a packet of review materials for them to work on over the summer. Some of my students qualified for extended school year (ESY). The summer program is a good review since they did had difficulty retaining information during the school year.

  8. I think the poll results are valid if we lived in world without stress and problems; but people both young and old need time out from daily activities such as work and school to relax and enjoy life. Learning is not only about math and langauge arts, but about how to apply those tools to everyday life. Our educational system still does not teach toward this application process. So having the summers off for families to gather and enjoy must be respected.

  9. I work at a Nativity School that targets inner city boys. Our population is about 60% Hispanic, 35% African/African-American, 5% other (white, Asian). The school model has a mandatory summer program. Ours is 3 weeks in July, so it’s mid-summer. One week is spent at an outdoor camp doing team-building, community building and leadership activities as well as summer play. The following 2 weeks are spent focusing on only Language Arts and Math skills in the morning blocks, then a mixture of play, field trip, and community service activities in the afternoons.
    Of the polls choices, I think a modified year round calendar is best – Modify to give everyone that break time that is just as important as academic stringency, but still a longer school year than we currently have. Maybe the summer term is lighter on academics and heavier on those things that we want to do but can’t do doing a tradtional school calendar year.
    To encourage kids to pursue hobbies and camps assumes that any interested child can participate, and unfortunately leaves out too many inner city or other disadvantaged youth. And those that don’t need encouragement, are probably doing fine academically anyway. (maybe because the interest in life-long learning is already there!)

  10. My school district has mandatory summer school for all students who did not make a passing score on the CRCT. The CRCT is the state of Georgia standardize test for third and fifth grade students. Third graders must post a passing score in reading whereas, fifth graders must post a passing score in reading and math. I think that summer school is a good opportunity for students to review skills that they did not grasp during the regular school year.By attending summer school, this will help prepare each student for the upcoming school year.


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