Preventing Learning Loss During Summer - KOAM TV 7

Preventing Learning Loss During Summer


McDonald County school district has a record number of students in summer school at fifty-six percent. It's using a program developed for Missouri students called Summer Journey from Catapult Learning.

It’s helping prevent learning loss known as the summer slide.

Gia Coffel will be a sixth grader this fall. But this Thursday she was using a remote control to score points with her robot's claws. Its putting coding work to the test in a game.

Coffel explained, "If the robot doesnt go back and forth you gotta figure out whats wrong with the robot. So, it's  just like a trial and error. It's really fun. I really do like it better than real school, cause real school  you have to do math."

But even in the game, she is!

Teacher Joyce Pacheco said, "They dont realize theyre using addition, multiplication, subtraction and ratios, proportions. But theyre using them by figuring out gears, and gears ratios. They don't know  cause they're having so much fun."

Hands on projects are a big part of Catapult Learnings Summer Journey. Other kids made insulators from plastic, paper, bags and tape. Those are combined with core academic classes like reading. Its a state provided curriculum complete with materials and required elements.

Principal Tonya Cox said, "Everything that we have for Summer Journey  s provided to our school. We dont have to pay anything. So, it's really kind of stress free and we're able to do a lot more than we're normally able to do."  

Including cooking classes that are a big hit with all the students.

"Is it one cup of hot? asked a student. Yes," answers a teacher as measurements of ingredients incorporates math.

Summer Journey also includes incentives.

Aideyn Steele explained excitedly, "I like how we have field trips now and I like how if you have perfect  attendance here you can get a hundred dollars."  Miss one day and get seventy-five dollars, two days and get fifty dollars. The principal said many students use the pay to buy clothes and school supplies.

But the bigger payoff is preventing learning loss known as the summer slide. Principal Cox said, A lot of our kids, they dont really do a lot of school work in summer time. Normally, the beginning of school the first two or three weeks are spent  trying to review and catch them  up to try to get them to where they ended the previous school year.  But with Summer Journey we're not spending as much time having to do that, so that we can start out  sooner with that years curriculum instead of having to review.

And even kids realize that. Aideyn said, "It helps me remember because we review over some things we did in regular school."

His older sister, rising fifth grader, Eliora added,  "Because you learn stuff for the next year and also it helps you with your mind to like, you still have to remember the stuff from  school so you can go on to the next grade."

Catapult Learning reports Summer Journey was developed for Missouri students and has been used by state school districts since 2000.  More than twenty-three students from thirty-five districts participated in the 2017 summer journey program.

The program offers customizable,  full-day curriculum and even  provides scripted lessons and required materials to make it easy for teachers to optimize every learning opportunity.

The project-based curriculum has proven to  build student's communication and social skills, enhance leadership skills and encourage student's creativity.

At the start and conclusion of the 2017 summer program, students in grades 3-6 took summer journey's pre- and post-assessments.

Students made 62 percent gains on math assessments and 45 percent gains on reading assessments.

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