While summer might be fading from your mind as temperatures dip and leaves fall, one of its less pleasant remnants continues to impact children and teachers around the region—summer brain drain, or the loss of knowledge through weeks outside of the structured learning environment of schools.
Community and school leaders gather this week to talk about "summer slide," part of Cincinnati Public Schools
efforts after being one of only six school districts in the country to receive Wallace Foundation funding
for summer learning initiatives.
CPS Superintendent Mary Ronan will be joined by policy researchers and foundation executives for the forum. Talk will center around the district’s innovative Fifth Quarter program, launched in 2009 as a non-mandatory four-week full-day extension of the school year. The Wallace Foundation funding was awarded to support the curriculum development and design of Fifth Quarter and ensure that students’ progress is monitored closely. "We see the Fifth Quarter as the best way to allow learning to continue right after the regular school year ends,” Ronan says.
Cited as a national success story, the non-mandatory (it bears repeating, non-required summer school!) Fifth Quarter combines academic rigor with community partnerships. After mornings of learning, students in 16 participating schools enjoy fine arts, technology, fitness and environmental education activities -- all at no cost (it bears repeating--no cost!) to the district.
During the forum, Ronan will be joined by Strive Partnership’s Greg Landsman, Jennifer Sloan McCombs of the RAND Corporation and Ed Pauly of the Wallace Foundation in a discussion of best practices and why summer learning matters.
By Elissa Yancey