MNPS Summer Programs Address Student Achievement Gap

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Shawn Joseph, Metro Director of Schools

NASHVILLE, TN — For families, summer is typically seen as the time of year for vacation and no homework, but summer is also a critically important time for students to remain engaged with reading and learning. If students take this time away from education, the losses add up. By fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave low-income students two and a half to three years behind their peers.

This year, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has doubled the size of many of its programs and expanded the range of opportunities offered to students to promote literacy and prevent student learning loss.

“Research suggests there is significant learning loss that occurs over the summer when students have time off from school or reading,” said Jennifer Bell, director of Extended Learning Programs. “By offering an extended list of programs, we can change those summer slide statistics and impact a child’s academic climb.”

MNPS is staying ahead of learning losses by creating summer learning environments that promote active student engagement and consistent improvement in academic achievement. These programs increase equitable access to quality instruction to promote literacy and academic enrichment, especially during the summer months.

“These extended learning and enrichment opportunities are available to all of our students in different geographic locations, cover many topics and are appropriate for all academic levels,” Bell said.

In addition to academic enrichment, MNPS is prepared to serve more than 600,000 meals this summer through the Summer Meals Program. This program addresses the connection between students’ hunger and poor performance in school by filling the nutrition gap while schools are not in session.

The following programs increased their capacity this year to provide more access to student learning and enrichment:

On Target is a K–4 camp that has kindergarten-readiness programs and a health, wellness and arts focus. This program has been tremendously successful and has doubled in size from 2016 to 2017.

Read To Be Ready Summer Camps provide reading and writing opportunities for rising first-, second- and third-grade students. These camps’ goal is to develop students’ love for reading over the summer months by providing them with access to a multitude of high-quality books at different levels. These camps are offered at 12 schools in Nashville.

The English Learner (EL) Summer Program focuses on literacy and math and is designed for students learning the English language.

The Teach For America (TFA) Summer Program takes place at Pearl Cohn High, Buena Vista Elementary and Cameron College Prep Middle schools. The curriculum differs at each school and includes English, integrated math, biology and other core subjects.

To see a complete list of summer offerings, visit http://www.mnps.org/summer-programs/.

Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation’s top 50 largest school districts, preparing 88,000 students to excel in higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville’s families, Metro Schools is committed to providing a high-quality education to every student. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, its commitment to social and emotional learning, and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body.

For more information, visit MNPS.org

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