Happy summer to all of our NSCS families and students! Summer is a cherished time that brings a change of pace, new routines, reconnecting with family and friends, and much needed opportunities for rest. As I think back to the summers of my middle and high school years, I can remember the joy of slow summer mornings, summer camps with friends from church, and cousin fun. As a soccer player, summer also included detailed workout plans from coaches and the reminder to have daily “touches on the ball”. When I was consistent, I was prepared for the fall season. When I lacked consistency, there was no hiding it during the timed runs at the start of pre- season!
This summer, we are encouraging all of our students to have consistent “touches on the ball” to maintain the growth they have made throughout the school year and come prepared for the 2023-2024 school year. We believe that summer learning provides this practice and helps students avoid the summer slide. Researchers describe the summer slide as learning loss that occurs over the summer break (Alexander, Entwisle, and Olson). Studies examining the impact of summer learning have found that children who had access to books and participated in summer reading programs showed improved reading comprehension, vocabulary, and overall reading achievement (Allington and McGill-Franzen). In the same way, student participation in math-related activities during the summer helped prevent loss of math skills and contributed to better math performance in the subsequent school year (Downey et al.).
To keep the momentum of learning going, we are asking families to partner with us. The teachers have provided the resources and guidelines for reading, math, and writing practice for students entering Grades 1-8. You can find these resources by clicking here: Summer Learning. For students entering Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten, we recommend reading to your child daily, exploring and talking about the world around them, and playing board games to develop turn taking skills, counting, and decision making. Play dates are also a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages to build social skills. A great place to kick off Summer Learning is your local library. When your child is a part of the process of picking out a book, there is a sense of ownership and excitement.
Thank you for working with us to prepare the students for another wonderful year of growth in the 2023-2024 school year. The teachers and staff will also be engaging in a variety of coursework, professional development, book clubs, and trainings in order to strengthen and refine our teaching practices. Please feel free to reach out to me during the summer with any questions about Summer Learning.
I pray for God’s many blessings over you and your families this summer!