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San Diego Explained: SD Unified Tries to Beat the Summer Slide

On this San Diego Explained, NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and I highlight an effective program for preventing kids from backtracking on classroom progress during the summer.

While kids may look forward to summer break, their parents and teachers likely feel a different kind of anticipation: anxiety that students will backtrack on the progress they’ve made during the school year.

Studies – like this one from the Johns Hopkins School of Education – have shown students can lose about two months of grade-level math skills over the summer. And that impact can be even greater for low-income students: They lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.

Researchers say that could be because higher-income students are more likely to have better access to summer enrichment programs, or even just books.

That’s why San Diego Unified’s trying to expand a program with proven results at Chollas-Mead Elementary School. For five weeks, kids spend part of the day inside classrooms, and the rest of it outside for hands-on science lessons.

The district wants to find ways to fund similar programs at about 30 of its highest-need elementary schools. NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and I have more on that in this week’s San Diego Explained.

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