Summer Slide - Challenge Map

Summer Slide

Summer Slide

The Challenge

Many districts are striving to minimize or diminish students’ summer learning loss. Teachers may need to spend valuable time reviewing in order to to catch students up at the beginning of each school year, which can inhibit students ability to progress and move forward. Many district leaders aspire to provide summer programming to maintain students’ knowledge and skills, but adequate funding opportunities are lacking. To work around funding challenges, some schools’ summer learning programs are exclusively for under-resourced students who are eligible for Title I federal support.

Challenge Stats


Respondents reported their schools or districts have made progress on this challenge


Staff from suburban districts responded this challenge is urgent


Staff from rural districts responded this challenge is urgent


Staff from urban districts responded this challenge is urgent

Ideas from the Field

  • Increasing learning time throughout the year, by providing after school learning programs, is one approach underway to help mitigate summer slide.
  • Summer is also seen as a time to offer real-world learning opportunities, with one district growing their summer school program from 3,000 to 12,000 students with a partner experience every week in each elementary classroom.

In the Words of District Staff

The school shutdowns will likely cause a spring AND summer slide for all kids. The impact will be great, given that some educators may not be covering new content.
District-level leader
Spring 2020

“The summer loss that we experience with our kids is a real factor in students progressing because we feel like we are always having to go back and re-teach and regroup, especially after our kids are off for three months.”

“Summer slide is a big one because what you end up having happen is that some students don't have as much support at home, they're not reading over the summer or they're not doing math over the summer. So … you see a lot of slide, especially in fourth grade to seventh grade, they will go back two grade levels every summer. So you're always catching them back up and then trying to push forward.”


Summer learning loss: What is it, and what can we do about it? - From Brookings, this report reviews what is known about summer loss and offers suggestions for districts and states looking to combat the problem.

Summer Learning Loss: What We Know and What We’re Learning - From NWEA, this blog shares current knowledge about summer learning loss and significant gaps in existing research about the phenomenon.

National Summer Learning Association Knowledge Center - The NSLA knowledge center links to over 100 resources related to K12 summer learning.

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