Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition

Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition

A RAND Corporation report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation offers in-depth guidance for school districts and partner organizations about planning and running voluntary summer learning programs that benefit low-income elementary students. An update to a 2013 report, Getting to Work on Summer Learning, Second Edition (89 pages, PDF) outlines best practices and lessons learned from the Wallace Foundation's National Summer Learning Project, an initiative launched in 2011 to help districts offer large-scale, voluntary summer programs that improve academic, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes for children. Among other things, the report recommends starting planning for the coming summer no later than January; designing a five- to six-week program with three to four hours of academics a day; establishing a firm enrollment deadline and clear attendance policies; working with district experts and starting early to develop a curriculum; training enrichment instructors in behavior management; and developing a clear, positive message with respect to the goals and culture of the program. An accompanying online toolkit provides customizable resources such as program observations; sample documents, including staff handbooks, position descriptions, and enrollment forms; and advice from field experts on how to use the materials on each topic.