Dr. Larry Nelson, Assistant Superintendent

Summer vacation is a time-honored tradition, often associated with unscripted play, creative pursuits, and relaxation. However, for many children summer can be a time of boredom, disengagement, and laziness. If students are not engaged in some form of learning during the summer, they risk losing important math and reading skills.

Summer break is a leading cause of academic struggles for students in grades K-12. Research supports the existence of the “summer learning loss” phenomenon for students and points to known dangers. According to a study by the RAND Corporation, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for students amounts to one month per year. The learning loss is cumulative, summer after summer and it has a huge impact on students’ success, including high school completion and post-secondary education. Summer learning loss requires teachers to spend a good part of the first 2 months of school on review.

Summer remediation combined with enrichment can mitigate learning loss and even lead to academic gains. To combat summer learning loss, Mexico Public Schools has extended learning opportunities through the development of a Summer Learning Program. This specialized program is aligned with the Missouri Learning Standards with the purpose of increasing academic performance of our students. The program begins May 30th and runs through June 26th.

The Elementary Summer Learning program is being offered at Hawthorne Elementary for grades K-2 and at Eugene Field Elementary for grades 3-5. The program has been designed to give students an opportunity to strengthen their literacy and math skills while participating in thematic enrichment activities. Students will have an exposure to art, physical education, music, technology and science daily.

The Secondary Summer Learning Program is being offered at the middle school and high school. The Middle School program is designed to help students strengthen their literacy and math skills while providing elective enrichment courses that are not typically offered during the school year. The incoming sixth grade students will have opportunities to become acquainted with the rituals and routines of the middle school. The High School Learning Program will provide students credit recovery as well as courses such as Personal Finance and Drivers Education. All kindergarten through 12th grade students will be provided breakfast and lunch at no cost.

Additional information about the summer learning program can be obtained online at www.mexicoschools.net. We encourage the students of Mexico Public Schools to participate in the Summer Learning Program and look forward to working with a community dedicated to our students’ ongoing success. Together, we can lessen the impact of summer learning loss and better prepare students for their next level of learning.